When I first wrote Emeline and the Mutants I had no idea that I was using politically correct terms in it. While in Australia it is okay to refer to someone who is small in stature as a midget, I was soon to discover that to other countries, this is a BIG no-no.
Now any 'Find and Replace' function can be used to change the offending word to dwarf, but here is where it gets tricky. In Emeline and the Mutants I have several types of mythical creatures. While there are no dwarfs (as in creatures similar to gnomes) in the story, when I described Emeline's friend, Gwennie, as a dwarf, people might automatically assume I am taking about a magical creature and not a human being who is less than regular height. After all, just off the top of my head, the following creatures turned up in my book: humans, vampires, werewolves, trolls, fairies, witches, mermaids and harpies. It was easy to make the mistake with a list like that.
So what is one to do in this sort of situation? I was tempted to just leave in the references to midgets and cop the flack, but since I used those words unintentionally, I didn't really want to inadvertently put people off my books. If I were planning to offend or cause a ruckus (as I am doing now with the title of this blog), then to hell with all the precious souls out there and the word would have stayed, but I wanted a word that was descriptive and not confusing to the reader.
Finally, I settled on little people. Am I happy with the term? No, I'm not. To me, personally, I find this descriptive more offensive than midgets. If I were a dwarf and someone called me a little person, I would be tempted to punch them at waist height. Really, the phrase reminds me of the reference to 'teacup humans' in True Blood.
But, at the end of the day, this is the least offensive and least confusing word to use in the make believe world that Emeline lives in. So why don't you check out what all the fuss is about by downloading the new and improved version of Emeline and the Mutants today - it even has shiny new pictures in it!
Available on now on Amazon.