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AAR’s LLB, very kindly asked me to contribute to the the brand new issue of At the Back Fence, which just went online at All About Romance.

This edition focuses on the recent sale to Harlequin, of the Arabesque imprint from BET. We also discuss the marketing of African American romance, and ponder just why it is, white romance readers seldomly buy AA romance books.

Here’s the link to the column, and here’s the link to the message board.

It makes for very interesting reading actually, and you may even learn a thing or two.

If you can be arsed, pop over and have a look. If you’ve anything useful to say, all opinions are welcome!

I hope you’re all having a good weekend! I’m on a Linda Howard-fest, and I may not resurface till Monday!


  • Dawn
    October 17
    10:30 am

    Very interesting topic…

    I’ve only actually read – and I can count this on one hand – 5 black romances, and 2 of those were by white authors.

    One was excellent (by one of my favourite white authors). The others I just didn’t enjoy. The reason I didn’t enjoy the other four were because I didn’t like the authors’ writing styles. It wasn’t enough for me to throw the book away in disgust (which I have done with some other writers), but is was enough to spoil my enjoyment. If I was to come across these authors again, I’d give them one more go. Then I figure if you haven’t managed to grab me by book 2 then I might as well forget it.

    I have to say that I don’t see a lot of black romance authors in the library as this is where I get my print reading material from. I just cannot justify spending the hard cash in trying out black authors – what if I don’t like the style or the story.

    I’d love to read more black romance, just to read about people “like me” – not for the “black experience”. I don’t actually think that there is something as a “black experience”, because whatever colour you are, your experiences are based on YOUR life and circumstances. Some are poor, middle class, wealthy, whatever.

    Does that make sense?


  • Temperley
    October 17
    11:07 am

    I like the discussion and hope more people will enter it as well because it’s a topic that’s been swept under the proverbial rug for a while–even by me! But I got some good book recs out of it. *G*


  • Rosario
    October 17
    2:43 pm

    It was a really interesting column, Karen. I still have to read the comments at the ATBF board, but it’s sure to be a good discussion!


  • Anne
    October 17
    3:31 pm

    My take- I don’t care of the author is black or white or if the characters are black or white, as long as the storyline is good and the author has a writing style that appeals to me, I’m reading it. There are a couple of AA authors that I read religiously one of them is Brenda Jackson. She writes great stuff. Her Silhouette Desires are great, especially the Westmorelands. Sexy, hot, and, as always, a great storyline. Brenda Jackson always delivers a very satisfying read!


  • Eve Vaughn
    October 17
    5:45 pm

    Good article Karen, and I really hope it gets people to think. I think there are a lot of great AA authors out there, and people are missing out on quite a treat if they pass a book over simply because its written by someone who is black.


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