I recently joined the Loving Day Blog Hop as an author of interracial romance. In honor of the day, I wrote a light-hearted post discussing why I, as a pasty-faced white woman, felt qualified to write interracial romance. #:0) Normally, it wouldn’t have even occurred to me to ask myself that question because, as an author, I write about a wide variety of characters. That’s what we do, right? We study, watch, and ask questions until we understand our subjects and then we craft them based on that knowledge.
But I was first exposed to this question a few years ago at a Romantic Times panel discussion about the genre. Someone in the audience asked an author on the panel why she felt she could write from a black woman’s perspective. I was irritated by the question at the time, I mean, we weren’t talking about aliens from another planet were we? Women don’t have inherently different needs, challenges, or dreams just because of the amount of melanin in their skin. We’re all the same color under the skin. And if we’re using that as a parameter for what authors are qualified to write, most of today’s fiction would have to be trashed. I mean…I’ve never been a vampire either. LOL
I soon put the question behind me, considering it unimportant. Since that day, I’ve had a couple of readers ask me the same question. I told them pretty much the same thing I said here. Again, I shrugged it off. But one author’s reaction to my Loving Day post made me think about the subject from a different perspective. She thanked me several times for my post and expressed the wish that more authors would write IR romance. That was when I realized that the question I’d been shoving to the background might be a very important one, if only because it’s designed to keep a large number of very talented authors out of a hungry and ever-growing market. If we’re told we’re unqualified to attempt something, often times we believe it’s true.
The market for interracial romance, mostly of the black woman/white male variety (BWWM) is enormous. Readers can’t seem to get enough of these stories and if they like an author they’re very vocal and supportive. Some of my most loyal readers are fans of my Honeybun Heat and Honeybun Fever series, many of which are IR romances. I run into these readers all the time at conferences and they always take the time to give me a smile or a hug and tell me how much they love my stories. These readers don’t look down on me because I’m pasty. They don’t assume I’m unqualified to write their favorite stories. They’re happy that I give them hours of escape from real life, which can be challenging and difficult for ALL of us.
So don’t let someone else define what you’re capable of understanding and writing. Untether yourself. And if you’re interested in giving a wonderful audience the type of stories they love to read, then what the heck are you waiting for? *grin*
Happy Reading (and writing) Everybody!
|Honeybun Heat: Book 7|
Coming Soon - July, 2014!
She’s fighting to protect everything she cares about. He can’t resist a damsel in distress. But he has no idea how high the cost will be if they fail.
Clovis Honeybun is working undercover to catch the assassin targeting his uncle, Senator Brick Honeybun. But his search is waylaid when he spots a pretty woman being mistreated by a guy who looks a lot like his target. Going rogue on a dangerous hunch, Clovis plunges down a trail that might be the right direction but the wrong bad guy. Ultimately, Clovis discovers he could have to choose between saving the woman burrowing her way into his heart, or a man he’s loved and respected since he was old enough to crawl.