Young Bill Young, here. I’m working with the Oklahoma Center for the Book, arranging an event in Tulsa to celebrate Oklahoma’s romance writers. Obviously, we wanted to invite authors representing different genres within romance: i.e. Christian romance, romantic thrillers, historical love stories. It was interesting that our invitation list did not include any African American romance authors who call Oklahoma home.
During my search, I did come across some interesting information. For example, the incoming president of the Romance Writers of America is African American. In fact, RWA will have its second black president this decade. The news comes from Angela T and her blog, Saving Black Romance. Angela T is also a contributer to Romancing the Blog, and she offers this recent column on the marketing of African American romance novels. (Be sure and read Angela’s related posts and the comments to get a better gist of this issue.)
Love stories are universal, and they are relevant in all cultures and times. Michigan’s Beverly Jenkins (whose book “Captured” illustrates this post) specializes in African American romances set during the 19th Century — a time rife with all kinds of political, social and, er, lustful possibilities. And just think about the kinds of black romance novels that could use Oklahoma history as a backdrop, a history that includes black slaves coming to Indian Territory, the movement of black families into the Territories, the Green Corn Rebellion, the lunch counter sit-ins. No matter the times, places or situations, love finds a way.
So does this white boy want to read a steamy black romance? Maybe. I could always use a break from my sci-fi stories and geeky graphic novels. My Twitter friend Literary Nobody in Tulsa is a writer who’s always looking for different subjects and issues to address. Hey, LN: want to write us a love story?
And, of course, if you’re a black romance author in Okieland, or you know one, I’m depending on you to set me straight!