I attended the ACFW conference last September, and I spoke with two editors regarding African American (AA) fiction. A few years ago, I blogged about how AA books are shelved here and about people reading AA authors here.
It appears that a lot of African Americans will only read books by AA authors. However, while I was growing up, there were practically no AA authors out there, so I read whatever I could get my hands on! I was joyous when the publishing scene exploded with lots of AA books (I was an adult by this time.)
My question to all of you is, if you are NOT African-American, do you mind reading African-American fiction? Do you feel that AA books are only written for other African Americans? If you go to a bookstore, and see the AA section, would you go to that section and browse, or do you feel that those books are only for AA readers?
And if you are AA, do you ONLY read books by AA authors, or do you read books by people of all races?
I’ll start by responding to my own question. If you visit my blog enough, and see the books I give away, you’ll probably already know my answer. I’ll read a novel as long as it’s well-written and enjoyable. I don’t care if the author or characters are AA or not, I’m gonna read the book regardless. If I don’t like it, I won’t finish reading it!
If you are NOT AA and enter a bookstore, and you usually skip the AA section, I’m letting you know it’s OKAY to go to that section and browse a bit! Pick up some of those fiction titles and give them a try! You might find that you enjoy them! However, the whole shelving issue comes into play here. Depending on the bookstore, the AA Christian fiction MIGHT NOT be shelved in the AA section. It might be in the Christian fiction section. So if you’re looking for Christian fiction titles and the author is AA, it’s a toss up about where you might find it.
When my Love Inspired novel First Mates came out, I visited some bookstores in my area and moved a few copies FROM the romance section TO the AA section, knowing that some would only purchase my novel if they found it in the AA section.
As usual, when you comment, please leave your email address so that I’ll have a way to contact you if you win! I’m giving away the following new/slightly used novels for the month of November:
John’s Quest by Cecelia Dowdy
Here is the book summary from Heartsong Presents website:
It’s amazing how quickly life can change. Overnight, Monica Crawford finds her neatly organized world turned upside down. Her sister abandons her blind son, Scotty, leaving him on Monica’s doorstep. Caring for a handicapped child brings unexpected conflict-but unexpected joy as well. When John French volunteers to tutor Scotty, he finds himself irresistibly drawn to Monica. But John and Monica are very different. She is a strong believer, determined to live her life for Christ. John is an agnostic who wants nothing to do with God.Will John see the light? Will Monica realize that sometimes letting go of a dream is the way to achieve it? Only in full surrender will either of them be happy- whether they end up together or alone.
Diamond Duo by Marcia Gruver – I have 2 copies of this novel to give away.
The following cozy mysteries, published by Barbour Publishing, will be given away as a set:
1. The Wedding Caper by Janice A. Thompson
Murder In The Milk Case by Candice Speare - When mommy and wife Trish Cunningham find the body of Jim Bob Jenkins behind the two-percent mil, she knows she’s having a bad day. Worse, she’s a suspect in the murder. Sleuthing to exonerate herself from criminal charges, she shakes up a murderer who has nothing to lose by killing anyone in the way–including Trish.
Band Room Bash by Candice Speare - When Trish Cunningham and her oldest stepson, Tommy, find Georgia Winters, the English teacher at Four Oaks High School, dead in the band room, the suspect list is lengthy. The teacher had a number of enemies–including Tommy Cunningham.
Once again Trish pulls out her notebook to collect clues. Detective Eric Scott, suffering from unrequited love for Trish’s best friend, Abbie, pointedly asks Trish to butt out. But despite the detective’s warnings, she jumps in as usual and finds herself embroiled in a mystery that has its roots in thwarted love and revenge. The finale could be Trish’s swan song.
5. Drop Dead Diva by Christine Lynxwiler, Jan Reynolds, and Sandy Gaskin
I’m giving away these three Heartsong Presents romance titles as a set:
Sandhill Dreams by Cara C. Putman - from Heartsong Presents website:
Lainie has no dreams left. Lainie Gardner dreamed of becoming a nurse. Of serving her country. Of doing something important in the war. But rheumatic fever changed all that, and instead of running home, Lainie is determined to find a job at Fort Robinson in Nebraska’s sandhills. Tom Hamilton had dreams, too. Dreams of preparing the horses at Fort Robinson for duty on the warfront. Instead, he is assigned to train war dogs and their handlers, meaning that each day he must face the fear he’s had of dogs since he was bitten as a child. Lainie and Tom wonder why God seems to have denied them their dreams. But is it possible new dreams will bring them more joy than they ever imagined?
2. Better Than Gold by Laurie Alice Eakes
Reckless Rogue by Mary Davis - from Heartsong Presents website:
Lizzie Carter is no ordinary doll. Lieutenant Pete Garfield loves to flirt with the ladies-”dolls” as he calls them-in every town where he lands his Curtiss JN-4D biplane. There are always plenty in the crowds who gather to gape at his amazing aeroplane and pay him for a ride. But one special girl in Cashmere, Washington, captures his interest with her extraordinary knowledge of aeroplanes and her insistence on flying his! No one but Pete flies the Jenny, but he sure doesn’t mind giving pretty Lizzie some free rides. Lizzie Carter has always dreamed of flying, but she won’t be satisfied until she pilots an aeroplane herself. She sees Pete’s arrival in Cashmere as the perfect opportunity to make her dreams come true. But she didn’t expect this carefree aviator to capture her heart. Will Pete settle in one town long enough to fall in love with one special girl? Or will the past he’s been fleeing finally catch up with him?
I’m giving away these two sweet romances as a set – please note that these two books are NOT inspirational titles, but they are sweet.
1. For Her Child by Linda Goodnight
2. Rough Around The Edges by Marie Ferrarella