Interview and guest post with Allyn Lesley

Today on the blog we have author and blogger Allyn Lesley. It’s a great pleasure to have her join us today, so please give her a warm welcome!

1. What does the term “Diverse Books” mean to you?

To me, diverse books are where there are main and secondary characters of different race and ethnicities, sexual orientation, and/or physical (and other) abilities. In short, diverse books reflect a truer picture of the world.

2. How do you think we should encourage more diversity in the literary world?

The only way to encourage diverse novels is to support it because these kinds of portrayals are being written about but just not widely publicized to the larger reading community.

3. Are there diverse character types you’d like to see more of in fiction?

Of course. I’d love to read a romance novel about a character who underwent gender reassignment.

4. Please tell us some of your favourite diverse books and/or authors.

I love Beverly Jenkins’s historical romances that mainly feature African American heroes and heroines though I’ve read one that was categorized as interracial because both characters were biracial.

Allyn also wrote us a guest post:

The Problem with Stock Photos


Seriously, this will be a short post. Well, I hope it’ll be short.

My trial subscription to a stock photo site ends soon. I’m scrambling to download some free pictures to use on my blog and for upcoming teasers for future novels. But my choices are limited. I mean really limited. Picture after picture reveals I know I’ve either seen the half-naked male model and hunky dude before. Either on a teaser or on a book cover. Picture after picture, I know I’ve seen that same female model before.

What is an author to do?

How can I, a newbie with a work-in-progress novel slated for release soon, enter the promotion market with the same pictures readers have seen before? It is super frustrating. Then, there’s another head-scratcher (yeah, I made up that word). At least one that affects my first novel which will feature an interracial couple.

Where are my people of color?

Where are those men and women who are not cocked up seductively or in weird poses that I (well, not me, but my hubby who’s my Creative Director) can use in trailers or on teasers?

Maybe it’s not the site I should yell at; maybe it’s the photographers I need to scold. I don’t know who’s to blame but I know for sure romance, which is the genre I write, happens to all people of various shades, sizes, and genders. I just want the photo stock sites to realize this and offer a potential client, like myself, more to choose from.

I know that some of my contemporaries have contracted photographers and models to differentiate their book covers as well as teasers. That may be the option I go with next novel because seriously right now it’s looking real bleak.

That’s a great point, Allyn. Covers need to be as diverse as the contents!

(Book One of The Deeper Chronicles)

Everything Avianna Linton thought she knew was shattered in one traffic stop. With her life turned upside down, she flees to the bright lights of New York City hoping for anonymity and a new life.

Rising from nothing, Noah Adams holds onto his power and control with a bone-crushing grip. No one dared challenge his authority until her…

Avi’s disdain for Noah is barely contained, and Noah does everything he can to restrain himself—a concept he has little experience with.

There’s more between the two than either of them realize. A force looms near, hovering with deadly precision and motivated solely by revenge.

Avi wonders who her new friends truly are and if she’s already in too deep. Noah, accustomed to getting what he wants, will do whatever it takes to draw Avi in deeper.

Deeper is a romantic suspense novel with a multi-cultural cast of characters.

US –
UK –

To find out more about Allyn, you can find her blog here:

5 thoughts on “Interview and guest post with Allyn Lesley

  1. I agree the struggle is real when it comes to stock photos. i don’t self-pub; my publishers has an art dept. and they have been pretty good so far. BUT…i’m writing a new historical set in the 16th century and I know for a fact there are no photos of an IR couple posed in clothing from that era. Even if the great Taria Reed of the Reed Files has stock, she doesn’t have that era. My publisher does allow its authors to pick out photos on our own from iStock and the art dept will create a cover. But once, just once, I’d like to see an IR couple in a “clinch” pose in the SAME darn frame like everybody else! Not standing apart, facing each other. And i am no fan of objects or landscapes related to the couple on covers. No. I need people on there.

    • I wonder if there’s scope for a bunch of authors to get together and actually commission a shoot? A lot of people we’ve interviewed this month write IR couples. Sharing the cost would make it more feasible.

  2. Pingback: Diverse Books Month! | Rivka and Ivory

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