Do Sexual Harassment and Racism Belong in Fiction?
Sexual harassment and racism…pretty taboo topics, right? That’s why I chose to tackle
them. I don’t like to read, nor do I like to write mindless entertainment. Most readers
nowadays want a fluffy romance with minor complications and a HEA. While I do
concede to Happy Ever Afters, I make sure it’s a rocky road to get there.
You will find sexual harassment and racism both in Afterburn. Having been an aircraft
mechanic for eleven years, I was dying to write about a woman grease monkey. Nobody
And let me tell you something about harassment…it’s ugly, but it’s there. Sexual
harassment happens to women in male-dominated professions on an everyday basis.
So, it’s an issue in Afterburn. It’s a fact of life and fiction isn’t real if it doesn’t portray
Racism: Another ugly, but sadly, real life issue. Even in 2013, it’s there. I’m sure many
of you have worked side by side with someone for years…never thought of the person
as a racist and suddenly one day you get to talking about some married couple who
happens to be interracial…and they say those horrible, offensive words, “I’d never let my
daughter marry a….”
That moment you realize you’ve been working with a bigot? Yea. I’ve had those and it
totally changes how I see the person in front of me.
These issues exist and they need to be eliminated. In a perfect world, we’d never have
these problems. Women would go to work not worrying about who is going to smack her
rear and make an inappropriate comment. And couples with different skin tones would
never get looked at funny.
So, Afterburn isn’t a piece of fluff. I lay it out there. It’s life.
The love between them burns hot, but their relationship won’t stay fueled if they
can’t beat the obstacles in their way. Besides breaking the fraternization rules,
Grant and Crystal have the difference of race between them…but can they prove to
the rest of the world, and to each other, that love is color blind?
Afterburn is about overcoming one’s past, not judging others, learning to forgive,
and what it’s like to be a woman in a “man’s world.”
Tara Chevrestt is a deaf woman, former aviation mechanic, writer, and an editor. She is
most passionate about planes, motorcycles, dogs, and above all, reading. That led to her love of
writing. Between her writing and her editing, which allows her to be home with her little canine
kids, she believes she has the greatest job in the world. She is very happily married.
Her theme is Strong is Sexy. She shares a website with her naughty pen name: