I am a white woman, middle-aged, upper-middle-class, with an office job that would be boring in the extreme to write (or read) about. Therefore I do not write about people like me.
I write about characters who are inspired by me (to a certain extent: as I've noted previously, all the characters have a chunk of me inside) PLUS other people that I've known or met or seen, PLUS their imagined histories and tastes and relationships.
Because for the past twenty years I have lived in Los Angeles, one of the most diverse cities in the world, the people who've inspired my characters are also very diverse. This may be a problem for some readers.
People often expect to see themselves in the characters they are reading about, and the people who enjoy being surprised are outnumbered by the people who don't.
To that I say, oh wellz.
The stars of my modern stories and novels break out as follows:
Getting Off: an Italian-American Brooklynite (female) and a West L.A. Jewish woman, plus a Mexican-American lounge lizard (male).
All the Bars on Sunset: aforementioned lounge lizard, and a Puerto Rican-black woman.
Chrome: a white refugee from Utah (female) and a Japanese-American man.
Beat: a Filipino-American man and a Mexican-Chinese-Black man.
The Continental: a Mexican-American woman and an Italian man.
Chai at Midnight: a woman from India and a black man.
Speed Date: a Chinese-American man, a Russian-American woman, and a mixed-race Asian American woman.
Set Dressing: a redheaded white woman from Pasadena, and a Turkish-English expatriate (male).
Mating Dance: a white woman from Minneapolis and a mixed race black man.
Home Sweet Home: a woman of unknown parentage of Indian appearance, and a French Canadian white man.
Million Dollar Death: a black Filipina and a Mexican Filipino.
The next novella is going to star a black woman and a mixed-race man. There's also a Ukrainian immigrant who plays a part in several of the novellas, and may yet get his own story.
Why do I write about people who are so different from myself? Well, because people who are different from me are interesting.
The people I'm writing about are from different economic backgrounds, but I've had several different economic experiences myself so that's not so hard to imagine. And different professions are fascinating to imagine.
I find people of color much more physically attractive than white people, generally speaking, and so I gravitate to writing about nonwhite people. But I'm aware that writing the experiences of different ethnicities requires a good bit of delicacy: I don't want to commit gaffes.
At the same time, I know that experience within ethnicities is extremely varied. There is no One Black Experience, or One Filipino Experience, or whatever, any more than there is One White Experience.
These are PEOPLE, in short, having the experiences and relationships of people, and doing what people do