Are Writers Obliged to Give a Voice to the Voiceless?

On a social media platform the other day, Author Karl Sade posed this question: Are writers obliged to give a voice to the voiceless? Below is how I answered. (These are my original answers which I posted. I also have Karl’s permission to use his question.)

The Vampire with a Blanket of Stars is such a book. At a conference, a man insisted on talking to me. He talked & I listened. He showed me the tattooed numbers on his arm & his experience. I told him I write fiction. He said the readers will believe you. The truth is there.

“It’s mixed in with the fiction since I am a vampire adventure romance author, but true events of the Holocaust in Romania in WWII are there.

“It is up to you and the nature of the book. Tell a great story first and foremost. Be true to yourself.”

The above is what I said on a social media platform. I am going to elaborate. No, as a writer you are not obliged to give a voice to the voiceless. You are obliged to tell the reader a great story. The story is first and foremost. But it happens. Sometimes aspects of the main character’s life story reveal themselves and can’t be ignored.

My books flow into me through dreams. I end up with an astonishing amount of knowledge about the character. Before WWII started in Romania, Vampire Prince Răzvan had befriended some human Romanians. Their religious or cultural background made no difference in how he viewed them as friends. He views friendship as bound by loyalty, trust, and reliability. He may be a vampire but he values human lives. He is, after all, the son of King Max of New York. (By all means, read Vampire King of New York to better understand what Răzvan also stands for.)

Getting back to whether writers are obliged-it really all depends on you and how your main character’s story unfolds. It was years after the conference that I wrote The Vampire with a Blanket of Stars. I did not write his experience. He had asked me specifically to write about the Holocaust. I tried at first and the story fell apart, so I had to wait for the right time and the right story to come in a dream. Even when you get a dream or series of dreams, you end up doing tons of research to fill in gaps and holes. I turned to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. They have an enormous archived collection online. I also visited them.

EverWarm is a paranormal teen love story. I didn’t set out to be a voice for the homeless but it appears that Maeve is. Maeve is sixteen and lives in a cardboard box in an alley in Manhattan. It is an amazingly sweet and romantic book but still shows her day-to-day life and concerns. The biggest one is to be warm and safe.

A doctor in Los Angeles messaged me to say she had read EverWarm, and the depiction of homeless people is true to life. They are all different, but their overriding need is to find a warm and safe place.

A main character’s problem grows bigger which drives the plot of the book. Sometimes it’s fighting to stay alive. Not all my books take on a problem in the social conscience, but some do and it’s interwoven in the story as it is in the character’s life. I don’t believe in shoving social awareness in anyone’s face. I believe in writing a great story. I let the main character lead the way.

The overall answer to that question, dear writers is, it’s up to you! Every author is different. Every story is different. You know who you are inside. Be true to your authentic stories. For those, that write non-fiction, it’s easier. For the fiction writers, well, let your story weave into what it wants to say. I always say in every piece of fiction, there’s an amazing amount of truth.

Enjoy the day.


Susan Hanniford Crowley

EverNight for ages 13-113 is now available on Kindle and Amazon Paperback.
EverWarm for ages 13-113 is now available on Kindle and Amazon Paperback.
Lady Fallon’s Dragons for ages 13-113 is now available on Kindle and Amazon Paperback, Nook, Kobo, Smashwords, BAM online bookstore sells the paperback, Scribd, and in paperback in the UK at Waterstones, also on Amazon around the world.
The Vampire with a Blanket of Stars, Arnhem Knights of New York, Book 3 is available in Amazon Print and Kindle, Nook, Kobo,  Apple, Walmart ebooks & Smashwords.
Vampire King of New York, Arnhem Knights of New York, Book 1 now in Kindle and Print! Walmart Bookstore Online
Vampire in the Basement, Vampires in Manhattan, Book 4 available on Kindle.
Poseidon’s Catch(mythology romance) is available on Kindle.
Mrs. Bright’s Tea Room (steampunk romance) is available on Kindle.
A Vampire for Christmas, Vampires in Manhattan, Book 3 available on Kindle.
The Stormy Love Life of Laura Cordelais, Vampires in Manhattan, Book 2 available in Kindle and Print and Barnes and Noble Print
When Love Survives, Vampires in Manhattan Book 1 is available on Kindle, Nook, Kobo, Smashwords, and iBooks (on Apple devices).


About Susan Hanniford Crowley

Paranormal Romance, Fantasy, and Science Fiction Author
This entry was posted in A Vampire for Christmas, Amazon Kindle Best Selling Author in Vampire Romance, Amazon Kindle Best Selling Author of Vampire Romance, brain fog, EverNight, EverWarm, Girl Scout Camp, Life Tools, Mother's Day Gifts, Mrs. Bright's Tea Room, New Year, Norse, Nothing is Impossible!, paranormal, paranormal romance, Poseidon's Catch, restaurants, romance, romance novels, Secret #17: Mother's Day Gifts!, shapeshifters, Shopping ideas, steampunk romance, Susan Hanniford Crowley, The Stormy Love Life of Laura Cordelais, The Vampire with a Blanket of Stars, vampire books, Vampire in the Basement, Vampire King of New York, Vampire King of New York In Print, Vampire Maximillion Vander Meer, Vampire Princess of New York, Viking, Weekly Paranormal-Scope, Weekly Paranormal-Scope, What are you watching?, What inspires you?, When Love Survives, WHEN LOVE SURVIVES, Writer's Life, writer's inspiration, Writing, Writing Advice, Writing Craft, writing life, writing tools, Writing Topics, YA, Yule and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Are Writers Obliged to Give a Voice to the Voiceless?

  1. Bobbi Lerman says:

    This was a terrific piece about an important topic. Well said, Susan!

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