Does Anyone Else Write Interracial Romance?

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Silver-Midnight

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Does anyone else here write interracial romance, like black woman/white man, black woman/ Asian man, and so on?


I mostly write IR romances myself. I write mostly black woman/white man and black woman/Asian man(I'm still trying to get into this genre really). I mostly wrote off and on so, I can give a really accurate time frame of how long I've been a IR romance writer.

How I got into IR was kind of simple really and possible even cliche'. :tongue I wanted to read about women who looked like me falling in love with men who were similar to the kinds of guys I was interested in. My transition in IR romance came from the the types of guys I'm interested in, and it truthfully wouldn't have taken off like it did if I hadn't come across two sites (a forum and a writing site, some what similar to FanFiction.Net) that featured these kinds of stories.


Anyway, that's my little story. Do you write IR romance, and how did you start writing it?
 

Filigree

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Since I write in science fiction and fantasy genres, I don't see my romances as interracial. My humans interact with each other thousands of years after humanity has left Earth behind. Different kinds of humans have different physical characteristics, that's all.

I guess the conventions are more strict for contemporary romances? I'd say write what you love, write it convincingly, and readers will love it, too.
 

Creative_Solitude

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Although I have an AA novel awaiting release for next April, the novel I am currently working on right now is an IR. I didn't originally set out to write one, it just kind of happened. My hero was originally intended to be AA, but every time I pictured him in my mind, I kept seeing him as Caucasian, so that's what he became.

I've also made the conscious decision not to focus on race, or make race an issue in the book. As someone who is in an interracial relationship myself where race has never been an issue, I decided not to make it an issue in my story either.
 

ViolettaVane

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Most of the m/m romance stuff we're writing is interracial, and I really want to write an M/F BW/AM romance.

I'm multiracial and in an interracial relationship myself, so I like to represent that. I like both kinds of stories: where race doesn't matter AND where it does matter, just not in a sledgehammer way.
 

Silver-Midnight

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I've also made the conscious decision not to focus on race, or make race an issue in the book. As someone who is in an interracial relationship myself where race has never been an issue, I decided not to make it an issue in my story either.

Unless, race is crucial to the plot, like for racism or something like that, then I don't make race a large part of my stories. It's about the love and the effects from that.

For me, I don't really see writing IR as focusing on race entirely. I just usually mention my characters' races, either through description or dialogue, and if it isn't crucial to the plot then it's done. I don't really seem a reason to mention it again usually.
 

lemonhead

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I do. sort of.

I married a NA man, and being an ignorant white girl, didn't realize until after we were married how much latent conflict there was because of that background. It was interesting to me, and "racism" is not just "race hate"...

Anyways, so I wrote about it. I thought the conflict my husband was going through between patriotism and duty towards a nation who committed genocide on his people, and also the current weird disenfranchisement non reservation people have was interesting so I explored it in writing, through a romance. It's a current conflict for him because of this anti-terrorism mindset and the govt's view of sovreign indian nations (terroristic threat). It's interesting...
 

Mackenzie

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In my latest book, a romantic thriller titled THE TIN MAN, the heroine is half-Pakistani and Muslim. Does that count as inter-racial? My other romances, being in a paranormal vein, are, erm, inter-species. Love the C.S. Lewis quote in your sig, Lemonhead. Dare to dream that anything I write will stand out as original.
 

Silver-Midnight

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Wow. As far as conflicts with skin color/race, I didn't really think there was anything outside of plain racism.



@Mackenzie : As long as it's a romance, and there are different races, it counts in my opinion.
 
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sunandshadow

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I've done human/alien, and alien breed A/alien breed B (same species but one breed is larger and one normally comes in yellows and reds while the other normally comes in white and black). I did one with two future human cultures, scientists/warriors, but they don't really look different so for them it's more of a culture-prejudice issue than a genetic one.
 

Ann_Mayburn

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I've written a good deal of IR/MC romance. :) I got into it because myself and my friends are such a uniquely American mish-mash of races and cultures that just aren't reflected that much in books.
 

ladyleeona

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I'm multiracial and in an interracial relationship myself, so I like to represent that. I like both kinds of stories: where race doesn't matter AND where it does matter, just not in a sledgehammer way.

I'm just going to ditto this, because all of it applies to me.

Soon-to-be Mr.Ladylilchubb and I never looked at race as a problem while we were dating, but the cultural differences have caused issues. So my stories with IR relationships are pretty similar to what I've seen in real life--where race doesn't matter, but at the same time it does.

I'm not even sure that makes sense.
 

ViolettaVane

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No, it makes a lot of sense.

Race is connected to ethnicity/culture, which is a huge part of our lives... just as much as, say, gender or sexuality. Race is absolutely not the same thing as culture -- it's assigned onto us and it's not positive -- but it's connected. And the race you're assigned (because it's different in different countries) also has a huge impact on how you're treated and how your sexuality is viewed.

I stay away from some IR plots and tropes like the plague. I absolutely will not read anything where an MC of color is "racist against white people" and has to overcome their prejudice as their main character arc. Cultural differences creating a problem in the relationship? Sure, totally realistic and interesting. Give me a break on the reverse racism though, ugh. Sorry, just wanted to vent about that.
 

ladyleeona

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My current WIP is set in the same part of the US as I live--the south. And where I live in particular is pretty much a clash zone, where things are 'fine', but at the same time anything but.

It's where I have lived my whole life, so that, coupled with my own IR that gets us dirty looks when we go shopping together, makes it a very very real issue for me, and I was glad to see this thread.

If you want to represent a culture, my advice would be to talk to as many people as you can (go figure). I don't really think there is a correct way to do things, rather than a few really bad ways to do things (realizes this isn't that helpful). But really, when in doubt, subtlety is a beautiful thing. And honestly, even though I still get nasty looks when I go to the grocery store, people really are homogenizing. Not to the point that they are losing their individual culture, but enough that you don't have to be like OMG this person is THIS culture and THIS culture/race does THIS and THIS and never THAT, EVER.

Gently speaks the soul, or however the saying goes, lol. :)
 

Mackenzie

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Ladylillchubb, where do you live? I live in the south, too--Georgia. But I'm not from here. And the south doesn't own the license on racism. I could tell you stories from my childhood that would curl your hair. And I'm from California. Third generation, actually. Assholes are everywhere. Which explains why I'm a recluse.
 

ladyleeona

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Ladylillchubb, where do you live? I live in the south, too--Georgia. But I'm not from here. And the south doesn't own the license on racism. I could tell you stories from my childhood that would curl your hair. And I'm from California. Third generation, actually. Assholes are everywhere. Which explains why I'm a recluse.

Texas. Bordertown w/ Mexico. And I know that the south doesn't hold claim to racism, but it seems to be a little self-perpetuating/enabling here. People from other places and even here see things and say "oh, well, it's the south."

FML. That's no excuse. No, people, NO.

And if it appeared like I was trying to win the 'my town is more assholish/racist than yours', I didn't intend it that way.
 

Silver-Midnight

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Wow. Guess what. I'm also from the southern part of the U.S., not Texas though.

Well, IR romances are becoming more popular, probably both in fiction and real life apparently. So, I was kind of shocked that there wasn't a thread already. I mean I know that "romance is a romance" no matter the race of your characters, but it's still nice to read them. :)
 

Elenitsa

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I have written some. Interracial means only a few obstacles more that the couples have to overcome...

Cultural differences, though (ie difference in ethnicities) are more common in my writings.
 

Ambri

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IR romances are definitely something I'd like to explore, at some point. In fact, the last novel in the series I'm working on will have some IR issues as one part of its plot; not so much a racial prejudice thing as much as some of the indigenous people/ colonist people conflict Lemonhead mentioned, above. The multi-ethnic hero definitely feels some angst and guilt over his "white man" lifestyle, when so many of his people are the disenfranchised and the ones that slipped through the cracks, if that makes any sense.

I also agree with the posters who said this is an issue that should be handled with care, to avoid the "sledgehammer" effect. Maybe it's utilized best as one facet of conflict, but there are other pieces of the plot or conflict that maybe don't have as much to do with the race/ cultural issue.
 

Sorin

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I wouldn't say that I write IR in general, but two of my WIP have IR elements. All of my MCs are African American, and in my novel, my MC (who is a woman) has a relationship with a white woman. In the novel, race is not an issue. In one of my novellas, which I'm currently working on, my MC is contemplating having a relationship with an Italian American guy. He is crazy about her, but she's not so sure he's her type. In this case, race/ethnicity is just one of the barriers. The others include the fact that he's older than she is (she's got a thing for younger men), divorced (she's never been married), and a father of two teenagers (she doesn't have any kids).

I actually just came up with this idea about a week ago, so I haven't written it yet. I'm excited, however, to see how this conflict plays itself out!
 

ladyleeona

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What exactly is the "sledgehammer" effect? I'm pretty sure this is my first hearing this.

When you beat the reader over the head with the racial/cultural-ness of a character, so much so that they become a literary stereotype. AKA, the caricature.

At least that's what I get out of the sledgehammer effect.
 

ViolettaVane

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Yeah, I agree. I also think of "sledgehammering" as pounding in an obvious message like "racism is bad, mmkay?", which is insulting to the reader's maturity level and makes the story feel too much like an after-school special. It all goes back to show, not tell. If racism is an element in the story, it just needs to be handled with as much precision and subtlety as any other element.
 
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Silver-Midnight

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Oh, okay. I didn't know what that meant at first. I think another thing with IR is that sometimes by some writers is that it can be over sexualized or made to be for sexuality, not for sake of sexuality, sensuality, or love, but simple sake of "Hey, it's a (enter race here)! I wonder what they're like in bed." type of thing. And I'm not talking about erotica or erotic romance either. That I have no problem with that really. I'm talking about a character fantasizing about another character, not because they want a relationship or they're in love, but just for, well, sex. And I can understand if the character was a womanizer/"love 'em and leave 'em"/female version of womanizer type, but if this out of the blue and uncharacteristic of the character, then it just seems wrong. You know? I hope I'm making sense.
 

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