Oh gosh y’all! I hate that big publishers and small-minded people still don’t see the need for diverse romance. It is like they can’t see past their bottom line OR the end of their nose. I love that there are authors out there getting very vocal about the lack of diversity. As a reader, I thought I would add my 2 buying cents to the mix cause really publishers–I think you want our money!
Here is why I (possibly one of the whitest chicks ever) need/want/crave culturally diverse romance (across the board in all sub-genres):
- Personally, I am the United Nations of Dating! Seriously, skin color hardly ever factors into who I date. It is about the person and how they can add/broaden my life. So I like to see culturally diverse couples in romance. Not just the ones that look like me.
- I like to learn about different cultures. I know most people don’t think of romance as a “learning” tool but really it is. Whether it is by design or not, you can learn something from almost every book. How to treat people. How to accept differences. How to embrace change. How culture does factor into someone’s decisions but doesn’t have to be a stop in the conversation. When it comes to cultural romance–a person who is not surrounded by people of other cultures may learn that “heck they are just like me”. I grew up in a small small small (less 1000 people) town that had very little cultural diversity. Sometimes you have to grow through the written word because your environment is not conducive to it. Things that seem obvious to most people (aka we are all people), may not be as obvious as you think if your environment doesn’t lend to that experience. Putting different cultures into books (especially when they are written in ways that people can identify with) is truly a teaching tool most don’t realize!
- It is boring to read about the same look in every single book. Different cultures bring different perspectives that lead to richer stories!
- Who doesn’t have celeb crushes on someone of almost every ethnicity? Seriously sometimes I want to picture Daniel Day Kim, Idris Elba, Daniel Sunjata, Jason Mamoa, or Adam Beach while reading! It is hard if it is always a white guy in the lead. This goes for the ladies too. Sometimes you just want to be in someone else’s shoes. I like imagining I can be Kerry Washington, Alex Rice, Olivia Munn, or Sophia Loren. I could actually go on and on and on but I think you get my point!
- Finally: because not every book needs to be written for every person. I get that sales are important but so is growing your base. You don’t know if there is an audience for something till you try. Look at LGBT romance! It is has got a solid marketplace and is growing. Not so long ago people were afraid to publish those novels cause what would the sales be? Someone was smart enough to go “there is an audience for that” and BOOM! You can even go with things like alternative lifestyles (BDSM), ages (NA anyone?), or something similar. You let something get a toe in the door and it can get wildly popular. I just wish that diversity would have been first because it seems like a no-brainer. I think I might give people too much credit!
So why do you like diverse romance?
During her non-reading time you can find her hanging with her rescue furr children named after book characters: Lizzie a beautiful cattle dog mix (Pound Pup), Cinder a beautiful Shep/Pitt mix (Pound Pup), and Minerva a beautiful Shep/Pitt mix (Foster Fail). Gathering with friends and family, attending conventions, watching movies/tv shows, rooting for the 49rs, and crocheting.
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