As a child I loved to read. I started writing poetry and then found myself writing mystery. One thing I noticed was that in the books I found at the local drug store for sale all of the characters were one ethnicity. After a while I got tired of that ethnic blanket of characters in books. I found that I was starting to write the same way only because that’s all I ever saw. I didn’t like that so I stopped writing a one ethnicity type book. I hadn’t even seen these diverse books in the library, but libraries are big and for ethnically diverse books one would need to know they are there in order to know to go hunting for them.
Being tired of the ethnic blanket thing I started writing women who looked like me and those in the world around me. My characters became multicultural. I liked the books much better then so I kept writing them.
My first level of excitement is when I was in the library one day and I saw a Rochelle Alers’ book. I remember going over to my mom’s table and showing her the book with an excited, “look, there are black people on the cover,” expression. Yeah, I really do think that was the first time I had seen that. While I had been writing multicultural characters for years I still hadn’t been seeing books with them.
The first book of hers that I read was No Compromise. I read it at the library and went and bought it simply because I wanted it on my shelf. Then I found Brenda Jackson and other black female authors’ work. They’re not all IR, but it was still great to find diversity in books.
I still liked mixed cultural books so I kept writing what is considered IR. I love it. I love the exploration, the journey and being able to build stories of suspense, science fiction, and love beyond ethnic boarders.
The world is not black and white so I don’t see why my fictional worlds have to be either.
Tomorrow I’ll talk a bit about why my leading man is who he sometimes is.