Indy Author Talk with Sharita Lira ~ Writing Interracial Romance

Indy Author Talk Indy Author Talk

ontherun3

I’ve done quite a few posts on interracial romance in books and since the last one I did, I’ve seen a lot of changes. IR seems to be hot at the moment with more people writing them regardless if they are people of color or not. A lot of the storylines are similar, Caucasian billionaire takes a girl straight from the hood and treats her like a queen. Sort of like Pretty Woman but the female MC in there was white and the ladies in our stories aren’t prostitutes. And then there’s also been a small boom in m/m interracial which makes me very happy since I write a lot of interracial gay romance.

However with any boom, especially in the publishing industry, there comes problems. As I mentioned up top, the same storylines, the misrepresentation of characters on covers as well as some of the terms and/or dialogue used in stories. Now, I’m not going to gripe here. The more interracial romances there are the better. We need more diversity in all genres whether it be romances, sci-fi, horror, children’s books, whatever. The world is not fully one color and the publishing world should reflect that. Still, when we do these romances, we as authors must take into account who reads these stories. Again, not everyone is schooled on how every culture is. We don’t need to be, because again every culture is different. You can’t base characters or settings on what you see on television. Every black person isn’t from a bad neighborhood, they aren’t always poor, and they don’t talk slang. Every Asian isn’t meek or overly suspicious, nor is every Hispanic person a hot head or an illegal alien. While it’s true some minorities fit the so called “mold” not every person of color is the same. Think about it, a lot of people take what they see on TV or read as the truth and when you paint people in a certain light you run the risk of offending them.

Here’s another thing; you’re not going to write the perfect book that doesn’t offend someone because everyone takes things a different way. In my own book, Something About Jayden, the person reading found my comments about Caucasian blonde to be troublesome. Not only that, he or she said my character was a racist because he wanted to work for a minority own company. Even though I didn’t find any issues with this, the reader did and as I stated you run that risk every time you put pen to paper. If I can answer to that without pissing anyone off, I’m a black woman married to a Latino man. I have a biracial child so I know a little bit more about Latino culture than some. A lot of minorities whether they be black, Asian, or Latino want to support their own. That’s not true in every case, but in my character’s life, he felt close to his heritage and wanted to support a minority owned company. I don’t see an issue with bringing that out, but again, it’s all how someone takes it.

In thinking about what I’ve wrote and read, I’m trying not to sound hypocritical. While I do love the boom in IR, I just want people to look closer at what they say. I’ve read books that bothered me when I see things like the white mc saying he or she had never been with a black person before or even a black character asking the white character that question. Or even the assumptions that all black characters talk slang. Unless these characteristics are essential for the plot it isn’t needed. I’ve used it myself with black and white characters from the south to give it a little “color,” but even those things could bother a reader while they peruse your book.

So what am I saying here? Be more conscious in writing interracial romance and how you show your characters, but don’t let the “unknown” or fear of getting it wrong bother you. Just don’t make assumptions. Write this character the way you want, but don’t dumb them down or make them a “lesser” being because of their differences. While some stereotypes are true of some people of color they aren’t the norm. If they aren’t going to be used to advance your plot, you don’t need them.

I hope this post clears up some confusion about interracial romance. Keep writing them and hopefully, multicultural and or interracial won’t be a “fringe” or boom, it will be mainstream.

Indy Author Talk Author Bio

52041_medium

Author Sharita Lira: In one word, crazy. Just crazy enough to have 3 4 different muses running around in her head, driving her to sheer exhaustion with new plot bunnies and complex characters.

In addition to being a computer geek and a metalhead, Sharita loves live music, reading, and perusing the net for sexy men to be her muses.  She’s also a founding member and contributor to the heavy metal ezine Fourteeng.net.

For more information, please visit http://www.thelitriad.com as well as her Facebook fanpage, The Literary Triad.

INdy Author Talk QA

 

Q. Where are you from?  Does the area you live in influence you writing?

A ~ Chicago, Illinois and yes, a lot of my books are set in Chicago or at least the United States.

Q. Tell us your latest news??

A ~ On the Run is my latest book under Michael Mandrake, my gay male pseudonym, from Totally Bound/PRIDE publishing. I also have two other releases under my name BLMorticia called Under the Gun and Wounded Pride with author Remmy Duchene.

Q. When and why did you begin writing? What inspired you to write your first book?

A ~ I started writing at age 19. Just basic erotica shorts, but I didn’t started publishing until 2010. Fanfiction inspired me to get published because it gave me confidence to put my work out there. My first book was a short novella called True Meaning of Love which I hope to redo someday because it is a hot mess! *grins*

Q. What book(s) / author(s) have influenced your life and writing?

A ~ Anne Rice, Zane, Danielle Steele, Fern Michaels were some of my early author influences. Now, a lot of my peers who write gay romance inspire my work as well.

Q. Tell us about your characters and how they came to be?  Have they been in your head for a long time?

A ~ Most of my characters are the hot men (or women) I scour the internet for. If they need a story, they reach out to me with their eyes or maybe it might be the way they’re posed in the picture. Very rarely do I start a story without a face already in mind for my character.

Some of them have been in my head for years and it takes me awhile to sit down and write them. I know of one that’s been there since before I started publishing. Lately, they’ve been screaming for me to sit down and write that story. Writing under 3 names makes it extremely difficult to place every character and muse.

Q. What is the hardest part of writing?

A ~ The hardest is the ending for me. I always agonize about the way I end it. Did I satisfy every plot line, every character. I might start writing from the end and work my way backwards. Lol see how that works.

Q. What does your family think of your writing?

A ~ My husband is very supportive. One of my uncles also writes so I’ve gotten a lot of encouragement from him.

Q. What is the best advice you would give to inspiring authors?

A ~  Best advice? I have more than one.

Stay true to yourself and the story.  Never answer a bad review on Goodreads, EVER! And don’t over promote one book. Promote yourself. Interact with readers and other authors. Pay it forward!

 

Indy Author Talk Author links

Facebook-Icon twitter-icon

goodreads_icon

Website

Blog

Newsletter

Buy Links:

IconKindle1

INDY Author Talk Extra

OntheRun

Blurb:

Aiden Moriarty is a Florida ‘herbalist’ who developed a performance enhancing drug many athletes have used. One of them is baseball star Ivan Salerno, who was caught using the drugs and is now on the brink of getting suspended. Because of Ivan’s connections with a rogue mob boss, Aiden is taken into a witness protection program, working along with baseball higher ups until he testifies.

The mob boss, Augustine Ora, has hired former British military officer and his best hitman, Devlin ‘Brit’ Crawford, to do the job. Ora has instructed Devlin to go to Miami, kidnap Aiden and take him to the local airport to be transported to Havana ,Cuba, to be executed by Ora’s top officers.

However, when Devlin receives the email, the pictures of the blue-eyed felon catch his eye and he is moved to go in a different direction. Instead of delivering Aiden to the airport, he has thoughts of taking him away and saving him from Ora’s wrath.

This move puts him, Aiden, as well as his assistant Miranda Ashley in huge danger. Will Devlin keep Aiden safe despite the odds or will he fail, causing Ora and his men come after him?

ontherun5

Excerpt

“I s’pose we’re done here?” Devlin Crawford leaned back in his chair, facing his boyfriend—or make that ex-boyfriend, since he’d taken him out on a date specifically to break up with Devlin.

Bloody bastard.

William Gather looked sheepishly away from Devlin, not meeting his gaze. “Look, I’m sorry, Dev. I can’t handle you being gone all the time on these secret jobs. It’s killing me not knowing what you’re doing or who you’re doing it with−”

“Who I’m doing it with?” Devlin burst out in hysterics. “Are you jealous, William? If you are, you shouldn’t be. In all honesty, most blokes are afraid of me. They think because I’m a tall, well-built black man I’ll pummel them after I plow their arses into the nearest leather sofa. And then they hear me speak and find out I’m college educated, making a little over six figures doing”—he hesitated to say more—“whatever the fuck I do, but none are even remotely interested. Like I say, I give off that aura of fear and intimidation, but I’m neither of those.”

To distract himself from the lie he’d just told, Devlin reached for the bottle of fine white wine and poured a glass for William then for himself. “You’re being absolutely ridiculous, but if you’re telling me you want to leave me because of my job, suit yourself. I will do nothing to stop you.”

William’s face pinked and he accepted the drink. He swirled his glass around, seemingly thinking about what Devlin had said to him. “I don’t think I am, Devlin. I care for you a lot, but you’re gone weeks on end and you can’t even tell me where you are.”

Devlin rolled his eyes and his mouth tensed. He’d hated when this conversation came up with any of the guys he’d dated in the past. “I explained this to you before we started seeing one another. My job is top secret and I can’t reveal much for fear anyone around me might be affected—and not in a good way.”

William sighed after taking a long sip. “Well, I can’t handle that, Devlin. I want us to have total open communication throughout the relationship. You’re gone too often. You can’t talk about where you are. You don’t call much and when you do it’s like speaking in code or something. I can’t handle that anymore, Dev.”

“Then leave.” Devlin glared at William from across the table and finished his drink. No way would he be upset about his relationship failing when this man was being totally unreasonable. Besides, he had to talk with the boss again to go over his next job—kidnapping a certain someone in the States and take him somewhere so they could do whatever the hell they wanted with him. No doubt something involving drugs, and he’d mentioned being paid handsomely. Who needed a man when he could buy one for a night or two?

“Fine.” William rose from the table, throwing a couple of notes down. “Goodbye, Devlin, and don’t bother calling me back because I won’t answer.” He stormed away from the table in a huff.

“Bye.” Devlin saluted William mockingly, shook his head, and glanced at the notes on the tablecloth. “You’ve always been such a cheap bastard, William Albertson.” Devlin plucked a couple of bigger ones from his pocket and tossed them on top of William’s offerings. “We didn’t even get to have dinner, but I suppose it doesn’t matter.” Devlin scooted the chair in the opposite direction and got up, buttoning his jacket.

“Sir, sir, um…” The waitress called out to him, looking perplexed. “You and your partner aren’t dining this evening?”

“No, ma’am, we are not. Just consider this a nice tip for a job well done on your part. Keep the rest of the money for yourself, luv, and a word of advice… Don’t get involved with cheap men. They’ll take advantage and leave you when they don’t get their way.”

Devlin winked at the young woman and heard her sigh as he walked toward the door of the fancy establishment.

I’ve still got it.

Devlin smirked to himself and adjusted his scarf around his neck to protect himself from the damp evening air. Once he’d made it to the exit, the strong wind gust nearly blew him and the door away.

“Bloody London.” Devlin clicked his tongue against his teeth and glanced up at the heavy amount of gray clouds in the sky. He hadn’t turned on the television to watch the weather, but by the looks of it, a heavy rainstorm was about to occur.

Devlin hadn’t driven, thinking he would be spending the night with William prior to returning to his loft to pack for his next trip. Now, with those plans foiled, the most important thing was to get back to his place without getting soaked.

Just as the first few drops fell on his head, Devlin placed two fingers in front of his lips and whistled for a cab. When he put his hand out, one rounded the corner, nearly splashing him with the excess water in the gutter.

Devlin hopped back and frowned. “Watch it!”

The cab driver rolled down his window. “Sorry, sir. Where ya off to?”

Devlin hopped in, closing the door behind him. “Meranti House on Lehman Street, please.” Devlin recited his address and brushed the small pellets of water off his overcoat.

“Right away, sir.” The driver seemed to perk up when he heard Devlin speak of the nicer location. People were always surprised when he said he lived in one of the most affluent spots in London. Even more so when he pulled out the large wad of bills folded inside a gold money clip.

Devlin had long tired of people misjudging him because of the color of his skin as well as his muscular build. Immediately, they assumed him to be a poor thug from the London ghettos instead of the child of a wealthy businessman.

That was the thing about his current position with Boss O, as he called him. He made no assumptions and he knew Devlin’s talents as a weapons expert along with his propensity to perform tasks without getting caught. Augustine Ora acknowledged Devlin as an intelligent bloke, and he used it to benefit them both. Devlin liked that and he appreciated being called his head honcho because he liked to feel needed.

That, along with various other tasks Ora asked him to execute, made Devlin’s days a lot easier to deal with. It also filled the void of not having a solid relationship with someone, something that had eluded Devlin for most of his adult life.

  • Sharita Lira

    Thank you for hosting me today

NGO on Twitter!