Saturday, July 16, 2016

Inter-racial Romance, that's what I write.

     Here's a link to my website page where I have a flash fiction story up as a free read:
     Flash fiction, writing with a set word limit,  is very hard for me to write, because as an English teacher, I have a tendency to be overly wordy...both in person, and on paper.  I sometimes blame this on being a daughter of a Scots-Irish man, who used to call me a bletherin' skite, but who himself could talk your ear off at the drop of a hat, then keep going until your eyes glazed over.  The best part? What he was talking about, and his way of doing it, were usually so interesting that you'd be enjoying yourself despite how long he kept at it.

What does this have to do with inter-racial romance? My dad used to say that as an Orangeman, (a Protestant), he was raised in Glasgow to despise the wearing of the green, since that represented Catholics.  He said your skin color didn't matter, as long as you worshiped at the correct church.  But he loved Blues and Jazz, and as soon as he was old enough, he decided he was done buying records as imports; so he crossed the pond in 1947 with a suitcase in one hand, and his handmade tool box in the other (he was a carpenter.) He moved to Chicago, since this was where all of his favorites played.  He bought B.B. King beer all night once, to keep Lucille (his guitar) singing. He drank with Louis Armstrong one night and advised him to go tour Europe, since he told him that Jazz was more popular there, than in the U.S. (just like Blues is now.) And he had stories about drinking in all-Black bars, where his was the only white face.  He remembered one night when a few men walked over to him as he nursed his first beer, and started to pick a fight with him.  They asked him things like, "What chu doing in here? Are you after our women, boy?"  The band stopped playing in the middle of a song, and the lead player walked over to them and told them to leave the skinny white kid alone.  They'd seen him in there 2 or 3 nights in a row, just grooving on their music. "That's all he wants. So leave him be." 

Why didn't my dad marry a Black woman?  I suspect he didn't meet that many...or maybe the kind of women he'd meet in bars were not the kind of women you married back in the 50's.  Or possibly he thought it was still illegal. But he'd tease us, telling my brother and me that as he mixed up the nationalities, a Scots-Irishman marrying a Polish woman, it was up to us to continue that with our choices. 

I think about Dad now, and wonder how he'd feel about the election, with one candidate making bigotry fashionable again. I haven't seen pointy hats and white robes in public for years, and I'd hoped they had disappeared from our country.  Alas, no.  But most teenagers are shocked when I tell them that the last laws against Black and White people marrying didn't get thrown out until 1967, when I was a kid, with the Loving versus  Virginia case, where a Black woman and her White husband were thrown in jail for breaking the law by marrying. The younger folks seem to think that inter-racial dating is no big deal. Sometimes I wonder if it's a bigger deal to their parents, though.  Is it a generational thing? Yet I have a very close friend who is the product of a mixed-marriage in the early 60's, so it did happen.  And it should happen.

I think that the mixing up of our nationalities is a good thing.  Back in the days when royalty ruled the world, kings chose judiciously for their children's spouses, someone who would make a truce possible between warring nations.  After all, you can't attack and kill people who are related to your king's queen, right? These days, even the most prejudiced among us can't hate someone who is the father or mother of their grandchildren, right?  And certainly not the adorable products of those unions. Or so one would hope.

So when I write romances, I don't choose ahead of time the nationality or the color of my protagonists.  I write the story that my muse has put into my head.  I depend on the details to be presented to me as I write.  While sometimes the nationalities of at least some of them are set, ie, when I'm writing in my Reyes Family Romances series, where at least one of the lovers has to be Hispanic, in other stories, I go with the flow, which rarely presents me with romances between two people of the same nationality and/or color.  Since that reflects many of my friends, and the world we live in today, that seems more real to me.  And since I write Contemporary Erotic Romance, not fantasy, I try to keep my characters and my situations realistic.  I want you to want to be friends with one lover, and to fall in love with the other.

If you want to sample my writing, there is a full-length novel available for free on Smashwords.  It's the 4th in a series of 6 books about a large Hispanic family, the Reyes, and the people who fall in love with them.  Prescription For Love has a Hispanic hero and a bi-racial heroine.  Her mother is Black and her father is a White Irishman.  And no one questions their love, which is as it should be.  Because we are all members of the same race, the Human Race.  We have many similarities and only superficial differences.  And in something as personal as romance, nothing else should matter except do the two people involved love each other and want to build a life together?  Then hurray for love!

To learn more about my books go to: http://www.fionamcgier.com


Tina Donahue said...

I've always enjoyed interracial romance. I find it surprising that in 2016 we still have such a racial divide. Sad that people are more worried about skin color than the corporations robbing them blind.

Fiona McGier said...

And inter-racial romance mirrors what goes on everyday! It's not really unusual anymore. Nor should it be. Some new immigrants still want their kids to marry within their own ethnic group or nationality, but once they're here for a while, most people think of themselves as Americans first, then the person they fall in love with can be any color/race/religion, as long as they have mutual love and respect.