I may be taking a risk posting this. But this is my blog, and I like to use it to express myself when I need to.
NOTE: This is about my Mafia romance series … It is not meant to offend anyone.
*Picks up microphone with a sigh and an eye roll*
Ugh! I’m sorry guys. I know it’s been a long time since I wrote a blog, and I definitely didn’t want this to be my comeback one, but here we are. Time for me to share another author experience 🙂
*claps* I’ma ’bout to rant (in my Kevin Hart voice).
I usually don’t let negative comments about my books get to me. I like to see what readers think, what they want to see in the next installments, ’cause I care.
Well, surprise-surprise one comment got to me. Not because it was critical. But because, yet again, a reader had a problem with the heroine’s race.
I believe it was last year, or a couple years ago, I was hit with some messages on my website from a reader pleading with me to stop making the female lead characters in my mafia romance series black women. Having these leads as black women seemed to mess up the experience for the person. Of course this person was backed up by another hater (yeah I said it) that found the idea of a black woman and an Italian man being in a romantic relationship laughable. (Which is ridiculous, seeing as such couples actually exist.)
I was annoyed.
But I let it go. Rolling my eyes and moving on because I’d just had surgery that same day.
Well, now the fifth book of the Dangerous Beauty Series is out. And yes, yet again the main female role was given to a black woman.
I guess the thought is that I didn’t do enough research to make the mafia experience real enough for the reader. And hear me now, that is not the case.
I DID research the Italian-American mafia before writing Dangerous Beauty one, but after getting the basics of it, I stopped and let my imagination create a world that is FAR different than the one we live in.
Why did I do that?
For those that may not have noticed, in the book, right in the beginning before the story starts there is a sentence that warns that the ride that you are about to embark on is one of FICTION.
It’s not real. The story comes from the imagination of the author that is putting pen to paper. This means I’m not writing a book about the ACTUAL Italian-American mafia. I’m doing what all fiction romance authors do. I’m taking something from the world that has the potential to be entertaining and molding it, shaping it, enhancing it for the purposes of entertainment and sparking a fantasy. I exaggerate the reality of it.
Let me ask something. Does one truly believe the Real World Mafia life is as sinfully sexy as it is in a romance book? Do you really think the Men are as freaking hot as they are in a romance book? That it’s truly that sexy to be married to a man that can take another human beings life in cold blood?
In my opinion, the only person that can make a cold blooded killer sexy to an otherwise sane human being is a romance author (or a screenwriter) that knows wtf he/she is doing. That has an active imagination and doesn’t mind pushing reality out the window and creating a world where gorgeous serial killers have the ability to fall in love. To be tender and sweet, and fierce, and possessive.
In a good way!
I am an Interracial romance author and my female leads are predominantly Black women. I place beautiful black females into different worlds and roles because I’ve always wanted to see how a woman that looks like me would thrive in it.
I don’t write it because I developed an actual desire to be romantic with a Made man. I haven’t. I’m 100% sure that the men I’ve created (or the men I’ve read in other Mafia romance stories) are more appealing then anything real life has to offer.
I was attracted to the fantasy. To the brooding, tortured, clinically insane fictional bad boy.
After reading some Mafia romance novels, I imagined what it would be like if we were married to a man in a fictional version of the mafia. I imagined what it would be like if a French Mafia boss’s heir was his black daughter. I imagined what it would be like if a black female assassin from a secret society of elite assassins fell in love with a New York crime boss. I imagined what it would be like if a black hit-man had a daughter and she fell in love with a mafia boss’s son.
So, I created a world where all this could happen! And I made sure to sprinkle some sexy on it.
I wasn’t going for totally realistic when writing this mafia series. As a fiction mafia romance writer, it is my PERSONAL belief that it’s my job to help the readers escape from reality because reality sucks a lot of the time. And entertain them with my wild imagination. Does everybody like it? No. And that’s cool. And yes, I know that some romance readers may like it when a romance is more on the real side. That’s okay too! Because there are books out there that will give you that.
But, In my opinion, if you’re looking for real and less fantasy Mafia romance ain’t it. And I believe that whether the heroine is black, white, blue, or purple. It’s ALL enhanced by the authors imagination for the purposes of creating a fantasy, entertaining, and maybe inducing adrenaline for action romance junkies (like myself), while giving them a couple to root for, and a sexy alpha to fall for. We create these characters that have human sides and embrace love, romance, and family. But rarely, if ever, are there any Mafia romance authors who have personal contact with Made men and that mafia life. It’s our job to make it sexy because I’m pretty sure (and this is based off my research), the REAL mafia life … is not.
And this is just my opinion.
*drops mic and walks off stage*
Love you guys! Thanks for reading.
P.S. I have another Mafia Romance book coming that took even more research to prepare for. I read a book, and my creative mind just went crazy with fun possibilities that I just must explore because I have the freedom to do that.
And yes…. The heroine is black. *wink*