First of all HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY! This is the holiday of romantics and since romance is my business I love when February 14th roles. around. I want to let hose of you following my "Most Romantic List" know that my countdown will continue on the 15th. Only 5 books left to reveal!
For this blog hop I wanted to write about romance so I thought I'd write about something that has been on my mind-how romance has evolved from predominately "white" perspectives. So please leave a comment at the end with your contact information because each comment will be entered to win a free PDF version of any of my ebooks, winner's choice.
The first romance I ever read was Web of Silk by Yvonne Whittle, a Harlequin Presents set amidst the lush background of
. Morgan, the heroine, was a titan haired beauty and her hero was an American blond Adonis. I devourered my mother’s collection of Harlequins the summer before I started fifth grade, not only enraptured by the romance and love but also by foreign locals I was transported to through my imagination. South Africa
Growing up in rural
, in a town of about eight thousand people that had not one African-American, it never entered my mind that all the romance books out there only featured white couples. A decade later, when the 1990’s rolled around, I found myself living in Missouri working at John’s Baltimore and taking the bus to work. My Harlequins, at this point, had graduated to sweeping Zebra Historicals. One morning I happen to see an African-American woman reading a Zebra novel, with a white couple brazenly displayed on the cover and it made me start to wonder why there weren't love stories featuring a black couple. Hopkins Hospital
Now, this wasn’t a negative thought by any means. When I went back to the bookstore I started looking at all the covers…and all were, well, vanilla. I couldn’t help but see a wide gap that even romance novels wouldn’t breach through mainstream bookselling and I thought that was pretty sad.
The internet was just emerging by this point but used mainly for emailing friends because the information highway was a pain the ass since dial-up it took half a night to download anything. So I didn’t know the name of Elsie B. Washington, widely regarded as the first woman to publish an African American love story in mainstream romance. Nor did I know of Harlequin publishing the first collection of African American romance novels featuring Donna Hill, Brenda Jackson, and Mildred Riley.
And then the Nineties gave way to a new century; the internet took off and people started realizing how small the world actually was and how beautiful other cultures are. Fast forward to the explosion of ebook publishing. Finally, love is able to dominate. Interracial couples are in demand and suddenly love is no longer vanilla. I’m so very happy about that. I have had the delight of reading the most amazing stories, not just about interracial couples but even interspecies couples, ménage stories, and gay romance. My first male/male romance novella will be released in May, a story that flowed out of my mind through my fingers in two weeks!
I am so happy and thankful that I live in a time when love can be love, in any flavor. Thank you for visiting my blog and remember to leave your name and contact info before heading off to the next blog at: