Due to Trump’s travel ban, the U.S. is viewed by many to be less friendly and inviting. (Of course, I agree with these sentiments. I currently have a friend who’s father is visiting his mother in Iran one last time before she passes. We’re all worried that he won’t be able to reenter the United States, even though he’s been a citizen since the Iranian Revolution.) We are quickly becoming one of the countries other people refuse to visit. Recently, Susanna Kearsley, who is the Canadian author who pens the well-known Winter Seas series, is refusing to attend several conferences. In her words:
“As many of you know, I have deep roots in the United States. I had five ancestors on the Mayflower, I’ve lived in south Texas, and I have immediate family, many friends, and valued readers scattered from coast to coast, so this has been a very difficult decision for me to make.
But I have become increasingly heartsick while reading the growing accounts of people’s experiences trying to enter a country that, to me, has always been so welcoming. It’s not an easy thing for me to enjoy that welcome when I know that many others will be turned away, through no fault of their own.
I had already booked three conferences this year in the United States, and was as always looking forward to them. I’ve decided, however, to withdraw from two of them—the RT Booklovers’ Convention in Atlanta in May, and RWA’s National Conference in Orlando in July—which for me are both primarily professional development and more for my benefit than anyone else’s.
My involvement with the third—the Historical Novel Society conference in Portland in June—is different in that I’ve promised to teach a workshop there and I won’t go back on that promise. I will be there.”
(If you want to read her whole excerpt, you can find it here.)
Unfortunately, I expect we will see more of this in the future.