Today, I wanted to speak about a topic I love; interracial romance. I write them all, M/F, M/M, and ménage but I’ll right now I’ll focus on m/m.
A while back, I did two articles about interracial m/m romances. One appeared on IRM and another one on Sizzling Hot Books. The response on the IRM was greater with many writers chiming in talking about being intimidated to write a multi cultural romance because they’d get the characters wrong.
In the case of m/m and m/f and really any writing for that matter, I don’t believe you can necessarily get it wrong unless you’re doing a non-fiction or historical book where your facts should be correct.
I’m not saying you should just jump into it blindly. You can do a little research about the characters if you as the writer are of a different race than them but really, can you get it “wrong?”
When I think of people mentioning getting something wrong in this instance, I immediately think of racial stereotypes. You know them because of the way the media portrays characters on sitcoms or even dramas. This media could also include books that might make their characters a certain way. However, in my estimation, this shouldn’t be the focus of any story, romance or not. It should be the characters and how their story develops throughout.
Since I wrote the blog posts I’ve found many more m/m IR romances and enjoyed quite a few. I fully intend to read more m/f in the future but for now, I’ll let you know what I’ve figured out while reading a few m/m stories.
In truth, most writers I’ve read didn’t bring any stereotypes into their tales at all unless it was part of the plot. What a welcome surprise too since the couple of books I’d read at first did exactly the opposite. The authors did their stories and made the characters relatable to anyone who read them instead of focusing on the racial differences. This allowed me to enjoy the stories even further and not wince when I came across the style of dress or the way the character talked. All the characters in the books were presented as intelligent and weren’t drawn up from what the writer might have seen on TV or even on the street. Thank goodness! Nothing would be worse for me to read a story that made me cringe.
So in regards to m/m, m/f, or ménage interracial romance the focus should be on the love between them and not the differences in their nationalities. As far as the Triad is concerned, we do exactly that. BL of course has My Lieutenant where the black character is a retired officer in the Navy and talks less slang than his white counterpart.
Me? Well in my first novella of the Something New on the Menu series, Time to Make the Donuts, my supporting character Andre is a smooth talker but doesn’t fit into the stereotypical black man. It’s true it might be easier for me to write from the “black” perspective since I am black but what of other ethnicities? I have a story on the docket with an Asian man as my main character. In this instance, I do intend to find stories about Asian or rather, Korean men just to learn something about the culture not any stereotypes. This won’t be easy but necessary so I can write the tale effectively and true we should do the same just so we give our readers reality but you can’t really get it wrong.
You’re writing about two living, breathing human beings and that, all of us can relate to.
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Great post. Now have a look at the book
Blurb: Men come in all forms; big, small, manly and not so much. Rhoda Maire likes em’ on the pretty side and won’t settle for anything less. Dr. Nicholas Fairlight might be just what she needs. He’s looking for a woman to settle down with after years of putting his career first. Time for both of these lonely medical professionals to find true love!
“Girl, please! How old are you again?” Sharnette Bixby wailed in her ear while Rhoda attempted to finish up her pedicure.
“Please what? You know how my momma is. She don’t wanna hear anything about about me goin’ on no swingers cruise. Besides, you and your man are into that, not me.”
Silence. “Well, you just might meet someone on it. Hell, you never know. Alex and I met at a swinger’s party. Neither of us had been with anyone the whole entire night…and then…” Sharnette trailed off. The smile could be heard in her tone.
“Um, yeah, I know. You met Prince Charming in the most unlikely place. Good for you,” she chided and flicked out her tongue.
“Don’t hate the playa’, girl.”
“I know, hate the game.” Rhoda finished the statement.
“No, no, I wasn’t sayin’ that, Rho. It just kinda happened. Lord knows I wasn’t even lookin’ for someone that night, at least not for anything long-term, and there he was, Doctor Carthington, fine ass with a great smile, muscular in all the right places.”
“Yes and the perfect muse for your next novel, right?” Rhoda couldn’t help but be envious. Sharnette and Alex had been dating for almost a year now. Still, it didn’t make her jump at the chance to meet the man of her wildest dreams at a place where people hooked up and talked about their sexcapades so openly.
“Yep. I’m gonna call it, Sweet Medical Emergency. Hmph. The heroine will be on the verge of death and hunky doctor Alexander comes to save her. It’ll be a hit!”
“Yes, I know it will be. You know I love your stuff. When are ya gonna write one for me, hmm? If I’m not gonna live a happy ever after at least I can read about one,” she joked while putting the finishing touches on her pinky toe.
“Oh you stop that right now, girl. Even though I will be writing you in a book real soon, but I know there’s somebody out there for ya, Rho. You’re a gorgeous woman!”
Rhoda sighed and turned the top on the polish to close it. She shifted on the sofa and slapped her knee to invite Spearmint onto her lap. “When will I find him, Nettie? When? I’ve been prayin’ for him to come take me away from everything. Perhaps it’ll be some hot doctor who whisks me off to faraway Africa to take care of sick patients while I’m pregnant with twins.”
“Hmph, now that’s a storyline. Lemme write that down.”
“Are ya crediting me with the idea?” Rhoda stroked Spearmint’s head and he licked her fingers.
“You know I will, babe. How many of my stories have I dedicated to my Rho, my homegirl?”
Rhoda laughed and kissed the top of her dog’s head. “Good, and when you get rich and famous, don’t forget me, all right?”
“Of course not,” Sharnette squealed, making Rhoda pull the phone away from her ear. “So, you goin’ out with us next Saturday? Alex is bringin’ a friend along you might be interested in. I’ve been askin’ him to try gettin’ the man to join us, but he said he didn’t want to be a matchmaker for fear somethin’ might go wrong.”
“I guess, as long as they don’t call me in for an emergency in maternity. Tell me, Nettie, how do you and Alex do it? I mean, he works at Methodist for hours and you sit at home and write all day. When the hell do ya have time for one another?”
“We make time, Rho. Sometimes when he comes in, I’m in the hot tub waiting for him with a chilled bottle of wine, the loofah, and soft music to relax him. And lemme tell ya, the man is never out of energy. Despite the long shifts he puts in, he’s always ready for sex.”
“Really?” She turned up her lip and her eyes widened. How could that be possible when he’d been on his feet all day with patients? Energy drinks? Uppers? He didn’t seem like the type for the latter.
“Yep. He stays in good shape, Rho. After we make love, we go to sleep and I wake up to work on my stories. I always make sure I’m done before he wakes so we can spend those few hours together before he heads into the hospital.”
“And you guys don’t swing now?”
“Nah, not anymore. We don’t want to and don’t really have the time. He tells me I’m all he needs right now. Isn’t that sweet? We’re only goin’ on the cruise because they’re headin’ to Costa Rica.”
“Very sweet, and aren’t there other cruises that stop off there?” Rhoda sighed and sulked, knowing her friend’s situation sounded too good to be true but hell, Sharnette always seemed to get what she wanted.
“Yes, but this is for research mostly. Some old swinger friends of ours are allowing me to be an observer for my next ménage book.”
Rhoda’s eyes widened and she shuddered just thinking about it. Watching other people have sex? I don’t even like to watch myself.
“I’m sorry, babe. I’m just so happy right now. I never expected to be so in love after spending so much time alone. I been pretty content with just datin’ on the fly and not givin’ my heart to anyone and then he came along.”
“And that all changed in the blink of an eye. Now, I don’t need the muse to be fed with erotic encounters with different men. My one and only Alex does it all for me.”
“Ideal. That really is and don’t be sorry, Nettie. I’m real happy you found Mr. Right. Now you can help me find one of my own.”
RAWIYA is the more sensual erotica writer in the BLRawiya duo. She loves multiracial characters who overcome obstacles other than race. Sweet, sassy, and spicy would be the best way to describe her work. Happily married mother of two, loves music, computers, and travel. She blogs regularly at Wicked Sexy Writers. For more please visit the Rawiya’s blog on WordPress