Yes, there is a new resident in Romancelandia: The Right to Be: A Christopher Family Novel, the sixth in my series, is live. In previous posts, I have given you excerpts of this work-in-progress. Now, the dream of writing a LGBT-centered romance novel featuring a Black male couple has become the reality I’m holding in my hands for the first time. As an author, the feeling of it is indescribable, something I never get tired of.
In the words of Toni Morrison, “If there is a book you wish to read, and it hasn’t been written yet, then you must be the one to write it.” My favorite recreational reading? Romance novels, hands down. A friend of mine gave me my first romance novel some 30 years ago, and the rest is history. Between the public library and later Kindle Unlimited, I have had at least one romance novel on hand to read at all times. I’ve read some wonderful stories, but at some point, I did wonder, “Where are the characters who look like me? Where are the couples who look like me?”
In the realm of Black Love in male/female romance, I must thank such authors as Brenda Jackson, Niobia Bryant, Cheryl Barton, and Rochelle Alers. For lesbian romance, I tip my hat to Alyssa Cole and Fiona Zedde. Male/male romance, like lesbian romance, has but few Black residents in Romancelandia, but it’s good to know that such authors as Jayce Ellis, Kevin E. Taylor, Wyatt O’Brian Evans, James Earl Hardy, Stanley Bennett Clay, and Frederick Smith are with us, as well as the late E. Lynn Harris.
Although I had romance elements in the previous novels in my series, The Right to Be marks the first one that is full-on romance. If you have been following the Christopher Family Novel series, expect to see some familiar family members. That being said, get ready to follow Allan Christopher Davis’ journey to true love and happiness.
I have no doubt that there are many of my brothas and sistahs out there who have a romance novel or more in you that needs to be told and shared. I encourage you to write it. Publish it yourself, and allow nothing to stop you from achieving your dream. It’s never too late. You’re not too young or too old. Your representation is valuable and it matters.
I want to take this moment to thank three special people who were there for me from the beginning of this work–my husband, the love of my life, who has had my back, and my son, who gave me pointers for my 20-something main characters, since he is part of their generation. And then there’s Dad, who was my Number One fan and supporter. May he rest in peace and power.
With a guaranteed HEA, The Right to Be now graces the Amazon and Barnes & Noble Library shelves beside its siblings. I wish you happy reading.
Believe in dreams and never give up.