Monday Musings: Scattered Thoughts and WTF is going on?

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There is so much shit going on in the IR community right now, it’s bananas!!!! Two things’ for certain and one thing’s for sure (or is it the other way around?) is there is never a dull moment in the world of interracial romance-not the books, but the authors and the fans! I feel like I’m watching a real-time version of Mean Girls. There are so many cliques and factions. If you like one author and everyone else doesn’t, then you’re lowkey blacklisted. If you don’t like a book that everyone raves about and loves, then you’re a hater. Basically if you have an opposing opinion and sound off about it, then you are a pariah, persona non grata…

There’s been a recent shakeup in our circle. A very well-known and well-liked author (One I consider a fave) has decided to call it quits. It was sudden, and it was unexpected, but it wasn’t a complete shock because she had been subtly hinting at it for a while. Her reasoning behind it was she felt that she wasn’t being valued as a writer essentially. As a writer, a blogger, an author…, there is a need for validation-whether or not you’re willing to admit it. Whether it’s liking and/or commenting on a post or leaving a review, we need to know that you’re not just following or buying, but you were actually paying attention and moved in some way after you’ve actually read it. I initially thought this author was being whiny and trolling for sympathy, but when she gave her parting words before deleting her profile from Facebook (NOTE: After some personal reflection, author is now back on FB), I actually took the time to read and digest what she was saying. She needed to see the love that she would get privately or on Facebook translated into the form of reviews. Now some have been like “Girl, bye. You are selling books, so what’s the big deal?” We all process things and express our frustrations differently, and her method has been unconventional to say the least, but the hate and backlash she’s received has just been foul. I applaud her for speaking her truth if nothing else.  All I can say on this is I hope she recovers on all fronts…

A reader posted in several FB groups the other day an open letter to the interracial romance genre. She basically said she was taking a hiatus from reading the books in this genre.  It has admittedly become littered and polluted with fetish, soft-core porn, white billionaires looking for subservient, opportunistic black women, and slut-shaming titles featuring black women. This reader asserted that she was going basically going to creep on IR romance by reading mainstream romance because IR romance isn’t treating her right. While I understand her frustrations, I don’t agree with her dissension. I’m a ride or die chick. There is a lot of good IR romance out there yet to be discovered, but when you stick to the same authors all the time, then yeah, you will get frustrated. Not all new authors on the scene write crap novels. I have read more well-written, entertaining stories in the last few months by new(er) authors, than I have by the “old guard”. I think all new authors are getting a bad rep, and we know how detrimental stereotyping can be. Don’t give up on the newbies just yet. There are so many fab new authors out there, many yet to be discovered. Just remember, your fave started out new too…

In the words of the late Rodney King: Can’t we all just get along????

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4 thoughts on “Monday Musings: Scattered Thoughts and WTF is going on?

  1. Let me try this again. I tried to post a comment earlier but it would not go through but I am nothing if not diligent. This issue has gotten a lot of attention and not all good. Thank you for offering a differing opinion. I agree we all process things differently especially when emotions are involved. But I will say this as I have always said this is a business. Likes do not equal validation. In business when a product is not being “liked” or sales are decreasing you don’t quit. You go back to the drawing board, hold focus groups, try to figure out how to re-brand or re-market your product. In the case of books you have to actively participate in your groups and in other groups, hold character/author chats, and engage your readers. It’s not just about writing anymore you are a brand and have to market yourself as such. Do I believe in leaving reviews? Yes but I don’t knock, bash, bully, other readers who do not. This is an issue across the board low reviews. And what people have to realize is and try to work on is how do we get readers to leave more reviews? You hand out Arc’s in exchange for an honest review, giveaways, make sure your FB group/page is active. Now is this an automatic solution? NO! The problem is deeper than that. But I have always been taught that, “ A righteous man may fall seven times And rise again.” The road ahead will not be easy of course you will stumble and fall but you get back up again. You do not quit. This is not a personal attack on the author just generally speaking. If this is your craft and passion and you do it for the love of writing. Then that’s validation enough. What about the loyal readers like yourself? It has been said that the author has been selling but not getting reviews. Well there is obviously people who love the authors work. So you are just going to leave the loyal ones out in the wind because of reviews? What does that say to your following?
    In response to the reader who said they would not be reading anymore IR books because of the genre being flooded with fetish type books she later stated that she would just stick to “veteran” IR authors. Like you I love this genre and support it and will not turn my back on something that I love. But I understand not wanting to read the fetish type books. Now back to the issue at hand no one not even the ‘veteran” IR authors are irreplaceable. Instead of fighting each other work on your craft. Because lets face it other people have come in marketed themselves, held contest and generated a lot of buzz about books that haven’t been released yet. Readers are looking for something fresh, well edited, and not the same old trite stereotypical storylines. And it’s showing in the number of sales, low reviews etc. It’s a business yet again!!!!! Bill Gate’s often says, “I will not hire a person if they have to failed at least twice.” And there you have it. We all fall, fail, but we keep trying. You don’t quit.

    1. Preach sis! In any and all business and artforms, you can only reap what you sow. Writing is a bootstrap industry. What did Aaliyah say? If at first you don’t succeed, dust yourself off and try again!

  2. I can’t even comment on the author’s issue, because I think that’s something personal and probably has more to do with them as person (personal theory and am willing to admit I’m wrong/no offense).

    As for the reader, I can see why she would think the answer to her problem is to stick to the “old guard.” Part of the problem, IMO, is that we don’t demand more from a lot of the new writers. We aren’t fostering talent properly. People are pumping out some dreck, and no one is really taking the time to say that they either don’t like something or how something can be improved. But I feel like you can’t really say anything too critical because you might get excluded, because there are so many cheerleaders going around.

    1. Very true. As I said in the very beginning of the post, you piss off the wrong person, and you’re blacklisted which total and utter bull. You know I ain’t about that life. I’m gonna always speak on it even when it’s not the most popular or favorable opinion.

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