Romantic suspense novels featuring African Americans and people of color. Where are they?
Have you ever tried to find a romantic suspense novel featuring an African American or a person of color? Have you tried finding a Black author that writes primarily romantic suspense? I've tried and, regrettably, I've found few books featuring and/or authored by people of color that fit the genre.
So what is a fan to do?
Toni Morrison said, “If there's a book that you want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it.” So I did. Two of them, in fact. And, I'm working on a third book. In the meantime, check out Women of Color In Romance or www.wocinromance. It is the first site that I've found that not only fully catalogs books featuring women of color in romance novels, but it also allows authors to label their books by sub-genres and themes. In fact, I found their search methodology more accurate and efficient than Amazon when it comes to romances written by, for and about African Americans and/or people of color.
Let's say your looking for a Contemporary Romantic Suspense novel with African American characters on Amazon. You could enter "african american romantic suspense" in the search field and find a litany of titles that do not match your criteria or more aptly you find a hodge-podge of Urban, Inspirational, Erotica, Contemporary, etc. romance titles that happen to have used either "suspense" or "mystery" as a search keyword.
Okay, they didn't work. Next, you peruse the "Romantic Suspense" sub-genre and wade through ALL the suspense novels listed on Amazon. Who has time for that? So you decide to drill further down and select Books > Romance > African American. Again, another hodge-podge of romance books with varying sub-genres appears. In the sidebar are themes or tropes you can choose from to help you find exactly what you're looking for, but suspense isn't one of them. By this time you're annoyed and ready to do something else -- like wash your hair or take nap.
While its gratifying to have an African American romance section on Amazon, as a reader and writer it's frustrating to have all our books lumped together like a poorly cooked jambalaya with muddled flavors.
You can imagine my excitement upon finding WOCIR.
Here you select your romance sub-genre and books in that category are listed as well as labeled by theme or trope. For instance, my book, Love's Encore is listed in the Suspense category and labeled as having contemporary, musicians and love rekindled themes.
I know this maybe a rant about personal book search preferences, but a reader tells me it was easier to find my book and others similar to it on a site other than Amazon, I'm going to listen.