Good Morning everyone!
Hope your weekend is going great
I was reading a very interesting blog on the parameters of the Genre IR. This question has come up time and again...because many are often confused by the genre...it's inclusive title...and the fact that many authors who write in this genre are rather tight lipped...for fear of hurt feeling (myself included).
Several of the authors I have spoken with...as well as interviewed for my websites...and blogs...have stated on a regular basis...that it is a cutthroat business; and you have to have brass balls to even make it. ( I actually know several authors who have taken their books from the IR circuit all-together...and placed them in the mass market because of it). From many being called "sell outs," because they chose to make their characters of a lighter skin color...choose to make their characters interracial...or the characters are seen as not "Black Enough," to Caucasian authors writing AA characters; the one thing that stands out...is the fact that both authors and readers often times seem clueless as to what this genre truly is???
Is IR Scandal?
Is this type of writing...the only thing that constitutes IR Romance today?
Is it only Mob Bosses...Billionaires...and Shifters?
And where does Historical IR even fit on the menu?
Have we convoluted the genre so much so...that sub-genres don't even exist anymore...unless it is the above?
And if an author tries to veer from that...are they pretty much in a world of their own?
Do we still hold onto bullshit antiquated publishing forums...that state the average American has a 9th grade education...so when we write...that is what we should shoot for?
Can we not educate...as well as entertain at the same time...and if we as authors do...does that make us boring?
And if we paradox a popular book...is that not still IR?
Where does that leave this genre?
A Fellow author's... (I consider a friend now)...book was a parody of a popular book ( I F'n loved it! Especially the two warring angles), yet the masses deemed it unworthy...why...because it was different?
I rather like this certain dictionary's interpretation of it
Relating to...involving...or representing different races: interracial fellowship;
2. (Anthropology & Ethnology) involving...or existing between different races or ethnic groups. involving...or for members of different races: interracial amity.
I also like the fact that they pointed to ethnicity as well.
Is there some type of building block or Archetype for Romance...especially Contemporary...that one must follow...and if the author negates it...or deems it unnecessary to portray their adventure...does that in turn...vacate the work as a whole?
Is it no longer worthy...because it is unlike the supposed path in which all IR/MC romances must take?
I happen to be conversing with a fellow author at the time ( I was reading the blog LOL...now I'm busted...and she'll know I wasn't paying attention to her fully lol), and we were debating this genre as a whole.
She was a bit miffed...because she felt like if authors nowadays didn't try to replicate Shonda's Scandal...they were pretty much assed out.
She also vented...that if the character wasn't an AA female...with a W male...then their books get tossed aside as well. (Before anyone takes my race into account and gets offended...not my intention at all...true curiosity...and my bestie is an AA woman who's pissed at this entire genre).
She ranted...that if the author chooses to have an AA male as the lead character...and a White female lead...the book gets tossed aside as well. She then went on to state...she believes that this genre is littered with people who; if the book isn't an AA Female and a W male (ie scandal) then readers of this genre...won't read your book.
I personally thought this strange...when that is exactly what Interracial Romance is...one character of a different race...no matter male or female.
At the same time...couldn't many of these readers argue taste and preference? I stated...and she then went on to say;
The fact that if you as the author decide to go in a different direction...Multiracial character...White...Chinese...Latina...or Arab...then many who state that they supposedly LOVE the IR genre...will not support your books; because the lead isn't an AA woman? She also said...that when asked...many will say I can't connect with the character...the character was nothing like me...or I am a dark skinned women.
She then laughed....and said..., "Isn't this the same excuses Caucasians give for not reading an IR?
This made me ponder the scenario...
Have we completely dis-valued Multicultural/Interracial/Romance...to typically one "Type," of writing...and anything else doesn't matter?
I know as an author who writes Multiracial characters (Latina and any other mix...with AA)...I will admit that I have often wondered some of these questions. Especially with some of the author lashings that I have witnessed for authors choosing to write a lighter skinned character...or the fact that many nowadays choose ambiguity of their characters as a means of writing to keep down criticism. But I feel like it's a catch 22 as well...if we all write dark skinned characters...then where is the variety in that as well.
Not to mention...why can't the genre be multifaceted?
Many people of color read Caucasian authors daily...and yet they often have nothing in common with that author as well.
Does commonality really matter?
Or is it...that many who read MC/IR Romance...just don't find these (the type of books I write) books interesting...and it is really fair to penalize someone for their preference and taste?
And if this is true...why?
I received a two star review for "A Lad's Trouser's," once...and I wasn't upset about the stars...it was the reader's right...I was upset...because the reader didn't tell me why she marked it that way. I say this...because as an author I need to know these things...so I can go back and fix it...if it is fixable. I love and respect my readers...so their opinions matter to me. It doesn't mean that I will always do what they say...LOL...but I love the feedback.
What do you guys think?
Is there any truth as you see it to my friend's rant?
too funny...I typed in interracial romance for the images...and one of the first ones was the clip from Scandal!