There are things that make me proud to be an author. The expressions on people’s faces as they read passages I have written, their complete involvement in the story and wishing that they could continue reading about the characters they have fallen in love with and the pure unadulterated joy of seeing the cover.
Sometimes I wonder how it would be to have any other editor other than the one I have now. It is difficult enough to come up with an interesting plot for one’s story and to generate characters with unique personalities, varied and quite unlike any others that often appear in film or TV. I have difficulty imagining a story that is completely void of PoCs and yet many authors complain that editors tend to do that all the time.
I wonder if the culture of “EDITING” (which in many cases means boring people not knowing what to do with your story) is responsible for the caricatures we keep seeing repeated in books. Too many romance novels have dark men with surly personalities and too much money coming to the rescue of forlorn, broken, mistrusting blonde women with soft pink skin. Fantasies tend to feature the enemy as dark and mysterious witch doctors whose favorite pastime is creating different versions of Frankenstein. Black novels showcase strong black women taming a player (or leaving one) and finding her peace.
Someday, when there are not quite as many restrictions on what I write, I want to write about a black girl who does black girl things and struggles to understand stuff about herself that may not be what others may think of her. Hopefully the story will be compelling enough to put gobs of money in my hands so I can make sure other black girls can write about black girls doing black girl things and trying to understand stuff about themselves.
But for now I’d better get back to my writing and allow this person, this woman, to take proper shape in my mind. She is still shadowy and not quite what I want her to be. Will she ever be? Coz if I just write about a black girl but give her white skin, won’t I be found out for my fraud? Won’t her color seep out?
I hope you’re having a better day than I am.