Sunday, September 27, 2015

Celebrate the Freedom to Read with Ravenna Tate #BannedBooksWeek

September 27 - October 3

It's BANNED BOOKS WEEK! We're recognizing this important week with BANNED BOOK features from our authors. 

Please welcome our first guest, Ravenna Tate!

Throughout history, crossing continents, and ripping across political and religious beliefs, the practice of banning the written word dates far back into history. Often it was due to an act of war or stemmed from a cultural belief. Quite commonly, it arose when the book’s theme clashed with the moral beliefs of a particular religion.

When I read lists of books that have been banned in certain states or across the country in the USA, I realize how close I came a few times to not having had the experience of reading books that whisked me away to new worlds and shaped the way I still write today.

If I’d been alive in the 1930s, I might never have read Candide. And if I’d been alive in the 1870s, I’d have missed The Canterbury Tales. I nearly missed the chance to read Catch-22, as I lived close to Strongsville, Ohio where it was banned from 1972 to 1976.

Fanny Hill has the distinction of being the last book ever banned across the USA, but it’s not the only controversial book we all might have missed reading. The Grapes of Wrath and Lady Chatterley’s Lover each had their moments. Even Nineteen Eighty-Four was almost banned in this country. I can’t imagine not having read that book.

One thing I remember keeping in mind as I read these types of books was that their content, language, political leanings, and religious beliefs needed to be taken in context with when and where they were written. The setting was important to keep in mind. The perspective of the author had to be taken into account, as well as what, who, and when he or she was trying to portray.

To me, books weren’t subversive or immoral. They were portals to other worlds. They were windows to times and places I’d never see in real life, but I could visit again and again simply by reading. The characters were as real to me as anyone I knew in my day-to-day life, and I still return to many of them once a year.

I wasn’t even a teen yet when I first read books like To Kill A Mockingbird and Nineteen Eighty-Four, and I didn’t understand everything in them. I got into the habit of keeping a notebook with words or phrases I wasn’t sure of, and would then go and look them up in the dictionary or an encyclopedia. This was way before the Internet and Google.

By the time I was in high school English classes, I’d read everything on the reading lists, some more than once. It’s difficult for me to imagine growing up in a world where I wasn’t free to pluck anything and everything off the shelf of a library, take it home for a week or two, and become lost in the pages. Reading has been my escape since I can remember learning how to do it, and it still is. I hope I never live to see a time in this country when I’m not free to read any book I choose.

About the author: 
Ravenna Tate lives in the Midwest where it’s cold six months out of the year, but inside her stories you’ll find plenty of heat. The sex is hot, the men are alpha, and the women give them a run for their money. Website:

The Price of Secrecy (The Weathermen, 3)
by Ravenna Tate
Angela Davidson lands her dream job with Greco Communications, but quickly learns her new boss, the enigmatic Dominic Greco, has a dark secret he works hard to conceal. Angela understands secrets because she’s been hiding one of her own for sixteen years and if it’s discovered, she will end up dead. 

Dominic is part of a group of friends financing the efforts to put a stop to The Madeline Project. The program now has a mind of its own, thanks to a virus called Tommy Twister. These men have power, resources, and money, but they’re as ruthless and possessive as the storms ravaging Earth. 

They call themselves the Weathermen… 
Find The Price of Secrecy at Evernight Publishing and Amazon.


Ravenna Tate said...

Thank you for allowing me to participate! :)

Catherine Stine said...

Wow, Candide and Canterbury Tales would be banned... I teach both of them in my college lit classes. Great books. Yes, I always make it a point to remind readers to think about the cultural and political context of the time the author was writing.

Ravenna Tate said...

Thanks, Catherine! Can you imagine not having been able to read or teach either of those books? Crazy!!

Cheryl Johnson said...

The Price of Secrecy The Weathermen looks really good because I am just have to find out what the secrets are they are hiding.

Ravenna Tate said...

Thank you, Cheryl! :)