Today, I wanted to speak about a topic I love which is interracial romance. I write them all, M/F, M/M, and ménage but I’ll focus on m/m mostly.
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.
Now by no means am I 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 the 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 have 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. I gathered they 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. Michael’s first m/m IR romance is through No Boundaries Press called Under the Gun. His character, Malik Day has been discharged under DADT but there’s no mention of the differences between him or his potential lover, Camdyn Hardy.
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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Rawiya's IR Romances bring color to the TRIAD. Her latest is m/m is Sugar Daddy, through NNP
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