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Finding Black Romance Writers in a Small Town

Diversity is a huge hotbed topic these days, especially diversity in literature.  There are more books being published by people of varying races, sexual orientations, and gender identities than ever before. Some people consider it a trend. Others consider it a grand conspiracy perpetrated by the Social Justice Warriors of our time to wipe out white men from the popular narrative.

I say it’s about time.

I don’t understand the resentment people feel when the term diversity is brought up. They act as though they are personally being attacked. I think of literature as an infinite table. And everyone should be able to have a seat there and choose what they want to eat. And for the longest time, only certain literature was served in this country. Now the menu is expanding. The other stuff is still there. There’s just more to sample.

When I think about my mother who is old enough to have experienced desegregation in Maryland when she was young and I think about how her experiences differ from mine, I feel really heavy at heart.

She is not someone who has a lot of access to the many arrays of black authors who write romance. She doesn’t like to online shop. She still prefers to look at the books on the shelves and flip it over to read that back cover.  The books aren’t available in the small bookstore across town. They ain’t at Walmart.  They’re not lining the shelves of the public library. They’re not there. She lives in a small town where there’s only a handful of black people. And there’s still an idea that white people don’t want to read about happily-ever-afters that aren’t about white people. Those books aren’t stocked and she doesn’t get to have a first-hand experience of this awakening in publishing.

So what can be done?

How can we get these books to the small towns where people would like to read them as well?

I made the video below after I posted this on Twitter:

 

It reads: “Romance readers! I’m looking for more black romance authors to read. Give me your recs!”

And then I had an eye-opening conversation with my Mom about this whole issue.

Afterward, I created this Google Document that you can access. If you have any black female authors you’d like to add to it, please do. I’d like it to go beyond what I’ve learned and be more of a comprehensive list that people can search for and use.

I talk about it all in more depth in this video. Please have a look and forgive me for getting a bit emotional. Sometimes tears happen.

Let me know what you think in the comments below.

Aloha y’all

 

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New Year- New Me?

Nope, same old me. Sorry y’all. I don’t think I’ve ever been one to think that an extra number of the calendar meant I was going to totally reinvent myself. I just want to try harder on the things that I’m already doing. Not very revolutionary, but that’s ok. Change takes time and all the things I want to do won’t shake out in one calendar year.

But it can be a great start.

Here’s one thing I did. My new logo! What do you think? It’s featured on my newsletter and it’ll pop up in different places this year.

One thing I’ve been doing a lot of is just thinking about what I want out of my writing life. Out of this life, period. Puzzling things through and wondering what I was going to do. Where is my writing headed? Is the direction I’m going the path I’m intended?

Am I ever going to write on that blog again?

I started figuring some things out.

And then the bomb dropped in Honolulu. Or rather, it didn’t drop. And I got to thinking, probably too much about life and living it. And what I’m looking for out of this life. It’s so short. I think I needed that reminder. I don’t have the time to waste.

I’ve neglected you for far too long on this blog. I’m going to be visiting you much more often. I also have a newsletter that goes out every twice a month. Maybe more if something amazing is happening. I’m starting a serial short story on there. If you’d like to get regular updates from me and read a not-so cozy mystery, then sign up.

But I wanted to go further into it. So…

Here’s what I thought about with my writing:

And here’s my thoughts on my bookish goals:

What are you doing for your 2018? Look out y’all, I’ve knocked the cobwebs off of here, so you’ll be seeing a whole lot more of me.

Sidenote: I was interviewed by Burgess Taylor about all sort of writerly goodness. And I did a written interview with Julie Reeser on her blog Persephone Knits.

Also, this Thursday on my channel at 7 p.m. EST, I’m going to host a write-in. I’ll be livestreaming and writing, so if you want to chat and get some work done, come see me!

Aloha y’all! 

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Filed under writing