by Christi J. Whitney
The Outcasts Gypsies in Grey are part of a clan that chose to come to America long ago to start a new life where they could follow their own ways. Because of persecution they’d suffered over the centuries, they chose to remain low-key and hidden from the outside world.
In reality, the Roma (or Romani people) have a long and difficult history. They can be found on every occupied continent of the world, and they remain an oppressed minority. Roma have been enslaved, put to death, expelled from countries, and persecuted. Even today, oppression continues. Because of this, Roma tend to either stay isolated or travel. Children often don’t attend schools.
But what has impressed and fascinated me most about the Roma people is their resilience. They continue to hold fast to their culture, no matter where they are. At the heart of their traditions (which outsiders don’t always understand, such as marrying at early ages or keeping strict rules on behavior) is a desire to keep their culture intact. And they have managed to do so for centuries. Rules and traditions vary greatly between different populations of Roma across the world, but even with these differences, the richness of their culture remains.
In The Romany Outcasts Series, my Gypsies have their roots in Europe. In writing these fictional clans, I was able to pay tribute to the culture but without being completely confined to it. So often in literature or in films, Gypsies have been portrayed a certain way. While some of these traits do come from truth, they have been distorted, resulting in a lot of stereotypes – many of them quite negative.
I didn’t want my Outcast Gypsies to fall into that trap. I took my time when researching various Traveler, Gypsy, and Romani cultures, both in America and in Europe. I built a foundation for my clans based on these.
Of course, because my book series is fantasy, there is another world within the world of my Roma – one with fantastical and unusual elements. But the foundation remains the same: Emphasis on family, traditions, and a culture that remains intact and untainted by the outside world.
Connect with Christi: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads
Christi's Awesome Must-Read: Grey
Sebastian Grey always thought he was a fairly normal teenager – good friends, decent grades and a pretty sweet job in his foster brother’s tattoo shop.
But when Romany gypsies arrive in town, Sebastian discovers that his world is not what it seems. There is an age-old feud between his family and the gypsies – and this isn’t the only secret his brother has been keeping from him. His life is not his own. The girl he’s been dreaming about has just turned up at school, and he feels compelled to protect her at all costs.
Even if that means life might never be normal again.
Available Here: Amazon