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Saturday, April 6, 2019

United Shades of Romance America (2019 version) by Carolyn Hector

United Shades of Romance America (2019 version)  

I'm not going to name names but there's a reason they say, "Never Meet Your Heroes."  Make new heroes! 

I'm also sad, still, so I won't keep y'all on this blog. 

Unless you've been hiding under a rock since the last month, you've heard about the #RitasSoWhite saga... again. It is the same mess regurgitated from last year.  I entered the 1st year because folks said AOC (Authors of Color.. if you haven't guessed by now... AOC here). Representation matters. I judged last year and the year before. A group of us from a writers’ retreat I attend (AOC) all made the pact to enter and judge if we had an eligible book. We did. *I* did not expect to be nominated on the mere fact that I still am in that honeymoon phase of being a new author... like, I so totally can't believe I wrote some words and it was turned into a book. Magic. Anyone can enter…remember, you only have to have a romance book written in that year. So, some of my favorite authors that entered.
Remember how Rosie O'Donnell was when she had her talk show and she'd meet guests… she was the ultimate fan. That's me. 

So here go these comments from non-POC authors, swearing they are just simply better writers. Ummm okay, great... glad you have a confidence in yourself. 

Then a comment came along of... the judge couldn't believe in the heroine... because the heroine was a Black scientist. 

I know it's a competition and not everyone can win.  But the reasons for the low scoring were so off putting. Reading a particular ethnic group triggers you?

To make things worse...I got the shock of my life when a particular author started out trying to be helpful and spread some misguided advice about trying to be happy for the other authors (which we were... I know I am ecstatic for an author friend)..she just kept digging herself deeper in a hole...It sounded very.... um... well.. like we knew our place was on one of these things.
She kept trying to clarify what she meant...I was screaming at the screen like...STOP!!! What is troublesome is that 2 years ago I spotted her at RWA and I went straight into geek-mode and couldn't speak. I mean I don't just have her books on my shelf...I have her "how to be an author" self-help books and pamphlets. I spent $10 for directions on how to format my word-page....I felt close to her when she spoke about getting rejection after rejection and how she kept writing her series. I kept writing my series so that like her. ..when a publisher asks if I have more I can says yes, yes I do. During this tweet, from what I saw, she never once apologized ..she dug herself deeper by saying she is being attacked by a lynch mob. Never a thing to refer your situation especially when the topic of is of people of color...folks who swung by trees as the song goes, like strange fruit all for the sake of being Black/Brown. The insensitivity disappointed me. But like they say...never meet your heroes. And they also say’s time to get new ones (Kristan Higgins is so freaking awesome)

Through all the negativity on the social media ..there were several women taking up the POC...we sometimes don’t have a voice to tell without repercussion of being labeled the angry Black woman or the hot headed Latina. So now I have new folks to follow and read up on...people who won't be triggered by my ethnic heroes and heroines and who will just see the story for what it is...a love story. So that's my take RWA and the #RitasSoWhite. 

What am I working on these days? Well...your gal is working with Rose Gold Press. I am so honored to be one of their roses! Check out these fantastic smart women here or  Sheryl Lister, Sherelle Green, Elle Wright, Angela Seals, and Anita Davis. Wooo hooo!

I also put in a proposal for a HQ medical Blitz....I just can't quit them...I am a glutton for punishment. And I am researching my hometown...cause as y'all know..I can only afford a staycation...which is okay..the research and history in this town is THICK. I can't wait to start writing. 

So that's my life for now.. Don't forget to catch up on the Once Upon a Tiara series before the final three are released. 




  1. Well, Carolyn, that author's attitude stinks. I don't understand people who judge another by skin color. Sorry you author POCs had to experience that negativity. Don't let a few bad apples spoil the crop.

  2. P.S. Carolyn, today on my personal blog Sheila Bell/Sheila Lipsey is featured with her series. I loved the first of her excerpt. “Sometimes you just want to slap people. Then you remember Karma hits twice as hard.” Unknown LOL

  3. it's a mess, isn't it? That in this day and age we are STILL so focused on skin color. My late husband was a MOC with a Masters in American Literature. His son, my beloved step-son and MOC has a PhD in High Energy Theoretical Partical Physics. He is a scientist, so I rankled at the person's remark she couldn't connect with a hero MOC who was a scientist. I hope I never meet the woman. And I hope we get beyond all this prejudice. It's hateful and degrading to the person who feels this way. 'Nuff said. Keep on submitting to the Ritas and good luck with your career.


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