14 Oct A Thank You Note, From a Black Romance Author
I want to take a second to thank my readers soooo incredibly much for your support. In a publishing climate that feels heavily geared *away* from romance that prominently features black characters in the leading roles, you guys have read my books, left reviews, and really helped me feel like I was actually making a difference out here — like somebody was actually listening.
Anyone who chooses to read what I write is absolutely welcome, but I’ve said before, and very loudly, that I write for black women. For black love, so we can see ourselves positively, realistically, beautifully represented against a world that constantly tries to tell us that we are “less than”. I don’t agree with that message, and I know everybody doesn’t feel responsible for altering that, but I do. I know some people just want to be seen as an author, not a black author — but I’m okay with that. Some people want their books to be seen a romance, or chick lit, or literary fiction.
Not black romance.
Not black chick lit.
Not black literary fiction.
But i’m okay with that.
I’ll write BLACK romance.
I’ll be a BLACK author.
And I don’t feel boxed in by that. I feel very, very free in my blackness, and the blackness of my books, and the blackness of the audience that i’m writing to, the people who I want to see themselves in what i’m writing, who see their love, their culture, their experience, their beauty, their skin reflected… they know that the added adjective of black doesn’t mark me as less than.
And for the people to whom my blackness as an author, or the blackness of my characters, or the placement of my book in the black category is an indicator that I, and my work, are somehow inferior… I wasn’t fucking talking to them anyway, so… bye.
I’m not out here publishing just for the hell of it, or just to get a check. Not that anything is wrong with either of those reasons, but that’s not *all* writing is for me. Because I’ve written a lot, because i’ve published a lot, i’ve seen accusations tossed against me for different things. That I don’t respect the craft, that i’m trying to get famous, that i’m in for the money, blah blah, fuck all of that.
Because that’s. not. me.
If it was just about the money, just about being famous, I’d erase the black from my character’s skin and pretend to be a white girl.
But I haven’t. I don’t want to. I will not.
Because that’s. not. me.
I’m living out my passion, building a career, making my living in something that is of vital importance to me — the presence of strong, multi-faceted black women and men in the pages of books and sooner than later, on screen.
I write because I feel like the things I write add to the positive kind of representation we need to see.
I write, because of the emails, and tweets, and private messages i’ve received.
I write because if I don’t, the stories of these beautiful, dynamic characters will explode inside of me.
I write because I want to feel like i’m giving something back to the people who support me.
So, again, thank you.
Thank you so, so much, for seeing and supporting my vision, even when sometimes it feels like i’m out here by myself, and it’s a little blurry to me.
Thank you. <3