Saved From The Paper Drive – A collection of pulp novel covers.
- African American Romance: My Take, Your Thoughts by La-Tessa Montgomery – This post reminded me of the discussions we had here around the Multicultural Romance Roundtable post. How many white readers who participated and said they want more of these books on the market have picked up and read a multicultural or African-American romance since then?
Over the last few years, I’ve gotten closer to the industry, both in my former life as a reviewer, and now in my role as an author, and I’ve noticed that not all people are open to reading all stories. Not everyone is open to reading about lead characters that do not look like them, or come from the same cultural background as they do. Some are, for whatever reason, very closed-minded about what they will or will not read. And this goes both ways.
Of the AA romance readers and authors I’ve spoken to, about 90% of them still read across the many subgenres of romance, regardless of the lead character’s race. Yet, when I polled my non AA friends and writers, only about 5% of them have ever read, or plan to read, an AA romance, or any story featuring minority leads. I’ve wondered why this is so, and if this discrepancy will ever cease to be a factor in whether or not I am able to successfully sell my work. The optimist in me hopes it will. A good story is a good story regardless, right?
- The Real Men Who Read Romance Novels – Some people in my feed seemed to like this post, but I was definitely making a distinct jerk-off motion while I read it. There’s the gender essentialism and the sense that male attention is just so cool you guys, and then there’s this ridiculous section of male opinions on how to make the genre more appealing to men. /fart noises
Dare we suggest that the genre become less girly? Are we, the 91 percent, keeping out a potential readership with all the PINK! And naked man chest! And girly words! And MORE PINK! Vos says: ” I think most men shy away from the word romance. Find a way to promote it without using that word and you may have a chance.” Similarly, Ron Hogan, blogger and co-founder of Lady Jane’s Salon (a national reader series devoted to romantic fiction) adds, “I mean, there’s the obvious “solutions,” like making the covers and/or the titles less “romance-y,” but at what point do you risk losing the existing audience by diluting the presentation”
- Blame it on the internet – Al-Jazeera’s Sarah Kendzior writes one of the better responses to that awful piece in the Nation last week that took aim at Twitter’s popular group of feminists of color.
When the powerful condemn the medium of a marginalised messenger, it is the messenger they are truly after. Most recognise that in authoritarian regimes, the demonisation of social media is a transparent play for power. Few who see themselves as advocates for justice support the condemnation of those who use it to fight for their rights.
That is why it is startling to see social media portrayed in nearly identical rhetoric by those who claim to support social justice.
- Black History in YA Fiction: A Time Line – Book Riot compiles a list of YA historical fiction, organized by time period. They include a list of links at the bottom.
It’s black history month, and rather than offer up a straightforward book list of young adult titles that highlight aspects of black history in the United States, I wanted to do something different — and something that would be much more visually arresting.
I pooled together as many YA books that were historical fiction (meaning no magical/fantastical elements) and featured black main characters or stories. The pickings were so meager, I also looked at middle grade novels which could appeal to young adult readers. But even with those titles included, I hope that this time line is not only illuminating in terms of what is out there, but I hope it’s even more illuminated about what books are not out there. It should be noted, too, many of these titles are older, and some may no longer be available to purchase.
- Piers Morgan Insufficiently Worshipped for Interview With Transgender Woman – I enjoy the advocacy work Janet Mock does and I didn’t care for Piers Morgan’s sensational treatment of her when she was on his show. When Mock and others took to Twitter after it aired to call him on it, he threw a tantrum that would’ve been amusing if not for how disrespectful it was to trans* people. It’s hard not to see this as calculated behavior, it’s just so over the top.
But is there any excuse for not knowing how to interview a transgender author in 2014? If mainstream Morgan and his producers couldn’t figure it out on their own, Grantland’s tragic treatment of Dr. V and Katie Couric’s bombed interview with Cox and Carmen Carrera offered recent, viral examples of what not to do, spawning lengthy debates that ought to have clarified a few points. For example: Asking Mock if she ever second-guessed her decision to become a woman delegitimizes gender dysphoria — the condition that explains why Mock was never, as Morgan claims, a man. And asking Mock if her transgender status sent any of her boyfriends running reinforces the myth that trans women trick and emasculate straight men, often cited as the cause of their too frequent murder.