You Can’t Sit With Us, Still

Why are we fighting to sit at a table where we are not wanted…by the majority?

Let’s imagine there’s a dinner and a presentation. You may be allowed to sit at the table but you’re not allowed to eat. If you want to eat, you have to sit at a smaller table mixed with a bunch of people you don’t know but are placed there simply because you have similar hue.

What am I talking about? The RWA Ritas. Every year the members of RWA pay $50 to submit their release of that year if they want a chance at winning a RITA.

RWA acknowledged in a statement  that basically, no Black author has won a Rita. Just to be clear, Beverly Jenkins (I say her name and bow down like Wayne and Garth “I’m not worthy! I’m not worthy”, won RWA’s Lifetime Achievement Award without ever winning a Rita.

If you follow twitter you will find that many Authors of Color #AOC are upset at this glaring mark.

In January of 2017 a group of #AOC got together and decided we are all going to

1-Judge the RWAs

and

2-Enter an eligible book. I was a part of this group.

As we all know by now, I have 6 kids in my house, 21, 17, 15, 14, 14, and 13. Five boys, one girl. Four of them are my nephews and they are growing like weeds. So between feeding 5 boys and keeping them in shoes that fit and are not torn at the bottom (the asphalt is a killer on their soles at our basketball goal). One kid plays soccer, two ran track, one does mock trial and debate. Between my kids’ schedule, work, my books on deadline, I managed to make time to read the seven entries I was given.

I gave everyone a fair shot and read from front to cover. Two of the authors in my group made it to the finals… so yay! But I also noticed, not one book given to me was written by a Black Author. It wasn’t until AFTER the Ritas were announced that we began to scratch our heads. Mind you… there are like at least 10 of us who entered and judged. That’s of the ladies I know. … not including the #AOC who may have entered (we don’t all know each other). But given that plenty of authors were upset… I believe there were more than 15 entries.

Now, with me being a newbie author and first time entering, but some of the folks I know who entered didn’t final. I’m like What the Entire EFF!!

So let’s fast forward after the hint of #RitasSoWhite got out, the statement came out and some truly nice, genuine authors offered to pay the entree fee for #AOC. And in this case I mean African American authors because two Latinx authors finaled. Alexis Daria and Priscilla Oliveras and their books are yummazing!

Back to the entree fee… it sparked more conversation. o-MATH-ON-CHALKBOARD-facebookOne fabulous author broke down the entrees of AOC/POC vs Non-AOC and times the number of people reading, percentages, math work, carry the two… anyway… as you can see, it sparked more conversation.

The twitter conversation brought up how Harlequin is ending their Kimani line. I am a Kimani author. A lady popped on and said she always thought that Kimani’s were for AA people only and what can she do to help? My initial knee-jerk reaction while at the orthodontist’s office with my son was to list my Kimani sisters and said start there… but I asked first.. what her favorite trope was. Click here if you want to see a list I found and I’m going to weave in some recommendations later on.

I do not want this lady to think I am knocking her or making fun of her for thinking Kimani books are only for African American women. She did reach out for some recommendations. But when I want to buy a book, I read the blurbs. I love anything Presents…but I don’t pull my hand back from grabbing Caitlyn Crews’ latest off the shelf because she is white and I am not. I don’t pick my movies that way. I like a challenge. I like to see what the heroine is up against and go from there. How are they going to to fall in love, back in love, and whatever. Folks, we all fall in love. We all fall for a type of guy. These guys exist in every color. It’s not rocket science. If-you-prick-us-do-we-not-bleed

Let’s go back to the tropes. Love a Small Town romance? Globe trotting romance? Science fiction? Fantasy? (don’t get me started about the co-worker who didn’t really get into my books because they’re not relate-able yet she devoured vampire books.

 

BUT an author decided she had an answer for it all. Separate awards. For reals folks! Here is the blog…  Here’s the picture that conjures up in my mind though

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(photo credit goes to http://talesforallages.com/)

 

Does she see the dangers of going BACK in time like that? Multicultural is not a genre. Was this person afraid that by giving #AOC a chance…that it would take away from her? Did the judges who didn’t score #AOC high so they’d place worry that their spot at the table would be taken? Did the success of The Black Panther freak people out? Please take a moment to read this article where the success was said to be Hollywood’s worst nightmare. *le sigh*

And everyone has a feeling on diversity. NPR got in on the discussion. The Billion-Dollar Romance Fiction Industry Has A Diversity Problem And we found out a few hours after that posted…the interviewer was given SIX names. Five of the authors were African American and one was a POC but not African American. The topic was about the exclusion of African American romance authors. Can you guess who the interviewer chose? I’m not surprised. I once saw a clip of this TV show (it was canceled) but the horrible ex girlfriend made the comment… “I want to eat Ethiopian food without being around Ethiopian people”..I mentioned the show was canceled, right.

I have this question. Why are we getting our feelings hurt… getting frustrated over seeking acceptance from folks who DON’T want us? In high school, did we keep trying to sit at the table where there were no seats? Or they flat out said you cant sit with us

 

Why bring in our own table and invite those who WANT to sit with us–no matter the color/creed.. and what else do we say with that? Religion too. No one will be judged… unless you order your tea unsweetened, bite into string cheese rather than pull it apart, and/or sleep with socks on your feet.

I want to start my own group! Lower the membership fee. We’ll have a monthly bracket for the romance that come out that month. Each author will advance in their trope. Best Hometown Hero. Best Alpha Hero. Best.. you get it.

And we’ll name this table ..Be Our Guest.. or Best Guest.. oh! whatever!

Ma_Petite_-_Be_our_Guest_1024x1024clearly this is a work in progress but uh…bluto-animal-house

At this table we’ll have those who “get it” and those who are “woke” and down for the cause.. the cause being ROMANCE… the HEA Darlings!

 

Remember my favorite tropes.. these are just a few and my recommendations of #AOC if we share the same taste in these tropes.

 

This list, by far, does not equally represent the plethora of talented authors. My imaginary table is going to be filled with tons of people… folks on the list.. and folks I’ve met and read along the way.

 

Look! I’ve already picked out our dishes!

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And remember… You don’t have to be a Beauty Queen to read my books.

Romance Books

#REBRANDING 2018

Happy New Year, y’all!!

We are currently experiencing a #SnowDay No automatic alt text available.here in Tallahassee, FL and so it gave me a chance to read all the inspiring articles in this month’s Pink Heart Society about #rebranding. My #KimaniSisters did their thing and now I’m sitting here hitting the Image result for backspacebackspace button on an idea I want to pitch…I’m seriously curled up under the covers feeling all inadequate after seeing how on-the-ball these ladies are! Image result for author envyY’all know I suffer from #AuthorEnvy (lol.. it’s a real thing! I promise!). As we all know, Kimani is closing and the questions are flowing from people….”So what now?” Um yeah, I don’t have the foggiest idea. These ladies have their shit together! Related image

 

Like.. yeah..I saw on Harlequin’s Milestones how I’m celebrating book #5 along with some other spectacular authors (some of them are to blame for a big chunk of money disappearing from my wallet lol…you know who you are!). But if you got to their amazon pages…they have SO MANY other books in the works pre-and-post Harlequin Kimani.

So back to this blog about rebranding. I took a lot of their words to heart and want to thank them.

Ac Arthur –#Rebranding – The 3 ‘R’s of Starting Over
Zuri Day – #Rebranding – The Brand That Binds
Cheris Hodges – #Rebranding – Black Love Matters
Lindsay Evans -#Rebranding – Explore Other Avenues
Synithia Williams -#Rebranding – When One Door Closes
Reese Ryan – #Rebranding – Spreading the Love by Writing for Multiple Publisher Imprints

But if you get a chance .. here’s my article. I’m so honored to have been asked to participate.

https://www.pinkheartsociety.com/single-post/January2018/CarolynHector

 

 

 

Soooo… about this Sexiest Man Alive…

Here’s what I know about Blake Shelton. He had a song “Hillbilly Bone”… (which I’m allowed to sing on account of my West Virginia bloodline).. he’s on The Voice, he’s dating Gwen Stefani, and he was just named sexiest man alive by People Magazine .

 

 

 

I’m going to comment as I flip through the…., I guess, honorable mentions–

Image result for checkThe Pearson men.. from NBC’s This is Us (also known as Tuesday Tissue Night). I’m good with that.. but I’d be pleased if Toby was in there somewhere.

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Zac Effron

Image result for check Kumail Nanjiani

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Please find his “season” of Burning Love

Image result for checkCurtis Jackson

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Image result for checkLuis Fonsi .. who you ask… Think Summer 17’s biggest hit… Despacito.

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Ben Platt .. the dude from Pitch Perfect…. not the to be confused with Chris Pratt (dude from Parks & Rec/Guardians of the Galaxy/Jurassic World)

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Image result for checkArmie Hammer

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Image result for checkKofi Siriboe

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Image result for checkRyan Gossling

Okay… he will always have my heart because of Noah.

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And that’s all the website gave me. I guess I’m going to have to push my grocery cart in a long line at the store so I’ll have time to properly thumb through to see who else made the list. Image result for reading in line at the grocery store

 

In the meantime… Most of the writers I know like to “cast their books” when starting to write. So we all have our own desires/tastes/whatever to say who is and who isn’t sexy.

I made my own lil’ list of the sexiest men alive… all of these men have been a muse at one point or another in my completed books. Feel free to check out my published books and see if you can guess who would play my heroes.

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Don’t even get me started on my full WIP list of muses. #whew … now after going through all of this.. I’m thinking about creating a new series.. stay tuned to see if I follow through with Moonshine & Magnolias .. omg the ideas are coming in! Sheesh! I need to write and I need to edit… So.. that’s all for now.

 

PS… stop by Jen Doyle’s Blog to win some cool holiday stuff!

The Beauty and the CEO is on sale $1.99!

Click here for your copy of The Beauty and the CEO

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Makeup artist Zoe Baldwin can’t believe the gorgeous guy she flirted with on the way to a job interview was her potential boss. So when Will Ravens, CEO of his family’s cosmetics company, tells Zoe her innovative approach isn’t right for his brand, she agrees to work alongside him at a beauty pageant to prove her skills. But where there are sparks, there’s certain attraction…

Will is fighting to keep his family legacy afloat. He’s going back to basics at Ravens Cosmetics, leaving no time for romance or Zoe’s avant-garde ideas. But despite his intentions, he finds himself falling deeper under Zoe’s sensual spell. Amid the chaos caused by company sabotage, can both their career dreams and passionate fantasies come true?

Of course I like to cast my books to help me as I write…. Here’s my vision for Zoe and Will…

Tiara-clip-art-to-download-clipartcowA lil’ teaser of the chemistry….

……As she bounced backward with a prolific apology, the wooden rails creaked. The last thing she needed to do was fall into the water with her tablet. She welcomed the strong pull around her was, and she reached for the impeccably muscular arms.

“Whoa,” the deep and now familiar voice said into her ear.

“Mr. Ravens.” Zoe gasped. Once her eyes began to focus, she narrowed in on his lopsided smirk.

“Let’s see, we’ve shared a plane, shared a seat on a plane, and I’ve walked in on you taking a shower.”

Heat burned her cheeks. Zoe held her index finger up to correct him. “Almost in the shower.”

Will inclined his head. “Okay, almost. However, I do believe we are beyond the formalities. Please call me Will.”

Zoe bit the right corner of her bottom lip. “Alright, Will. You’ll have to call me Zoe.”

“It’s a pleasure, Zoe.”

He had no idea what a pleasure it was to still be in his arms.

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Back in July Will did an interview with Kimani Press on Facebook

Click here for Will’s interview

 

Happy Reading!

images (2) Carolyn