Dyanne Davis
Who I'm Talking To:
Affaire de Coeur-Interracial Romance
    It seems that I am always interviewing authors and readers
    either for my website, blog or the monthly Romance Slam Jam
    newsletter.  So it’s a nice little surprise when I participate in an
    interview. In this month’s issue of Affaire de Coeur I was asked
    to participate in a discussion about Interracial Romance. Some
    of my excerpts are featured in the magazine. The piece was
    thought provoking to say the least.

    In fact I found it so thought provoking that I decided to post the
    questions as given to me and my complete answer.  You’ll need
    to buy the magazine for the complete article and different takes
    on the same questions.  I have my copy and thoroughly enjoyed


Interracial Romance

  • For a topic that has been taboo for such a long time, why do you think the
    popularity of it is rising?

    Louise, that's a question I've asked myself and friends countless times. The
    answer I receive when I ask the question is because so many people are in
    interracial relationships that they enjoy stories that include their situations. I
    would venture a guess that it's on the rise because the increase of couples
    crossing racial lines to date and marry is on the rise.

  • Do you think reader attitude has really changed about interracial romance or do
    you think they think it’s inevitable so why complain about it?

    I honestly don't know if ALL readers have changed their attitude about
    interracial romance. I have readers who will not read anything I write that is
    interracial. Then again I have readers who will only read the interracial
    stories that I write. Whenever I have a book coming out I will get dozens of
    emails asking me if it's interracial.  I never hear what is the story about?
    Granted, readers have a right to read what they want but I will admit it
    greatly disturbs me that readers are limiting themselves to only one type of
    writing. I'm not sure if you're aware of all of the e-publishers that are
    publishing interracials, but the stories are being gobbled up a fast as the
    authors can write them.  I've had friends tell me in the past that they would
    never write an interracial but they have proven the old adage, never say

  • The general feeling is that AA women feel that they have to take a back seat to
    Caucasian women as well as other ethnic groups, and they resent.  On the other
    hand AA women are the target audience for interracial romance.  Can you
    explain that?

    Louise, let me tackle that last question first, please. I believe it's a
    misconception that AA women are the target audience.  That might be the
    case with traditional print publishers but for e-publishers from what I've
    been hearing women of all races are buying the books. Again this is just
    my opinion.  I believe an e-book interracial can give the women who crave
    to read them the anonymity they seek, and that they don't have to explain
    why they're reading it.

    Now for the first part of your question. I would agree that AA authors are
    extremely frustrated that the larger publishing houses are not publishing
    stories for the most part about AA couples. Yes, there are a few AA
    authors who have managed to cross that elusive bridge. And yes Harlequin
    is now publishing AA romances. Though I do remember less than ten years
    ago when an editor from Harlequin spoke at a conference I attended and
    said that was something they would never do, because it wasn't wanted by
    their readers.  I think the color green changed their mind.

    As far as the taking a back seat part, AA authors are looking for larger
    audiences and a bigger payday like any other author. That in itself might be
    why some AA authors have chosen or are thinking of taking on a different
    pseudonym and writing non AA characters.

  • Old school AA often state that AA women had no choice but to succumb to their
    Caucasian master, overseer, etc. during and post slavery and when given a
    choice, they should not have relationships with Caucasian men.  Comment on
    that please.

    You know Louise, I'm thinking that that saying originated with AA men who
    will sleep with whomever they please. I fell in love and remain in love with
    my husband Bill (39+ years of marriage, 3+years of dating) He's AA. But, I
    believe when love hits you don't think about the skin color. At least I hope
    you don't.  I think if a man places a woman above all but God and treats her
    as his most cherished gift, and of course if he sets her heart racing, why in
    the world would race matter.

  • In the interracial books, who is more likely to be AA, the man or the woman?  

    When I write an interracial it's the woman who is most likely to be AA.  I've
    noticed it's the same in the books that most of my friends write. The why of
    it I believe is simple.  We're women writers and we write from the female
    point of view.  In romance, the woman is the star.  If we're AA so is she.

  • Many AA authors have told AdC that they don’t like the intrusion of interracial
    romance.  Some have even gone as far as to state that unless they writing an
    interracial romance as opposed to an AA romance, they are not supported by
    their publisher.  Do you think there is a push?  Why?

    I wouldn't say I believe there is a push for authors to write AA romance.  I
    was told early on in my career that I should write one AA and one interracial
    per year.  I wasn't ordered to do so, but was given a reason that has proven
    to be true.  I was told there would be readers who wouldn't read my
    interracial and readers who wouldn't read my AA romances. That has also
    proven to be true.

  • There is a decline in the number of books where both hero and heroine are AA.  
    Do you think it is attributable to the interracial romance?

    I will give you this one. Yes, I attribute the decline in the number of books
    where both hero and heroine are AA to interracial romance.  But I will go
    farther. A lot of readers who only read interracial romances have now
    become writers and they write what they love to read. Interracial.

  • Conflict and heroines and heroines—are they true to real life in the interracial
    romance?  For example, in many instances, the AA family of the hero or heroines
    is not going to go along with said hero or heroine being in a serious relationship
    with a Caucasian partner.  Is this realistically portrayed, or is that AA family
    welcoming with open arms?

    I can't give you a blanket answer on that one. It depends on the writer.  In
    my first novel, The Color of Trouble, the AA family was dead set against the
    relationship.  The situation was exaggerated but I pulled on the problems
    that arose in my own family when a cousin started dating a Caucasian
    woman. The point of the novel was that AA have their own prejudices and
    that not all AA are looking to cross the racial lines to find a mate. I was
    called a racist more than once after that book came out.

  • Make any comments you like on real or fictitious interracial romance.

    While I applaud couples for finding love without worrying about their mates
    skin tone, I do wish readers would open their minds to all kinds of stories.
    Some of my friends and I have talked in great details about this.  This isn't
    just the AA reader that I'm referring to here. I've heard too often from
    women who are not AA that they can't read AA stories because they can't
    relate. Now AA writers have to worry that AA readers are saying the same
    things. They can't relate to an AA couple if they're in an interracial
    relationship.  I just don't get it.  I can't wait to read what the others have to
    say. Maybe they can spread some light on this for me.