HomeReviewsInterviewsStoreABlogsOn Writing


‘No Commitment’

When did you first get published?

2000

What genre do you write in?

Romance: paranormal, multicultural, interracial

What race/colour are the majority of your characters?

Almost all are partially of African-American descent

How is your work marketed?

My current work is marketed through largely AA venues (Booking Matters, Black Issues Book Review), and my own website though it was advertised in Romantic Times Magazine as well.

Where are your books generally shelved?

If one can find them, they are in African-American fiction/literature.

Where would you prefer your books to be shelved?

Both romance and AA ficiton would be nice if such an area exists in the store.

Have you been subjected to direct/indirect racism from editors, publishers etc in your publishing career?

No, other than to say that AA dark paranormal is a tough sell.

How do you feel about Oprah Winfrey’s book club- Do you think she could do more to promote AA authors?

She has chosen several AA mainstream fiction and literature authors. She’s never going to choose a romance though. Her perogative.

Though while she may not like rap and its unflattering portrayals, she continues to ignore a genre that shows women of all backgrounds in a generally posiitve and fulfilling light.

Do you believe that publishers are more ambivalent when it comes to marketing AA books?

I think they push what they think is hot or going to be. For AA fiction, that seems to be the thug-a-licious books, or urban fiction. 50 cent had 3 books on a table in a recent Borders I visited. In fact, for Black History Month, the table was all AA fiction but only two titles were romance, and only four could be considered literature or mainstream fiction.

Which race groups would you say bought the majority of your books?

As for the interracials, a lot of diverse people have purchased those. Some have filtered to my straight AA romances, but the IRs sell more.

What do you think needs to change in order for more white people to read African American books?

Take the people off the covers? I hate people covers no matter what I’m reading. Just give them a try. Thumb through them in the bookstore. Of course, they have to be able to find them first.

Have you ever been snubbed by white readers/white authors during a signing?

It’s been mixed. They’ll pick up the book, look at the cover people, then put it back down. Unless it’s interracial. If they actually flip through, they usually find somehting that catches their eye, and it gets purchased. Paranormals, though, the readers don’t care about race. Imagine that.

Have you ever been overlooked by an editor in favour of a white author?

No.

Have you ever been asked to tone down, or increase the ethnicity within your books?

No, but I write for Multi-cultural publishing houses. I have had readers get mad because my characters weren’t Black enough.

Are you familiar with Millennia Black’s lawsuit against Penguin? If so, what do you think her chances of winning are?

It depends on how much money she is willing to give to the cause. It will drag on for years. It will be difficult unless she’s got documentation.

How do you think her victory will affect the way AA authors are treated within the industry?

I honestly don’t think it will make a large difference in general. It will make a difference for her and I hope she’s successful. I don’t think a sea change will emerge from a victory for her though.

What are your thoughts on niche marketing? What do you think the limitations are if any?

Niche marketing gets us to the majority of our readers, so I really don’t have a problem with it. Hopefully some of those readers are telling their white friends about this great story they read.

Going to Slam Jam and meeting up with bookclubs that have read my books is a lot of fun—and a lot less stressful than being one of 900 authors at RWA’s national convention.

Do you think this will still be a controversial subject in five years time, or do you think major changes would have been made by then?

I don’t think there will be major changes, expect perhaps urban fiction will go through a winnowing period and only the best of the lot will remain, and in smaller numbers.

Because of that, perhaps authors will no longer be asked to urbanize their characters.

Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions.

If you want to learn a little bit more about Seressia and her books, you can access her website here. (Love the look of this website)

Coming up next, Raine Weaver.

5 Comments »


  • Jane
    March 31
    2:19 am

    No, other than to say that AA dark paranormal is a tough sell.

    Hmm. I would love to read any dark paranormal regardless of the race of characters. If that is what you write, I want to buy it.

    ReplyReply


  • Devon
    March 31
    2:26 am

    I’m not surprised that people who are into paranormals don’t care about race. People have certain reading preferences, and I think a lot of readers will read books that fit into those preferences. Factors like race don’t matter as much as what they bring to the genre. Just another reason those shelving practices are stupid. I’m always on the lookout for a paranormal that brings something interesting to the genre.

    I’m a big paranormal reader and I like interracials too. I checked out your website awhile ago, and I’ll be getting some of your books.

    ReplyReply


  • Anonymous
    March 31
    7:56 am

    Ohhhhhhh, Mrs Glass, I love your interracials. “No Commitment” was wonderful, although the heroine got on my last tit a bit with her angst attitude. Is the republished version sanitized (the whiny bits) and elongated?.
    Like Oprah, can’t stand romances generally, but give interracials a go. Even there I have my preferences (female must resemble me, ok at least the superficial things, and book must be written by a black female, although I’ve tentatively started giving “other authors” a chance). Saying all that, I fail to comprehend the big bruha about shelving/marketing, but colour me a reader…….

    Chandra

    ReplyReply


  • Maralyn
    March 31
    8:28 am

    I totally love her book covers, especially the one that Karen has on here. The blurb sounds good too, so I guess I’ll have to ante up. I really love Interracial romances!

    ReplyReply


  • Seressia
    March 31
    5:46 pm

    Thanks, everyone for your comments, and “big ups” to Karen for posting this series. I’m going to try to answer everything in this post, so bear with me…

    1. Vegas Bites I would say is medium on the intensity scale, though I think we all kill people in each story. My first full length paranormal, Dream of Shadows is darker (for me, anyway). I’ll be posting more excerpts as soon as I finish this book due Monday.

    2. NCR is a straight reprint by the publisher. Meaning they simply reprinted the trade size original in the new MM format. I probably should have spent more on the tragedies of Yvonne’s childhood to show why she felt the way she did. All I can say is that NCR was my first book ever and I hope I’ve improved. I will have at least two IRs out next year, both romantic comedies (no race issues, I swear!).

    3. Technically all my books are multicultural. In TTF and TW the siblings are bi-racial (black and Vietnamese). VB is a love story between a Djinn and a female werewolf. The heroine and her family in Dream of Shadows is half-black, half-Romanian. That will be highlighted more in later books (I hope I get to do more books in that series)

    4. If I may do a little shameless plugging, Through the Fire is nominated for an RT Reviwer’s Choice award, and a Romance in Color Reviewer’s Choice Award. Vegas Bites won an Emma award, and my story is up for novella and best anthology on RIC. I’m also nominated for Best Book and Author of the Year on RIC (www.romanceincolor.com) which is a review site devoted to AA romance and has been around for a while. The Emmas are awards from an AA author-bookclub convention called Romance Slam Jam, which has been around for 12 years. I’m extrememly honored and humbled to get these recognitions and take them as a challenge and inspiration to continue to write better books.

    ReplyReply

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Leave a comment