Please welcome my guest, Karina Bartow to Wicked Wednesday on Discover... She presents us with a wicked theme we see and hear all too often.
Along with its forerunners in the Unde(a)feated
Detective Series, Accidental Allies
follows Minka Avery, a detective who’s deaf and wears a cochlear implant. Though
Minka’s faced stereotypes throughout the first two books in the series, this
installment truly shines a light on how other people’s biases about her
disability have factored into her career, both in the past and the present.
Nobody personifies this better than Chief of Police
Doug Friedman. Despite Minka’s history as an accomplished detective, Chief
Friedman manifests a low opinion of her. In one exchange, he’s even bold enough
to tell her that he only views her as a showpiece that attracts media
The mistreatment she faces may make many readers’
mouths drop, but in truth, I don’t have to reach too far to imagine this kind
of rude behavior. Because I was born with Cerebral Palsy, I’ve struggled with
being stereotyped for my whole life. Even in school, some attributed my
honor-roll-worthy grades to the fact that I had an aide to attend to my
physical needs, who must’ve been giving
me academic help, as well. The majority of my aides readily admitted, however,
that they didn’t wrack up the grades I earned, which propelled me to graduate seventh
in my high school class.
As I was writing Accidental
Allies, I faced a similar prejudice, which hurt yet more. My spirits were soaring high because I’d
accomplished my dream of becoming a published author with the release of my
debut novel. I thought my success would overturn the stigmas attached to me. To
my disappointment, however, a guy who purchased my book at a signing had the
audacity to imply that my mom wrote the book but gave me the credit! Given I
type with just one hand and rarely, if ever, enlist assistance, this was quite
a brutal insult.
Just the same, I don’t enjoy sharing
experiences like this. I’ve also had many positive relationships with people
who do appreciate my capabilities and treat me with respect. Thus, I never want
to come off as ungrateful or even like I have a chip on my shoulder.
In fact, I told my editor those very
words when she suggested I highlight some of the prejudices Minka encountered
that contributed to her insecurities in Husband
in Hiding, the opening novel of the series. Her encouragement to do so,
though, helped me to realize what I could achieve with my platform as an
author. While I wouldn’t load my books full of such negative instances, I could
scatter a few in the plot to highlight the impact of stereotypes, in hopes of
helping people view and treat others in a different light.
After six years as a stay-at-home mom,
Minka’s nervous but excited to sit at a detective’s desk again. Before she has
a chance to break in her badge, however, her career resumes with a bang when
someone bombs the county courthouse.
With many disillusioned with the
justice system, several brow-raising suspects emerge right away. Minka and her
new partner, Renee, follow several tips that lead to dead ends, until they zero
in on the courthouse's former security guard. Their attempts to apprehend him
send the city and police department into chaos. Meanwhile, Minka contends with
the lingering suspicion of another party being involved. Could his accomplice
be closer than she thinks?
You can find Karina here: