She is Well Intentioned

What came first? The chicken or the egg?

I ask myself this question when thinking about romance novels.

Do romance authors keep using the same tropes and plot devices because readers want them? Or do readers only seem to want those things because that’s all authors are giving them?

My first developmental editor suggested that I have my secondary protagonist be financially indebted to the primary. She said (and I’m paraphrasing), “You should make it so that Nino owes Haruka some money and that’s how they build their relationship.”

Umm….. No. That plot device is fine and fairly common, but it wasn’t for me. Not for my characters.

About straight women writing queer romance…

Regarding the age-old controversy of straight women writing gay (Or queer) romance novels and what place we have to do so. I read a lot of articles on this topic and had conversations with other authors, because pursuing this project respectfully meant a lot to me. In the end, I realized that this is what authors do. We play in other people’s sand boxes.

However, are we playing nicely? Or are we making a mess?

I built this world and wrote this book under the belief that love is love. Labeling for sexuality does not exist in Haruka and Nino’s world the way it does in ours. I did not want their “gayness” to be the key plot device or focus of this book. I wanted to explore other parts of who they are as complex characters: their past heartbreaks, hopes, perspectives, likes and dislikes.

As a black woman, I don’t always want to read books about black people’s blackness. Sometimes, I just want a black person being a badass wizard or ninja (we can be ninjas too). Maybe, I just want them to be a doctor or a singer or whatever, then I want to see them navigate the complexities of life and relationships, not necessarily centered around their sexuality or the color of their skin. Not necessarily spending an entire book freaking out or deeply depressed about it. It’s time to lift each other up, even in fiction.

Anyway, this is my intention. Queer vampires that are not queer vampires. They are just who they are. And aren’t we all?

#LoveIsLove #Harunino #LoreAndLust

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