We’re delighted to welcome Delaney Diamond to the blog today. An author herself, she’s also one of the founding members of Romance Novels in Color Blog. She took the time to answer some questions for us!
1. What does the term “Diverse Books” mean to you?
Thanks for having me Rivka and putting together Diverse Books Month. As the site manager of Romance Novels in Color, I’ll tell you what diverse books mean to us at RNIC. For us, diverse books feature people of color, specifically heroes or heroines of color. So they’re not secondary characters or sidekicks, but main characters.
2. All the books featured on your blog have a main character of colour. Do you often see other diverse characters in these books or do they tend to only feature racial diversity?
Not often, but occasionally we receive books that contain other types of diverse characters, such as LGBT characters or disabled characters, which is great. In general, I think romance needs to reflect all types of diversity and show those characters getting to their HEA. White heterosexuals are not the only people who want to see themselves represented in novels. We all do. We all want to read stories about us. Characters that look like us. Talk like us. Laugh like us. Love like us.
3. Most of your staff at the blog are best-selling authors in their own right. Do you consider yourselves as diverse authors?
Yes, I and the other authors are definitely diverse authors. In additional to writing African-American romance, I enjoy Latin culture, so the heroes in my interracial romance novels are often Latinos. I write contemporary romance, and my most recent African-American romance is Just Friends. My most recent interracial romance is An Unexpected Attraction.
MJ Kane, our newsletter editor, writes contemporary romance and women’s fiction that feature multi-ethnic casts. Laurel Cremant, who blogs about what’s hot in romance and the latest romance news, writes interracial romance in the paranormal and contemporary genres. Roxy Wilson is our reviews coordinator and writes paranormal and contemporary romance. Our newest addition—Tia Kelly—is our marketing coordinator and writes contemporary romance and women’s fiction.
4. The fact that you make a point of spotlighting books with characters of colour implies that you feel there is a need to promote this specific type of diversity in fiction. Why did you make the decision to promote these books?
I hope that at RNIC we can debunk a couple of myths about these types of books. Books with people of color tend to be tucked away or deemed not relatable to all readers, and that’s simply not true. Besides, we can read stories about werewolves and aliens finding love, but somehow two Indians or two Black people or an Asian woman and a Hispanic man finding love are not relatable stories? Sounds silly, doesn’t it?
Another myth is that stories containing diverse characters aren’t written well. Despite the fact that you can pick up any book—including novels from traditional publishers—and find stories that contain errors or just stories that you don’t like, books containing diverse characters tend to be stereotyped as having these problems more than others. Two or three books are not indicative of pervasive problems. Our reviewers find some gems, from authors going the traditional route as well as those who are indie-published.
Finally, it’s great to have a place where we can celebrate all types of books that feature people of color. Those books are out there and they’re plentiful. They contain complex stories with well-rounded characters, and we help people find them. #WeHaveDiverseRomance
5. Please share with us some of your favourite diverse authors and/or books.
My opinion changes from time to time, so I’ll tell you about some great books I’ve read recently that I thoroughly enjoyed. Since I have a weakness for men and babies, I have to mention Tia Kelly’s Baby Love. Her novel places a different spin on the secret baby plot, with a surprise baby showing up at the hero’s home. As a confirmed bachelor, this is not only a surprise, but he has no interest in being a father. Watching him fall in love with the baby—as well as the heroine—will put a smile on your face.
Happyness in Jersey is a beautiful new adult romance from Jacinta Howard. The story has a funky vibe, as the characters are members of a college band. I don’t even read new adult, but I’ll read her books. Lol. Her hero is sweet and sexy, and just what the heroine needed.
Just My Type by Synithia Williams contains a quirky heroine and a stuffy accountant. This was a funny, sexy story about opposites attracting. I truly enjoyed it and it’s my favorite from this author.
These aren’t recent reads, but Maureen Smith’s Tempt Me at Midnight is one of my favorite friends-to-lovers stories and Romancing the MD is an interracial romance with a Colombian doctor who drives the heroine, a black doctor, absolutely crazy. Let’s just say there’s a thin line between love and hate. 🙂
To read more about Delaney or to visit the RNIC Blog, check out the following links:
RNIC website: http://www.romancenovelsincolor.com
RNIC Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RomanceNovelsinColor
RNIC Twitter: https://twitter.com/RomanceinColor
Delaney Diamond’s website: http://www.delaneydiamond.com