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Thursday, June 26, 2014

Why More Authors Should Write IR Romance

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. 

15 comments:

Sara Daniel said...

Great post, Sam. Lots of good points.

Sam Cheever said...

Thanks, Sara!

Sloane Taylor said...

You're absolutely right about women, Sam. Congrats on your successful series.:)

Sam Cheever said...

Thanks, Sloane! I'm really excited about the upcoming release of Book 7 in my Honeybun Heat series! It's been a LONG time coming. LOL

Tina Donahue said...

I love interracial romance. I've written a couple myself. Great post, Sam! :)

Sandy said...

I don't see any comments from black people here, Sam, so I can't say if you're right or not. At the same time, I've had a heck of a lot of black friends (men and women), and I have to agree they have the same feelings we do. Sometimes, they'll surprise you about the things they'll disagree with me on.

I had a great friend who totally didn't like the idea of mixed marriages, or children from mixed relationships. We argued about that a lot. lol Another very good was from a mixed marriage, and she explained how hard it was for her growing up. Times have changed somewhat, but not everywhere.

Also, a black woman or man's speech patterns can be very different depending on their education and locale where they were raised. This goes for white characters, too.

Thank you for addressing this topic, Sam.

susanlodgebooks said...

Really interesting post Sam. The Honeybun series sounds great.

jean hart stewart said...

Loved your post. Should make everybody think a bit about their own prejudices, no matter what they might be. Good for you, Sam

Sam Cheever said...

Hey Tina! I didn't realize you wrote IR. I'll definitely have to check it out!

Sam Cheever said...

Thanks for your input, Sandy. I've actually gotten a couple of comments from my readers on this topic and they were very open about the fact that all they're looking for is a great story. They don't really care who writes it, which is the way it should be. #:0) On the speech pattern thing, I guess that's part of the research process. Like writing the difference between someone from Texas and someone from Boston! lol

Sam Cheever said...

Thanks so much, Jean!

nutnut one said...

HI I;m a black lady and love love love IR romance as do many of my Black friends so keep upmthe good work

nutnut (Lj)

Rose Anderson said...

Great post, Sam. Very good points all the way around. Best luck. :)

Sam Cheever said...

Hey Nutnut...LOL, I feel like I'm calling you names. Snort! Thanks so much for chiming in. I'm really pleased to be able to write what you like! I enjoy my IR romances and plan to keep writing them for a long, long time. #:0)

Melissa Keir said...

Wonderful post. We don't ask authors who write m/m romance why they are qualified to write from a male point of view. Best of luck on your upcoming release!

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