My writing is my voice. My stories are about accepting your fellow man or woman, about how love is the most powerful force in the universe. I do truly understand why some people are upset by my cover. However, Nimira is from a fictional land which is not meant to be a parallel to a specific country in our world. Her culture has elements, such as costume and music, that might be drawn from Eastern European, Asian and Roma cultures, and I love that readers are interpreting her look in different ways.
I definitely don't want to tell people how to feel. I have no problem with anyone getting impassioned about a cause. But a writer is the only thing I've wanted to be all my life, it's an outlet for a girl who is often timid to express her soul. If you want to know how I feel about acceptance, love, and diversity, it is in my books. I'm glad the story has spoken to many readers. I believe that young readers crave books with ALL kinds of heroes, and the surest way we can satisfy that need is to support books that make heroes out of diverse characters. I do hope that you'll give Nimira and her story a chance, and that you'll love her as much as I do.
*I am locking comments on this post now. I think almost 72 hours later, it's time to move on to other forums if you still wish to discuss this issue.