Tuesday, August 4, 2009

What's your pleasure?

On an author's loop that I check out occasionally, there's been an on-going discussion about how various genres are indicated and marketed. In particular, one group of readers is interested in reading interracial, multi-cultural romances.

Part of the discussion has centered around what constitutes interracial. Is it only black/white? Or is it any couple that doesn't share the same racial background? Is it any couple/trio/quartet where one individual isn't white?

What if one of the individuals is also a vampire or shape-shifter? Or, as is the case with my Mystic Valley series, what if the "other" race is blue? Certainly, there are cultural differences in those romances. Does that count?

All readers have preferences for certain types of stories. Some read only BDSM stories. Others prefer vampires or cowboys or Navy SEALS. As one reader pointed out, the IR/MC stories are the hardest to locate and pinpoint because so many other factors enter into the mix.

After thinking about it for a while, it occurs to me that might be a positive sign. I can remember a time when the interracial aspect would have overridden all other aspects of the story. Yet, now we hear complaints that readers can't pinpoint an interracial story by the cover or blurb. Isn't that a good thing? Am I the only one that believes it's a positive sign that as authors we are writing characters from the entire spectrum of humanity?

What do you think? And what's your particular pleasure?



  1. I've been following that same discussion, and had to ask a couple questions. What if it's in the future, and her feline DNA vs. his cybernetics is a bigger factor than skin color? What if we're talking about demons and elves? One thing I LOVE about writing paranormals is that when you toss in questions like "are our species biologically compatible?" and "what about our vastly dissimilar lifespans?" things like ethnic origin seem pretty minor--which, I think, is what they should be!

  2. I think that some folks just like to see inter-color. We have myriad races in paranormal, sci-fi. I think they are referring to contemporary where one is one race, and the other is another.

  3. It's an interesting discussion. I think interracial refers to relationships with people from real cultures...not science-fiction or paranormal. Some readers are looking for contemporary reads that feature problems that sometimes occur within these relationships.

    It's a very positive sign that we are having this discussion. It means that people just aren't noticing the color of someone's skin or their different ethnic background...and that can only be a good thing.

  4. I think people just like to read...

  5. Couples with different racial backgrounds I would classify as interracial for a book genre.
    Paranormal couples (werewolves, vampires, shapeshifters, cats, etc.) I'd put into a supernatural category and not think of the human-whatever or whatever-whatever couples as interracial.
    Weird how my mind can make that distinction!