Today, I’m lending my spot to good friend and fellow interracial romance author Tracey Livesay. Her passion for this growing subgenre is delightful, and she’s got a real talent for storytelling. She’s also a law school survivor. You know how I support the mission to help people escape The Practice by any means necessary.
Please give Tracey a warm welcome, pick up a copy of The Tycoon’s Socialite Bride today!
Thank you, Alexa, for having me on the blog today! 🙂
I read my first romance novel at the age of eleven and I was instantly addicted. The stories of beautiful women and strong men who fell in love was like teenage girl catnip. I read lots of them and started to notice a common theme. Book after book contained some variation of the hero waxing poetic about the heroine’s fine, delicate features, her flowing mane the color of wheat, and her smooth peaches and cream complexion.
Where did that leave me? I wanted to be seen as beautiful. Where were the books where men were entranced by the cocoa color of my skin? Where they loved the tight coils in my hair and the fullness of my lips? Every once in a while, I’d luck up and find a romance novel with black people, like Jackie Weger’s A Strong and Tender Thread from Harlequin American Romance, but why weren’t there more? Why were romance publishers reluctant to feature love stories involving people of color?
In the 90s, the industry took steps to rectify the situation. Kensington published books featuring black characters under their Arabesque imprint. They sold the line to BET Books who eventually sold it to Harlequin. Harlequin took the line and started Kimani Romance, the only category series imprint with black and multicultural heroes and heroines.
During this time, my life progressed. I met and married my husband, who is white. We settled into life, bought a house and started a family. I left my job as a Public Defender to stay home with our children. And through it all, I kept reading romance novels.
As my children grew and entered school, the idea to try my hand at writing became viable. There was now a whole imprint dedicated to love stories between black women and men. Is that what I should write? And though there was an imprint for these stories, was that the only place I wanted to be? Were there any other choices or options?
And then it came to me. I wanted to write something different. I wouldn’t write stories to fit the expectations of others. I would write the stories that reflected my experiences, but would also speak to girls like me. Marriages of convenience, secret babies, friend to lovers; all the classic category romance tropes I grew up reading but with heroines who looked like me, and white heroes who found them beautiful.
Looking for stories recounting the difficulties of being in interracial relationships? You’ll have to find those elsewhere. In my books, the differing races of the protagonists are the least of their problems. And when a young black girl downloads my novel, excited to see someone who looks like her on the cover? She’ll know that she is beautiful, too and her love story, in whatever form or shape it takes, is worthy of being told.
I’m still at the beginning of my publishing journey, but so far, I haven’t met with any resistance to my stories or requests asking me to change the race of my characters. In the months leading up to my release, I’ve seen blog posts and calls for submission that mention wanting Interracial and Multicultural love stories, so maybe the industry is finally catching up to what’s happening in society. I hope so. I think we’ll all be richer for the experience.
To avenge his mother’s mistreatment at the hands of her upper-crust employer, self-made real estate tycoon Marcus Pearson needs entree into their exclusive world. When D.C. socialite Pamela Harrington comes to him for help, Marcus realizes the golden admission ticket he’s been seeking has suddenly fallen into his lap.
Pamela will do anything to save her favorite cause, even agree to a marriage of convenience. The altruistic “it-girl” isn’t worried about the pretend passion with Marcus turning real; she’s sworn off powerful, driven men who use her for her family’s connections.
So she’ll deny the way her pulse races with one look from his crystalline blue eyes. And he’ll ignore the way his body throbs with each kiss from her full lips. Because there’s no way he’ll lose his blue-collar heart to the blue-blooded beauty.
Tracey Livesay wrote her first romance novel at the age of eleven, called “The Healing Power of Love.” With a detour through college and law school–where she met her husband on the very first day–she’s finally achieved her dream of being a published author. She lives in Virginia with said husband and three kids. For info on her upcoming releases or to chat about TV, movies and/or purses you can check out her website (traceylivesay.com) or find her on Facebook (TraceyLivesayAuthor) and Twitter (@tlivesay).