Romance novels bring in millions of dollars in sales per year which is big indicator that the need for a little romantic fantasy is alive and well. Within recent years, Paranormal romance has saturated the market, taking the need for romantic fantasy up a notch and onto another level; giving vampires or werewolves the leading man roles and becoming every woman’s sexual fantasy. I was never really a fan of romance until I would say around 2009 when my mother introduced me to J.R. Ward, author of the Black Dagger Brotherhood series, and let me tell you I fell in love after the first page of reading Lover Revealed and now I have the entire series and I am waiting with tremendous anxiety for her release of The Shadows. And then, in September, a close friend of mine introduced me to another author whom has been around longer than what I initially assumed with her Highlander books, Karen Marie Moning, and now I am completely hooked on her stuff and I am desperate to begin her Fever series. So, now I have a deep appreciation for the romance/paranormal romance genres and as a writer, I find myself headed over in that direction. I mean, what woman does not want to read a story that has a great plot, juicy sex scenes and a man that you pray to the stars above to grant you one wish of making him a reality? Which leads me to this:
So far, I have yet to stumble upon a series of romance/paranormal romance novels where the leading lady is black (hell, I will even take Hispanic, Asian, whatever just so I don’t just make it a “black thing”). Do interracial and/or African American romance novels just not appeal to traditional readers? Unfortunately, too many black writers are fascinated on Street Sagas: you know, the stories involving drugs, prison time, death, snitching, promiscuous and scandalous women, and the sex scenes resemble something out of a cheap porn video? Yes, those. Now I will admit in my younger years I was into it because the stories were juicy and intriguing, but now that I am older, my tastes have changed. I want something different. I want love making and not fucking. I want a chivalrous and valiant man to come to my rescue even over something as small as what am I going to eat for dinner. I am a black woman and I like romance too.
What is even worse is that after Googling (is that a word? lol) black authors of romance novels, quite a few of them used white characters. I don’t know if it is just their thing and it’s just easier for them or if they think that is the only way that they can sell their books but I did not like it one bit. Why should anyone of color feel like the only way to sell their stories is to create an all white cast? Or, the leading man is black but the leading lady is white? What is so wrong about creating a strong, sexy, intelligent female character that happens to be black? I am tired of what is labeled as “Urban” fiction. My first novel happens to be of the urban fiction genre but not because that is where I saw myself but because the story simply came to me and I had to write it down, BUT my leading man Trey, was positive. He was romantic and most importantly, he and Danielle had a happy ending. The point is, I have spoken to a number of my friends and associates who happen to be black, and they have shared an interest in reading paranormal romance/romance. White women are not the only ones who want those Fairytale happy endings with a man who is built like stallion and possesses the stamina of a god. Publishers and agents alike should see that there is a market for interracial, and African American romance/paranormal romance. Not all of us are into the street sagas.
I will conclude with this : F*ck a thug and give me a Faery (a vampire or werewolf will do ;)). I want to tap into the wild side of the supernatural and the paranormal. I want to wake up on the other side of reality where the man in the mirror is my destiny or the vampire, desperate for redemption needs only my love to save him. Yes, give it to me please. I hope that this blog simply gives you readers something to think about and I look forward to whatever comments you have to share.