A few weeks ago, I ran across several posts/articles on the internet and social media that had me shaking my head. The posts were all well intentioned, but still managed to make me go “Hmmmm.”
The posts I’m referring to were all written by authors who have decided to write books with characters of color, because they feel there is a lack of romance fiction with people of color…
If you think the posts also got me a bit miffed, you are correct. I won’t call out the authors and bloggers who wrote the original posts, but I do want to share a Facebook post of my response:
Just in case you have difficulty viewing the image above here is a transcript:
Just a note…I’ve never traveled to India, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. I’ve only read a few romances featuring characters of Indian descent, but that doesn’t mean they don’t exist or that they haven’t been written by prolific, talented writers of Indian descent.
How do I know this? Because I try every day not to stick my head in the sand or up my ass, and see the world outside my own bubble.
I do this as a woman of color. So please, PLEASE, PLEASE. If you are a writer of any race or ethnicity, check your ignorance and privilege at the door before you start touting your want to write diverse fiction.
Just because YOU don’t write something doesn’t mean that others haven’t. The conversation about diverse fiction isn’t about a LACK of diverse fiction it’s about the publishing, exposure and availability of it.
I’m not saying only people of color should write characters of color. I’m saying don’t insult the writers and readers who were supporting it way before it landed on your radar.
I agree that there should be more diverse romance. However, I don’t agree with the perception that diverse romance doesn’t already exist. I has been around for a long while, but the books and their authors have been long ignored by a mainstream audience. A huge chunk of the #WeNeedDiverseFiction conversation needs to be about exposure and representation. NOT whether the books already exist, because they do, and have for quite some time.
What do you think? Share your thoughts below 🙂
Laurel Cremant is an opinionated author and reader of romance with a wicked sense of humor. RNIC was smart (or crazy) to bring her on as a blogger. In 2016 she took over the management of this site and relishes her new title of “Overlord of Awesome”