Recently I participated in a discussion about the fact that romance novels with black characters always seem to be relegated to the inter-racial section of any book outlet, instead of just with other romance books. While some readers feel this is an advantage because they know where exactly to look to find what they want to read, others feel that this unfairly limits the exposure that authors of color or writers whose characters are not white, will get. And some feel that having a black character on the cover will limit sales.
My opinion is that I will read a good book no matter the color of the author or the characters. If the story is good I become a part of it no matter how dis-similar I might be to the heroine. I won't ever participate in a ménage in real life because I've been happily-married to the man of my dreams for almost 30 years! But I do enjoy reading ménage scenes if they are well-written and a part of the storyline, not just tossed in for titillation. I won't ever be a vampire either, nor hopefully will I ever be bitten by one. But I do like to read hot vamp-romance no matter if the heroine or the hero or both are differently-animated. (A phrase that the heroine in my upcoming book about Mayan vampires prefers once she is turned, as being more PC than undead.)
What I am saying is that I don't feel that inter-racial romances need to be ghetto-ized by being placed in separate sections of the book selections, whether in the increasingly hard-to-find brick and mortar stores, or in on-line outlets. I think we can allow that love comes in all colors and flavors...how else can you explain the popularity of M/M romances written by hetero-women? If a straight woman can write a convincing love story about two men, why can't I, as a white woman, write characters of all colors? And a writer of color can write characters of any color also. We are all people, and feelings like the search for acceptance, falling in love, being hurt, etc, all of these are parts of the human experience. Not just a white people thing.
I've written M/F romance stories with all kinds of combinations including white heroine/Hispanic hero, Hispanic heroine/white hero, black heroine/Hispanic hero, white heroine/Roma hero, white heroine/Native American hero, Arabic heroine/white hero, black heroine/white hero, and white heroine/black hero. In all of my books two independent adults meet, sparks fly, and lust ensues. No one is really looking to fall in love, but it happens. And usually the male is the first to realize that it is up to him to convince the female that she won't ever need another man because he can be everything she will ever desire. In other words, the kinds of stories I like to read!
And when I fantasize or dream, imagining my characters, I don't limit them to my own color. I have friends of all colors, nationalities and religions. So do the people who live in my books. As I have one heroine say to the hero, "I don't fall in love with the color of the person...I fall in love with the person."
If you've never read an inter-racial romance, or if you have but not one of mine, please leave a comment here and I'll pick two winners who can have their choice of any of my eBooks. I'm always thrilled to hear from readers! You can find out more about my books at:www.fionamcgier.com.