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Judging A Book By Its Cover Gives Birth To Racism

July 30, 2012 in Eden's Posts

Judging A Book By Its Cover Gives Birth To Racism

By Victoria Foyt

I would like to address the recent accusations of racism that have been aimed at my young adult novel, Revealing Eden, Save The Pearls Part One.

Some have taken offense at the cover photo on the dust jacket of a blond, blue-eyed girl with her white face half covered in dark. Without reading the novel or understanding the premise, some believe that the photo shows the girl in “blackface.” Nothing could be further from the truth.

First, consider that the basis of all prejudice is judging a book by its cover. To condemn any book on the basis of its cover is hardly different than condemning a total stranger because of the color of his/her skin. How can you critique or damn a book if you haven’t read it? This kind of blind attack is exactly what creates racism or condemned many progressives as communists in the Fifties.

Revealing Eden is a sci-fi fantasy adventure romance. And while it is a work of fiction, the premise is all too believable in the face of extreme global warming. So yes, this book is meant to provoke the white community that has never experienced racism or been oppressed because they have been in the majority in this country.

If global warming results in a meltdown of the ozone layer many things would change, including the inability of those with little melanin in their skin to survive the blistering effects of increased deadly solar radiation. In humans, melanin is the primary determinant of skin color. People with dark skin have more melanin and, although they also get skin cancer, they do not contract it at the high rates of those with fair skin.

In Revealing Eden, “The Heat” (basically, skin cancer) wipes out the majority of people with light skin. Then people with dark skin are in the majority. In this future world, because those with fairer skin suffer a debilitating, perhaps fatal condition, they are considered second-rate.

The titular character, Eden Newman, loathes her white skin because of this, and accepts the oppressive opinion that she is ugly, even worthless. Because her chances of survival are so low, she has little chance of finding a mate (her mate-rate is an embarrassing 15%). And if she doesn’t find a mate by the time she is 18, she will be killed.

She colors her skin with a special dark coating in order to protect it from “The Heat,” and because she is desperate to appear darker in order to be desirable. With the clock ticking, she will do anything to attract a mate.

The use of blackface presents a mockery or travesty of African Americans’ lives. Eden Newman wishes to “Great Earth” that she had dark skin, not because she wants to make fun of people with dark skin, but because she admires their status and is jealous of the genetic advantage they offer against “The Heat.”

Why are whites called Pearls, while blacks are called Coals? Imagine a gritty, post-apocalyptic world where all that matters is survival. What good will a pearl do you when luxury items have no use? Coal has energy, fire, and real value. It is durable and strong, not easily crushed like a pearl. Pearl is a pejorative term here. Coals are admired. Coals oppress Pearls because they fear that those with light skin will add to a population unable to survive “The Heat,” and drain meager resources.

Eden Newman evolves from a girl who loathes her white skin to someone who understands that real beauty comes from within. Finally she begins to shed her skin covering, and learns to accept herself—a journey we all must take, regardless of race. She begins to realize that she has misjudged her Coal boss, Ronson Bramford, and they fall in love.

In this future world, Eden Newman’s father works at Bramford’s laboratory where he creates the evolutionary technology that will enable mankind to survive “The Heat.” The experiment involves the creation of a hybrid human with the combined traits of great predators that are able to survive in extreme environments.

Bramford is a hero for funding this technology, and for risking his life to adapt. He becomes the first hybrid man-beast, and in doing so, begins the process of mankind going back to nature, reclaiming the land, saving Earth.

In the second book, Adapting Eden, Save The Pearls Part Two, Eden only wants to adapt into a hybrid human like Bramford so they can be two of a kind and, like Adam and Eve, restart the human race.

Artists provoke to get their point across. I abhor racism. In Revealing Eden, I aimed to turn racism on its head in order to portray its horrors and its inevitable road to violence. I believe that anyone who reads the novel will understand its strong stance against racism.

And there is reason to support my belief when you consider that the novel has won five literary awards, including the Eric Hoffer Best Young Adult Novel 2012 (Eric Hoffer was a great humanitarian), or that Marianne Williamson called it on her Facebook page, “A fascinating story…for lovers of all ages!” or that dozens of reviewers from the San Francisco Book Review to Fresh Fiction to many book bloggers have embraced it with glowing reviews.

And if you ask if all these reviewers are white then consider that you have a racist point of view.

I sincerely hope that you will read Revealing Eden and grasp its message of love and hope for the planet and for all mankind. Perhaps it can lead to more discussion about the harm we are causing to our environment and to each other.

Throughout the novel, I quote Emily Dickinson, Eden’s “adopted aunt.” These lines of poetry most represents Eden’s journey from a frightened, self-loathing girl to someone who opens her heart: That love is all there is / Is all we know of love.

Happy reading!

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Blackface or Cautionary Tale?

July 27, 2012 in Eden's Posts

Revealing Eden, Save The Pearls Part One, is set in a post-apocalyptic world in which deadly solar radiation burns the planet and kills off most fair-skinned people who cannot resist “The Heat,” because of the low levels of melanin in their skin. The survivors, called Pearls, darken their skin in order to resist the disease and, also, to appear more acceptable to the ruling majority of dark-skinned Coals.

In the novel I aimed to turn racism on its head, hoping to portray its horrors and its inevitable road to violence. The dust jacket photo shows Eden’s face half white and half dark. She is shedding a false cover, and learning to accept herself—a journey we all must take, regardless of race.

To say that a Pearl’s dark skin covering represents blackface could not be farther from the truth. It is not a comic travesty or patronization of any race. Rather, it is a cautionary tale of the dangers of racism and of the rampant destruction of Earth.

The titular character, Eden Newman, progresses from a girl who hates her white skin to someone who understands that real beauty comes from within. I believe that anyone who reads the entire book will understand its testament to man’s brotherhood and the need to respect our planet, as dozens of reviewers have noted.  Quick judgments and fear-mongering bring about misunderstanding – in this case, targeting a novel with racism when it has a strong anti-racist message!

I highly respect all races, and abhor racism. I sincerely hope that you will read Revealing Eden and grasp its message of love and hope for the planet and for all men.

-Victoria Foyt

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Avoid the Heat or face a romantic apocalypse

June 19, 2012 in Apocalypse World, Eden's Posts

Source: alifestyleofwellness.blogspot.com

If you know anything about the plight of the Pearls, you know you’ve got to avoid the Heat. If not, you’ll find yourself face to face with a romantic apocalypse and possibly THE END.

In most post apocalyptic books, they offer a scenario where the hero or heroine faces the end of the world and survives against all odds. Yet in the New World, not everyone can enjoy a happily ever after. In fact, if you’re a Pearl like me, you have little to no chance of survival.

What you can do is to try to help save the Pearls and do your personal best to avoid the havoc that exposure to the Heat can cause. You won’t find answers or guidelines to follow in any post apocalyptic books or films; fiction will not save you. What will save you is one basic tenet—STAY INDOORS AT ALL TIMES.

But how will you get supplies when you run out or the latest copies of that series of fantasy romance novels you’ve been dying to read? Stock piling and abstinence, my Pearl friends. No supplies or books, not even Revealing Eden, are worth the wrath of the Heat.

In addition to avoiding the outside world, you should apply Midnight Luster every single day. I strongly suggest applying several coats, and re-applying later in the day if it starts to wear off. Take your time and put it on carefully so you can avoid a streaky looking finish. Several coats will make you look more Coal-like and therefore much more attractive. If you’re looking for a mate or are under the delusion that you can find the kind of love you read about in fantasy romance novels, than Midnight Luster is an absolute must. As soon as I apply it, I feel better and definitely look more appealing.

Another good rule to follow is to keep physical activity to a minimum. Getting overheated can make you more susceptible to those who already have the Heat but may not yet be showing symptoms. If you do engage in any sort of physical activity, thoroughly re-apply Midnight Luster.

Last but not least, if you truly want to avoid a romantic apocalypse and not suffer an early demise, do not make physical contact with anyone who has the Heat. If you see someone showing any of the signs, RUN like there’s no tomorrow—if you don’t, there will be no tomorrow for you.

 

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by jamal

Great Reviews of Save the Pearls

March 28, 2012 in Eden's Posts

Hey guys,

In between trying to survive the romantic apocalypse, please go check out these great reviews of Save the Pearls Part One REVEALING EDEN!


San Francisco Book Review

Nashville Young Adult Fiction Examiner

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My favorite films about an apocalypse world

February 29, 2012 in Eden's Posts

With the doom and gloom of my 18th birthday looming over me, it’s hard not to think about life in an apocalypse world. So lately, whenever I need a little escape, I’ve been watching movies about life after the so-called end of the world. That way, I can multitask—I’m relaxing, but I’m also coming up with survival tips and learning about life in the aftermath. After watching these new favorites, I’ll be prepared for pretty much anything, from the Uni-Gov knocking on my door to zombies furiously craving my brains. Usually, I’m all about reading science fiction and fantasy books in my spare time, but for now, I’m walking through a dystopian wonderland.

Zombieland. I love this movie, maybe because Emma Stone is just so charismatic and Woody is so hilarious. Or maybe it’s because I’ve always wanted to see what a Twinkie tastes like. Emma Stone and Jesse Eisenberg experience their own brand of romantic apocalypse in this movie, so I totally relate to it. Plus, I think that’s really what an apocalypse world is going to look like.

The Day After. This film offers a graphic, disturbing concept of an apocalypse world—it takes place in a small town in Kansas after a nuclear holocaust devastates the United States. This movie freaked people out hard when it was released in the 80s, and kinda freaked me out too.

Planet of the Apes. This film is an absolute science fiction and fantasy legend! Even though I’m young, I prefer old school stuff, so I actually like the original more than the remake. “Ape City” is a scary prospect—not sure what I’d do if walking, talking gorillas captured me. Maybe a young Charlton Heston type would save me! The ending has an amazing cinematic twist.

On the Beach. This is the ultimate romantic apocalypse movie. Earth’s only survivors of a nuclear holocaust come together in Australia—until radiation gets them. The movie’s cool old school cast includes Ava Gardner, Gregory Peck, Fred Astaire and Anthony Perkins. The ending is super shocking.

Dawn of the Dead. The second in George A Romero’s Living Dead series brings the zombie epidemic in an apocalypse world to a whole new level. As the dead rise and prey on human flesh, we follow a group of survivors who barricade themselves inside a shopping mall, basically waiting for the undead to get in and for it all to just be over with. Ahhh, so uplifting!

Source: Chriscad.com

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Valentine’s Day— fantasy and adventure or a romantic apocalypse?

February 9, 2012 in Eden's Posts, Fantasy romance

Valentine’s Day is less than a week away and Jamal still hasn’t made plans with me. I know it’s a little early to be worried about a romantic apocalypse, but I think it’s shady. When you’re in a relationship, whether it’s complicated or not, you would think your boyfriend would be plotting out a night of fantasy romance. I haven’t heard a peep from him about it—for all I know he could be out of town next week.

Either way, it’s got me thinking. When I signed up for this relationship, I thought I’d done more than just find a mate—I truly believed my future would be filled with the kind of love you read about in fantasy and adventure novels. Jamal pledged his undying love and swore that he didn’t care in the least that I’m a Pearl and he’s a Coal. He promised all sorts of things: that my life would no longer be in jeopardy because of my race, that he only wanted to be with me and that our destiny would be filled with nothing but amazing days and nights. Instead, I find myself reading young adult books and wondering why I can’t have the same happy ending as their protagonists.

I feel like I’m in a difficult spot because if I bring it up to him, then I might just be pushing us both into that romantic apocalypse all of us Pearls dread. I don’t want to seem like some gross needy girl, clinging to a fantasy romance like I have nothing else in my life. On the other hand, I also feel like I shouldn’t look at him through rose colored glasses—that my feelings could be masking the truth about his intentions. I have to remember that he’s not a character from one of my favorite fantasy and adventure novels, he’s a real person and has flaws, some that I may not be aware of or that he’s in fact hiding. Now here I am, working day and night to save the Pearls, and I’m worried about speaking my mind to some dude. Yet, he’s not just any dude, he’s a Coal—and that puts us in different leagues, where I’m supposed to be the luckiest girl in the world to have even caught his attention.

If only I lived in the old world, or the ones I read about in young adult books, where people are considered equal and your survival isn’t dependant on if and when you find a mate. A world filled with real love, the kind that feels like pure fantasy and adventure, and sustains itself despite one’s class or race. I wonder if anything like that really ever existed?

Source: Missy Gainer

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Romantic apocalypse… a beautiful mess

January 25, 2012 in Eden's Posts

There’s a bit of ecstasy in a romantic apocalypse —I really believe this. It’s so easy to get addicted to the tug of war and the push and pull of the love that cannot be or the one you can’t find. No matter what the reason behind it, there’s something about it that you just can’t let go of. I guess it must be like heroin to a junky—you know that hit may possibly kill you, but you can’t do without it. You don’t want to do without it.

Weren’t some of the most famous fantasy romance novels Romeo and Juliet and Gone With the Wind? Wasn’t Casablanca one of the most popular movies of all time? Everyone loves to watch the despair between two people whose love is out of their hands, yet so consuming and gut wrenching that they will endure anything to be with that other person. Even death. Yes, it’s very much an addiction, possibly worse than any drug—because you can feel everything no matter how addicted you are to this kind of tumultuous love. You feel the pain and the uncertainty with every waking breath—sometimes even in your sleep. It sneaks into your dreams like an evil demon that chases you and no matter how hard you try, you can’t get away.

There’s a reason why some call it an adventure romance. It’s not about two people going on some fun adventure together, hiking through some new mountain or sailing off on a booze cruise. It’s the twists and turns they have to endure to be together, the uncertainty and permanent state of limbo. The adrenaline rush of knowing you’re about to see the love of your life—and the not knowing if it will be the last time you ever see them.

When I originally started my campaign to save the pearls, I was dead set against finding a mate. I didn’t want an adventure romance, didn’t believe it really existed. I thought it was like an iconic screen star of the past—the epitome of glamour and perfection, bringing each scene to life effortlessly and without doubt. Something to think about when you look at how much the world has changed.

Now here I am, possibly on the brink of my own romantic apocalypse. Jamal says we’re going to mate, but he’s yet to set a date. He keeps pushing it off, but my time is running out. I should be working on finding another mate with my limited free time. Instead, I’m trying to save the pearls and reading fantasy romance novels, searching for some key to unlocking the success of my own. In the meantime, I’m getting more and more attached to the painfully delicious ups and downs of this feeling. It’s like a rollercoaster I never want to get off of.

Will I or won’t I survive my own romantic apocalypse? I suspect that I may need to get off the rollercoaster if I want to live past my 18th birthday. Yet if I somehow do, whether Jamal finally lives up to his word, I find another or my father’s experiment works, will I be destined to a life filled with the horrific ecstasy that is connected to this kind of relationship? It’s hard to figure out which is better.

Source: Blogs.discovery.com

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What is a romantic apocalypse?

January 14, 2012 in Eden's Posts

Everyone keeps asking what exactly a romantic apocalypse is, so I figured I should try to explain it for the sSave the Pearls community. I receive messages from so many people trying to guess what it is—some of the funniest include “The world ends because all of the fantasy and adventure is wiped from the face of the planet,” or “When civilization ends abruptly due to the lack of romance throughout,” and my absolutely favorite, “When a jilted lover uses his suffering to fuel a Columbine-style attack on all the major hot spots of the world.” I think these people are reading too many young adult books, because those theories couldn’t be any less realistic.

A romantic apocalypse actually defines the movement that the Coals have secretly launched against us. It’s their quest to eradicate all that is left of the Pearls, extinguishing any chance of our survival or return to happier socioeconomic times. It’s their pledge that if all Pearls don’t find a mate, they will be eliminated from society. It’s obviously an underground movement, just like the Save the Pearls campaign is a stealth community.

In most young adult books, there are the villains who threaten the main characters. In some stories, they are obviously evil and often decked with supernatural powers, while in others they are simply the bane of the protagonist’s existence—whether they stand in the way of a fantasy romance or provide some other obstacle to achieving their dreams. In our world, they are the Coals and the FFP, both trying to use their power in ways that defy humanity and decency.

While that may not be an answer that will satisfy fans of fantasy and adventure, it’s the one that counts. We have to be realistic and fully comprehend what we’re dealing with here. Pearls continue to disappear every day, never to be found—all in that same age range: 18 for females and 24 for males. Some are reported, while others are not. Each being that goes missing either refused to find a mate or just had zero luck in the fantasy romance department. Once they reach their “deadline,” it’s only a matter of time before they come. No one has ever escaped to tell the story of exactly who “they” are and what actually happens, but we know it’s no bueno.

Whether a romantic apocalypse is a bloody massacre or a stealth attack that the victim doesn’t see coming, it’s not good and definitely not fun. I wish all other Pearls good luck in mating so they can avoid this dark cloud that infinitely hangs over our heads. In the meantime, I’ll continue to try my hardest to make our cause the thing that stops this horrible movement.

Source: layoutsparks.com

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Cleaning the slate for an adventure romance

January 4, 2012 in Eden's Posts

It’s a new year and we’re all still here. Some of us Pearls have found that adventure romance, while others struggle to find a mate—especially the girls who are about to turn 18. Yeah, that’s me. Even though I’m secretly dating a Coal (okay, maybe not so secretly, since all of you know), who made me believe in love again at first. Now it feels like I’m back where I started, worried about meeting my doomed fate: a romantic apocalypse. I’m having issues with trusting him and am wondering about the way he acts.

What my super wise Ethics Officer told me to do is make sure that I’m seeing Jamal for who he is, not what I want him to be. She says I think I’m the heroine in one of my fantasy and adventure books, with some supernatural ability to see the future, and that I’m mistaking who he really is with his potential. So what do I do from here? How do I clean the slate and see him for who he is, since from what I hear, boys just do not change—especially a Coal? If I don’t fix the way I’m feeling, it will surely be the end of our adventure romance.

Maybe I should just sage my room and chant to get rid of my evil thoughts. Or I could do a voodoo spell on him that will make him put our adventure romance on top of his list of priorities. There has to be some way to remove the last few weeks from my mind, all the times I’ve caught him flirting with my skanky coworker Ashina. I wouldn’t care if she wasn’t a Coal too. He says that doesn’t matter to him, but at the same time, he seems really into his image. Can I trust that he’ll really be okay with mating a lowly Pearl when he can live out all the fantasy and adventure he’s ever wanted with someone of his own kind?

If I want to make this work and avoid the romantic apocalypse that’s looming over me, then I’ve got to get rid of this energy. I’ve got to purge it, be open to who he really is and stop trying to put enough Midnight Luster on to coat an entire schoolroom. Any suggestions?

Source: Hackadelic.com

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Resolutions— Keeping the Fantasy Romance Alive

December 30, 2011 in Eden's Posts

I’m working on my resolutions, even though 2012 could be my last year here, since I’m a lowly, coming-of-age Pearl. I’ve got two sets of resolutions: the first is focused on keeping my fantasy romance alive—because if I don’t, I’m history.

Become a better listener. Sometimes your mate needs you to just be there and listen, so I’m going to focus on doing that, instead of always trying to come up with a solution. I’ve got enough on my plate with the Save the Pearls campaign, working on my young adult fantasy novels and preparing for 2012—I just need to be there to listen, not solve everything.

Make time for dates. I’m going to come up with new things we can try to do together and make sure that we squeeze one-on-one time in whenever we can get away with it. I’m going to keep the fantasy romance alive by treating every time like it’s a first date—I’ll get dressed up and make sure my Midnight Luster is applied perfectly, make my room looks nice and not talk about the romantic apocalypse with him anymore!

Get myself together. I’m going to get in the best shape possible, which will help me prepare for the instance of an apocalypse world as well. My plan is to study hand-to-hand combat so that I can be as strong as the heroines of all my favorite young adult fantasy novels.

Be appreciative.
Instead of worrying about what I think Jamal’s doing wrong or what he isn’t doing, I plan to show my appreciation for what he does do. I’m going to make sure that I don’t complain and instead give lots of compliments.

Be positive. I’m also going to look at the glass as half full—meaning, I will think positively about my future and forget about the possibility of a romantic apocalypse.

Source: Realityolympia.com

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