Eternal Beauty in Black
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Monday, August 4, 2008Open Your Mind
Free your mind
And the rest will follow
Don't be so shallow
En Vogue, From the album: The Best Of En Vogue
If ever were a time to beg the masses to open their mind, it is now. From the media mudslinging against a man who may become the first black president to the racial injustices that black authors and romances face currently and even to the sad excuse for a look at what it's like to be black in America through the eyes of CNN (note to Soledad O'Brien: You are a reporter/interviewer. Your job is to interview experts and people who may share different experiences than you. You are not a debater and your job is not to debunk or degrade the experiences of said people just because what happened to them is different than what has happened to the majority. Sheesh. And they call US sensitive?)
So in saying this I'm not just asking the masses to open their minds. In particular I am asking for the big giant romance industry publisher, Harlequin, to open their minds.
What brought this on?
Well, during a recent visit to one of my fave forums, I came across a new goodie book called Sex and the Single Braddock. I was shocked (and who wouldn't be, that cover is HOTTT). The only other IR book (that actually had a bwwm cover) I had seen by Harlequin was Brenda Jackson's Taking Care of Business in the Silhouette Desire line. I know, I was shocked, too. This is another in a family series line which features different siblings and their romantic adventures. Why is a bwwm IR book always just regulated to an established family series line where one sibling is allowed to venture out of the norm? Hmm? And to that effect, would bwwm IR be a new thing that Harlequin is acquiring?
Before I got my hopes up, I dashed on over to the forums to ask this question. Thankfully the question was already asked and answered. Is Harlequin open to IR romance? Nope, came the answer. Apparently they don't get many so they never really had to deal with it.
May I be the first to say: bullocks.
With the amount of many bwwm IR authors out there trying to get their work sold, I can't believe that. The genre is rising to be more than just a trend. BW like a lil other in their romance and sometimes even prefer it. And dangit we want it now. I applaud the ebook companies who are stepping out to fulfill this need for readers and writers of the genre. They are proving to be the trailblazers in this industry and since they're so up to date (and sometimes even ahead of their own time) they will prove to be long lasting.
Ya hear that Harlequin?
I offer a challenge to this big publishing giant.
Harlequin, I double dog dare you to open up a request for submissions to your IR line. I know most of your readership consists of white females but black women need love, too and although you have your Kimani line...it's still not open to IRs. But being a premiere line for AA authors, that would be a fab place to open up a line since most black women write bwwm IR romances. Maybe Kimani Shades (for love in all shades), Kimani Spectrum (not to steal from Genesis Press or anything), or Kimani something. Maybe Harlequin Shades.
The ball is in your court, Harlequin. You up for the challenge? ;-)
P.S. All of this is said, of course, not to draw away from Jackson's, Byrd, et. al's current works. I wish the ladies much success and it's fab to have such a great group of AA female writers to look up to. :-)