Monday Musings: Guest Post by Harper Miller!

Guest Blogger

One of my biggest author supporters from Day 1 of starting this blog has been Harper Miller. We rattle each other at times with our strong convictions, but it’s all love, and these are the kinds of people that I like to surround myself with. She challenges me in ways I don’t always want to consider, but in the end, I’m a better person for it.

That being said, Harper hit me up a few weeks ago with an idea that I hope will take off on this blog, and that is having a guest blogger. I was so on board with this, because I know she had some things on her mind that she wanted to speak on, and boy, does she bring it! So without further ado, I give you Harper Miller’s Monday Musing:

***

Is it homophobia, is it preference, it something else? Let’s discuss!

First, I’d like to thank Patrice for giving me a platform to open up dialogue and get a hearty discussion going. I’m all for open discourse and I hope you guys are too!
In November, I released the third story in my Kinky Connect Chronicles series, Entwined. Entwined was a story I was scared to write. Why? Hmm, well, in the IR genre, we do not see many stories with ménage aspects and readers can be very fickle. We see threesomes in Interracial Erotica sure, but that is a category where we do not expect a bevy of well-developed tales, just orifices gone wild! People are always surprised when I say that I write Interracial Erotica. Don’t be! The genre is changing.

“OMG, isn’t that the genre with all the sex? No plots, just nothing but sex?”

I’ve been a reader of Interracial Erotica/Romance for over three years now, and in that time, I’ve joined many reader forums. I can recall many comments made by some in regards to threesomes not being their cup of tea. The comments were usually split amongst three types of readers:

1. Readers who would not even consider the stories because they weren’t fans of a couple having a third person in the mix.
2. Readers who had never come across any good ménage stories but were open to expanding their reading horizons.
3. Readers who would only read ménage stories if they highlighted a specific couple dynamic.

Now you are probably wondering, “Harper, why would you write something so contentious if you know the audience in the genre is all over the place?”

My answer: Why not?

Readers say they want the IR genre to be full of originality and diverse storytelling. They want to lose themselves in the characters. From the feedback I’ve received from readers, I think most people enjoy my writing, but with Entwined, I have to say that I got a very rude awakening. People who were waving the equal representation and “diversity” flag were not interested reading a story that featured an F/F/M dynamic.

Now, I understand we all have our preferences. Everybody’s got their something.
Readers say they want mainstream Contemporary Romance to showcase more women of color however, when we have different types of stories about women of color being told, the judgment rolls in. Readers become upset when someone says they cannot identify with a black woman as a heroine, but when a story is written where a black bisexual woman is featured, then it is too much. TEW MUCH. Readers can’t identify.

But we can identify with having sex with aliens or shifters?

That’s okay because LOVERS OF ALL THINGS ménage will come through! Surely, those people would be supportive of such a story? Oh no, not so. You see my dynamic didn’t fit their interest. It’s ménage, but not the right kind. They’re more comfortable with an M/M/F read. Hmmm.

Preference right?

My point is, in this genre, we have too many double standards. There are preferences and then there are blatant double standards. And then there’s the homophobia aspect. We say we want diversity in our romance reads, but how many of us are sharing buy links of authors who write IR gay romance? How many of us are giving a fair shot to authors who write these types of stories? I get that romance has an escapism aspect and some readers prefer to put themselves in the shoes of the heroine, but if you’re a fan of love and IR romance, why not support the authors who write these tales as well? There’s a bunch out there! Romance is about a connection, two people finding each another regardless of obstacles and finding a way to make their relationship work. We want to be so engrossed in a tale, that we’re pissed off when it ends!

Avril Ashton, Shae Connor, Santino Hassell, Meg Amor, and Michael Mandrake, are just a few authors who are writing some engaging stories with IR gay couples. You should definitely spice up your e-reader and give them a chance!

Maybe I’m crazy for wanting to be inclusive and get everyone in the mix, but I’ve always said that I would write the types of stories I wish to see. I’m happy to say, Entwined has been my most successful book in the Kinky Connect Chronicles, so, a little controversy never hurt. Thanks to everyone who purchased a copy! Much appreciated.

You’ve read my thoughts, what are yours? Is it homophobia, is it preference, it something else? What do you consider to be a “diverse” read?

***

Chile…

tumblr_inline_n91gwvknZ21satqni

Ms. Miller definitely gave me some perspective with this post. Are my preferences actually prejudice? Or is it simply just a matter of I don’t roll that way? Personally, I haven’t featured any gay romance on this blog, not because I’m homophobic, which for the record, I most certainly AM NOT, but because this blog specializes in black woman romance. I haven’t found very many, if any, romances that feature black lesbians in a loving relationship. I know they’re out there, I just never took the time to really explore.

Now please. Let’s not turn this into a homophobic, religious debate because you cannot spit bible verses when you read and/or write about hetero couples doing the same shit and justify it because they are hetero.

Thank you Harper for the musing and the insight. You’ve definitely given me some food for thought and some new authors to discover. The Kink Connect Chronicles series is available now on Amazon. Check it out because there’s definitely something for everyone!

And if you’d like to become a guest blogger (and you don’t have to be an author), hit me up at phatgirlreads@gmail.com. Til next Monday…

 

Advertisements

22 thoughts on “Monday Musings: Guest Post by Harper Miller!

  1. Thought provoking post! For me, it’s preference. Stories with F/F relationships are not on my radar, but neither are YA, May/December romances, pregnancy stories or cheaters, and I am one stepbrother romance away from leaping out of a window. However, that does not mean I believe those stories shouldn’t be written and the authors supported. There’s an audience or fan base for any/all genres, but I believe the problems arise from feeling that OUR favorite genre is THE genre and no others matter. I openly support diverse books and the authors who bring them to life, but I don’t feel I need to read their work to prove it.

  2. Thanks for chiming in ladies! Much appreciated. 😀

    I agree, support comes in many forms. As Patrice said, it’s not like we have many blogs out here that are showcasing black women in romance, so I get why MoIRRJ only focuses on specific reads. I guess I just find fault when there’s a claim of being inclusive and shouting from the rooftops that we need diverse books, but that’s really code for we only need a certain kind, or I will only support a certain kind of diverse read.

    I knew what I was getting into from the beginning when I chose to write something that wasn’t the cup of tea of many, but that’s the fun in writing. You get to experiment with characters, genres, etc.

  3. I never considered that my own personal reading preference would be considered a prejudice and I don’t see it as a double standard. What bloggers choose to read and review is selective and that is what makes individual blogs unique. If you don’t like one there are many others to choose from. I’ve read and enjoyed a few M/M romances and I have begun reading more and more menage romances that are M/F/M but I simply don’t find F/F romance to my liking. I have and will continue to support and promote books that has that dynamic if asked by an author because I know that there are many who do enjoy it. I believe that I can support different aspects of romance without having to enjoy it personally. Diversity, at least for me, does not mean that I have to enjoy and read any and all sub-genres in order to be inclusive. It simply means that there is a wide variety of varied dynamics to experience. I as a reader enjoy paranormal and fantasy romance. It doesn’t correlate for me that I must also enjoy F/F romance or risk being thought of as homophobic, discriminatory, and noninclusive.

    1. Monica, Thank you for chiming in and sharing your thoughts! 😀

      You said exactly where I was going with my post. You can support different aspects of romance without having to personally enjoy them. I promote books I have no interest in reading, but I do it because I think readers should have a varied palate. You never know who’ll gain a new fan based on something that popped up in their Twitter or FB feed.

      There are so many IR authors out here doing their thing and writing about different relationship dynamics. I think when we (I mean the collective we) champion for diverse reads, it can’t be only the ones folks feel comfortable enough to support. Defeats the purpose IMO. The diversity umbrella is huge, and it’s not just spotlighting people of color in romance reads. And you’re right. Bloggers of the world have every right to post what they want in their forum. It’s their space after all. I wanted to give folks some food for thought with this topic. We all have preferences but when do preferences cross into discrimination? It’s definitely not black and white, but there’s definitely some gray area too.

  4. everyone has their preference of kink and most readers state this so I woudn’t neccessarily call it a prejudice. As you said, diversity falls under many umbrella’s but that doesn’t mean like Monica siad you have to get up under it with everybody. This just doesnt fall under the IR genre either.

  5. I might be the weirdo but I have read FF most of the stories I have read have been PNR or SFR. With FF erotic romance I have read in the past the focus of the story especially if it was short has been the bedroom and them getting there are the build to the bedroom so that’s why I’m not likely to pick up an erotic FF but I have read them. But I do know this tends to be a subgenre that does not sale despite mm doing so well.

  6. Thanks ladies for chiming in! 😁

    LOL, It was definitely a wham bam thank you ma’am deal in my story, but it really is unfortunate that F/F stories don’t sell as well as M/M stories.

  7. Hi All. This is a great post, not only for the points made but for the conversation and discussion that has resulted from it. As usual I tend to be long winded so brace yourselves 🙂 …

    First, I’d like to discuss a point made early in the post regarding the stigma that the erotica genre gets as a whole. There is a distinction between erotica and erotic romance that people often overlook. An erotic romance is a story in which the romance between the main characters is the driving force of the plot. Remove the romance and the story should fall apart. An erotica on the other hand, is a story where the sexual exploration and sexual journey are the driving forces of the plot. Again, in this instance, when you remove the sexual exploration/journey the plot of the story should fall apart. what both genres have in common is the need for a PLOT. Well written stories of any length will always have this. If you are reading stories/books in either genre featuring M/F, F/F, M/M, MMMM/FFF, MFMFMF/MFMFMF, MMMMMMMMMMM/F etc., and the do not have a plot, delete/drop that trash and move on.

    Second, I think we all as readers have our preferences. I tend to love billionaire stories and cowboys. If it is a menage and more story featuring a billionaires AND cowboys, sign me up. For a long time, I thought I wasn’t into F/F romances..until I read one that was well written and amazing. That’s when I realized, that most of my preferences stemmed more from being exposed to bad books. Last year I read a book where the hero is a man sized lizard humanoid. LIZARD HUMANOID! And I LOVED IT. The hero was green AND scaly, and I still wanted him to bang the hell out of the heroine. Why because the story was so engrossing I couldn’t help but like it.

    Third, I do think it is very easy as a reader to state what you want to see at any given time in a genre, but if you are asking for it, please remember to support the heck out of it when you see it. I love steampunk romances and would love to see more authors include IR couples in this genre, so when I see it, I support it. IR romance can’t just be IR Contemporary or IR Paranormal, otherwise the authors writing in the genre can’t grow and stretch their wings and the readers suporting the genre will miss out on great stories.

    Forth (and last, I promise), there are indeed some readers (and authors) who are homophobic. This can’t be denied. I’ve had to delete some readers as friends on social media because they’ve posted anti gay/lesbian/transgender comments that offened me. This is the case in any genre. There are some who call for more diverse characters and storylines…but only the ones they want. I’ve had some readers tell me they will read my contemporary romances but not my paranormal romances because of religious reasons. C’est la vie. I can’t control that, but it doesn’t keep me from writing whatever the heck inspires me. Recently, I wrote several short stories with demons as the heroes and heroines. I knew that would put off some readers, but wrote them any way :).

    Okay that’s my 2 cents and 20 dollars 😉

  8. I think the book that Harper wrote was pretty risky and I commend her for having the courage to write it. I’ll be honest, Entwined appealed to me because I think I may have been the target audience for a book like that. I’m black, Pansexual and c’mon the covers and promos were pretty hot. Sometimes I have to check my biases as well. I can’t get into M/M. I don’t think it’s because I’m homophobic because I’m hella-queer but if a woman ain’t getting no play it’s hard for me to get into M/M because often their aren’t any women in the story and I’m a woman. I want to see women I can identify with in a story. Thanks for this post, I definitely need to be made aware of my own biases. I still don’t think I’ll be going out to buy M/M romances because, HA, I need at least one female lead, but I always advocate for books featuring all types of diversity on both my book blogs!

    1. Speak your truth sis! My sister is bisexual yet she can’t get down with m/m either, and like you said, she’s way too attuned to her femininity to get any pleasure from a m/m anything. Now, I, on the other hand, loves the dick lol.

      1. I swear to god, I almost fell on the floor laughing at this comment! We here girl, we here!

  9. Awesome post. I think it speaks to me in a lot of ways it doesn’t speak to folks that don’t identify as queer.

    I know this isn’t everyone, but what I’ve seen from most readers that I’ve grown a community in (mostly YA)people seem more accepting of f/f when its YA, because there are a lot more well written stories with f/f. But sadly its mostly white MCs.

    Sometimes I’m not 100% folks want inclusivity in NA or Adult categorized books with religion, or gender, or disability even though people exist without their stories being told, because they’re often touchy subjects. Its easy to just focus on race because you can see it.

    I’m kinda just getting my feet wet connecting and reading Romance, Erotic Romance and Erotica, and that’s just what I notice…

    There’s a wonderful blog called Sistahs on the shelf( http://sistahsontheshelf.com/) who can recommend plenty of well written F/F books for all age groups because that’s her personal preference.

    I also know a few other women who prefer F/F but aren’t WoC, but are open to WoC MCs and seek them out if anyone is looking to gain a new perspective.

    Thanks for the post Harper. It really gives food for thought.

    1. Thank you, Guinevere, for chiming in! I appreciate the comment and the link. 😀 I LOVE discovering new blogs. I’m glad that we had some good dialogue going on within this thread. It really makes me happy. Once again, thank you, Patrice for the platform. ❤

Speak On It

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s