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Sunday, April 17, 2011

How Do You Feel About Interracial Romance?

I didn't purposely set out to write interracial romances when I started writing my contemporary erotic romance novels. I wrote "Never Too Old For The Game Of Love" about a woman who was a divorced mother of two, who was still stinging from the betrayal she had suffered from her ex. She is turning 40 soon, yet has no time for love and romance, since her first priority is her children and their needs. When I began to imagine a man for her, I wanted him to be just exotic enough for her to be intrigued. I was taking conversational Spanish classes, so it was natural that I would make him a Hispanic man so I could practice my espaƱol.Think Jimmy Smits in a power suit.

While I was writing the first book, I decided to give the supportive best friend, also a divorced mother of two turning 40, her own special man. She is a voluptuous Italian American woman who had not been treated well by her alcoholic ex-husband. I wanted her to have a large, protective man fall in love with her. I imagined him to be a tall, burly, bald, tattooed biker with a beard...then when I began to imagine his background, I figured he was someone who had traveled around a lot and never had a real home. Kind of like a gypsy. A Roma. Bingo! Another interracial romance in "Recipe For Love."

In "Love By Design", Rosa, who was a teenaged babysitter in the first book started to "talk" in my mind, and the next thing I knew I was writing about her romance with a tall, blond, Russian who had immigrated here with his family when he was a kid. For him, English was a second language, just as English and Spanish were both spoken in the Reyes household. Another interracial romance.

Rosa's sister Catalina was a bit player in that book, but she was so interesting that I had to write "Analysis Of Love". The man she falls in love with is blind, so the sexy curves she has always used to attract any man she wants are of no use in getting his attention. Of course to him, skin color is irrelevant, as it really should be. But he's blond.

Finally with "Love Therapy", Catalina's supportive brother Miguel "told" me that not everyone falls in love outside of their race. He fell in love with a local girl in high school, and they are both Hispanic. Okay, their story worked well for them.

"Prescription For Love" is a free download on Smashwords. The hero is the oldest Reyes son, now a doctor living in Mexico. He is intrigued when a black research biologist shows up in his town, and she's getting ready to go out into the field. Another interracial romance.

"Secret Love" is about a white female spy who breaks the rules by falling in love with an internationally-famous action star actor. I won't tell you who I was thinking about, but he's a blend of many nationalities...I disguised my crush on him by making the hero a Native American. More interracial.

My most recent book, "The Reluctant Bride" is about a black veterinarian whose family loves the ambitious lawyer she is going to marry, unlike the blue-collar mechanic she dated in high school. What her family doesn't know is that she dated him on the sly until very recently, when he made her choose to either tell her family she was still seeing him, or cut him loose. Did she make the right choice? Another interracial romance.

I didn't set out consciously to do this, but I find the whole idea of male/female relationships fascinating, and they are all the more so when different races are involved. Here in the USA we all live together in a melting pot of humanity from around the world. True, many of us tend to clump together with others of our own kind. But our kids go to school with each other, and to them, the old rules and ways of doing things are out-dated and ridiculous. Teenagers are always shocked when I tell them that it wasn't until 1967, with the Loving VS the State of Mississippi case taken all the way to the Supreme Court, that the last law against black and white people being married was declared illegal.

In our lifetime much has changed. What hasn't changed is that the more you rail against someone your child wants to date, the more they will seize on the first opportunity to go behind your back and date that very person...or color of person. And the combining of races, of cultures, produces a unique blend that hasn't existed before. I think this is a good thing. We are strongest when we are united. And after all, we are all connected, living here on this mud-ball of a planet, sharing our atmosphere and our water supply. We are more alike than we are different. I hope the human race survives long enough to realize that.

But do interracial romances sell? Are you attracted to covers that show interracial couples? Do you seek them out, or is it irrelevant as long as the story is well-written? Does it matter to you? Just wondering...

Find out more about my books and read some excerpts at: www.fionamcgier.com

7 comments:

Sarah J. McNeal said...

Provacative blog, Fiona. I like your idea of variety such as Hispanic man or Roma. I have a fondness for Gypsies. I haven't seen any Asian men but I sure would like to see that. I like variety. I think it's exciting when two cultures collide. I'd like to see what you do with your ideas, Fiona. Very interesting blog.

Tina Donahue said...

I had an interracial romance in one of my early thrillers. Got the attention of a big-time NY agent, but it never sold. I was very disappointed.

Given reality, I certainly think it's time for all types of interracial romances. :)

Delaney Diamond said...

Fiona,

Yes, interracial romance sells. I read all kinds of romance, but sometimes I'm in the mood for an IR and I specifically seek them out.

Like you, I also enjoy writing IR. The cultural differences can add more depth and layers to the characters and story. What some people don't realize is that despite the cultural differences, the themes are the same and anyone, no matter race or ethnicity, can relate to the stories.

We're living in exciting times, where people are more open to interracial dating. Art is imitating life, and the increased number of interracial romances with black, Latin, white, Asian, Native American, etc. is a reflection of changes in society.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

Paris said...

Interesting blog. For me, it's the story that matters. If the story sounds interesting and I find the characters appealing the question of race never contributes to my decision. Neither does the fact that race might be a conflict in the story itself.

That said, I also think interracial relationship stories have an appeal and an audience that appreciates them and I see that audience growing as we become a more culturally diverse population.

Michael said...

I'm late but I'm glad you did this blog Fiona.

To me, a lot of them don't sell as well and even though tension is somewhat on the decline, there are places where interracial relationships arent accepted.

I too, am a writer of interracial romance, mostly m/m. I see that in some cases, people aren't open to it right away.

My editor even told me that the IR's really dont sell and the best ones are the ones we dont know what race the characters are.

I tend to agree on a small scale but I think the reader picking up signals of dark skin, full lips, etc is important to the tale.

I find the subject very intriguing.

:) Thx for the great post

S.Lira AKA MikeM/Rawiya

Adele Dubois said...

Some of my books include I/R couples. One of my favorites features a contemporary Native American hero. I did't really think about the couple as interracial when I wrote the book. The characters just seemed perfect for the story.

Best of luck with your release!

~Adele

Fiona McGier said...

Thanks for all of your support. I had been wondering what editors thought, but mine have been supportive. To me the tension between a man and woman is interesting...throw in racial/nationality differences also, and it gets much more intriguing. But that's me. My kids laugh that I've been preaching tolerance to them for years, about how race/nationality/sexuality are all just details, and we all deserve love. They tease me that one or more of them better marry another race, because so far none of them are gay, and I'm so looking forward to being an understanding mom! Kids!