Friday, November 04, 2005

Brains? IR Readers Have Them.

When asked why they write romance, most established and aspiring authors give you one of two answers:

1. I read a book that annoyed me greatly and found myself rewriting it in my head. After a while, I realized that I liked my ending better and started writing from there.


2. I write books that reflect the life I live on a day to day basis.

Personally, I write the kinds of books that I always wanted to read but couldn't find.

However, no one ever mentions those mediocre authors that write because they think, "this is so simple, a trained monkey can do this." Or worse yet, those lackluster authors that start out making their mark in a more "mainstream" genre that switch to Interracial Romance or Erotica because the readers are beyond eager for books and stories and it's quick, easy money.

Many of these authors are unskilled and woefully unqualified to write for either of these genres.

What makes them unqualified?

Lack of research and assuming that readers of both genres simply want a hot book featuring an interracial couple and no substance.

They write what they only THINK the reader wants without doing what most readers of their genre of choice do most everything that's in print and available online and read it voraciously and repeatedly. Followed by what most best selling authors do: crack a book or twenty, search the web and/or call an authority on Interracial Relationships or Erotica and interview them.

Why don't they do this?

Well, too often they think that writing these genres are easy. After all, all you have to do for an IR is decide which of the couple you want to be black and change a few skin-tone references and voila! You have an IR. Meanwhile, they haven't a clue that women and men of color, regardless of how fair their skin is, rarely ever have rosy nipples. They assume that inserting a few vulgars words in at the right place makes a tepid love scene that would put a nun to sleep, erotica.

Unfortunately, in today's world, with the increasing number of e-publishers wanting their share of the "literary pie" it seems few are truly putting out the kind of quality books that most life-long readers want, need and desire. For them, like those authors that think it's easy to write for these audiences, they think it's quick and easy money. But as readers, too often we're getting heat, but no flavor and romantic bon-bons filled with nothing but air.

IR readers deserve more. They deserve to have authors writing books about their lives that understand them, their struggles, triumphs and culture clashes. They need writers that know that Tiffany Marie knows what to do with collard greens and proves it every Sunday. While Jason knows that his woman would sooner ruin a new pair of shoes than let her hair go "back." Kwame, insists that his love wears her sunscreen to protect her alabaster skin and Latoya won't let her man go to the hockey game alone.

But when you have e-publishers and authors more interested in the end result...more money in their pockets....the reader gets the boot to the head and the aspiring author such as myself ends up holding the bag and looking stupid when they try to defend their chosen craft and genre.

Someone really needs to clue-in the e-publishers and these unworthy authors and tell them we're not crazy enough to continually buy their garbage, support their pitiful skills and pamper their overinflated egos. Instead, we'll continue to re-read Sandra Kitt, JJ Murray, Jeanne Summerix and other well established authors until a mainstream publisher discovers what they did: That if they print it, we will buy it and gladly. Because believe it or not, IR readers have brains enough to recognize which authors love the genre as much as we do.



  1. I agree with you competely and I am not the type to agree with anyone wholeheartedly about anything. I love interracial storylines that make me think, that are erotic and are being read to me like I am reading a story about myself but told through the eyes of the writer. I do not have rosey nipples nor does my white husband. I want the storylines to have more substance going for it verses the quick and sometimes unforefeelling sex scenes...... I want them making love not just f`cking. Oh don't get me wrong I still want hot and nasty sex but I also want to hear him f~cking her with his words because that can also be a turn-on. I want to know how they met by having them tell me about their encounter. I want her skin color to closely reflect mine where possible. When she is so fair that she sounds like a caucasian woman with a tan I tend to become a little pissed off. Believe it or not..... dark hued women of color are also capable of having a mane of long wavy hair that does belong to us because I do. I do not want to read a book written by an author that thinks she knows what blackwomen want in an ir book based on her 2 black female co-workers that she barely associates with outside of her job or because her publisher tells her this is an rarely tapped market. I like my heros strong but not too strong nor do I want the hero whiney and I want my heroine to have skills plus a kick ass attitude but she also wants a man to dominate her since soft men leave her feeling cold. I don't want another ir storyline where they're worried about what other people will think of their IR relationship. So if you can write the type of story I'm looking for than you will have my business for life.

  2. MsHermajesty....

    It's readers such as you that make me strive to write about realistic characters. People such as yourself literally keep me up nights pacing the floor as I ponder the simple words that most people ignore when reading. Why do I worry about the simple words that I know you're going to ignore?

    Because if I don't handle them right, IR readers like you will notice if I call my heroine Mocha on page 27 and cafe-au-lait ten pages later. And in MY eyes, those two tones are miles apart. I would expect to be raked over the coals mercilessly by readers like you.

    Please continue to challenge me.