I was reading an interesting blog today. This topic of conversation seems to crop up here and there in the Facebook groups I tend to participate in (not as often as it should in my humble opinion). Why are persons of color, older women, persons with disabilities, etc so under-represented in lesfic (or in literature in general). I was absolutely flabbergasted by one remark in the blog. Apparently, one of the readers did not provide feedback to the author on a book featuring a person of color because she couldn’t relate to the character (she was white).
That got me thinking…I know very, very dangerous. Many of the popular lesfic books feature beautiful, rich, powerful women. Famous women. Women with abs of steel. Women with smoldering eyes and animal magnetism. Women who are exquisite and twenty or thirty-something. Women who walk into a bar, pick up a woman and get laid every night of the week. Well…shit…I’m not any of those things, so by that logic, I shouldn’t enjoy those books because I can’t relate to those characters and their experiences. Now, I admit, I do like to read about those perfectly chiseled characters. But, I wondered…What do I really need to relate to, for me to enjoy the book?
For me, I like to connect to characters who struggle with common human emotions. Love. Hate. Injustice. Karma. Fear. Bravery. Failure. Success. Loneliness. Belonging. Anger. Joy. Frustration. Satisfaction. Self-doubt. Confidence. And on and on. There is no end to the common emotions and yes, experiences, we can all relate to. It does not come in one color, one socio-economic status, one physical ability, one age range, one country, one gender, one religion or spiritual belief, etc. Variety is truly the spice of life. Come on people, let’s expand our horizons. Go outside the norm. Try it, you might find those books you don’t normally try are beautiful gems. I guarantee…human emotions are universal.
The blog also mentioned the controversy with Riptide Publishing which I’d just recently learned about. Apparently, Riptide Publishing would not use persons of color on their covers because “we like the book to, you know, sell”. This revelation was so disheartening to me, I can barely keep myself from a rant on that. That topic alone probably deserves an entire blog. I mean, what the f%$#. I rather love the cover for my most recent book that was a collaboration with Ali Spooner. I’d like to think the sales have been slower for that because historical romance is a tough sell in lesfic (even though I swear it has a nice contemporary twist at the end)…because I cannot even stomach the alternate possibility.
Long story short…Readers have said I often go outside the norm with my characters and the topics I’ll tackle. I dare you to give my books a try! He he he….
Proud to be an Affinity Rainbow Publications author!