Racism In Romance - Author, Angela Henry Has Her Say...
Angela's latest book, Diva's Last Curtain Call (great title!)
When did you first get published?
What genre do you write in?
What race/colour are the majority of your characters?
How is your work marketed?
To African-American audiences.
Where are your books generally shelved?
In the black book section.
Where would you prefer your books to be shelved?
In the mystery section.
Have you been subjected to direct/indirect racism from editors, publishers etc in your publishing career.
How do you feel about Oprah Winfrey’s book club- Do you think she could do more to promote AA authors?
I don’t really pay much attention to any of the major book club picks but they all seem to gravitate more towards nonfiction and literature. I’d like to see more commerical fiction featured, period.
Do you believe that publishers are more ambivalent when it comes to marketing AA books?
No. I think publishers are always looking for the next big thing like the next JK Rowling or the next Dan Brown.
Which race groups would you say bought the majority of your books?
What do you think needs to change in order for more white people to read African American books?
I think many white readers will read a book by a black author if they know about the book. They aren’t going to look in the black book section.
Have you ever been snubbed by white readers/white authors during a signing?
No. But then again I don’t do many signings.
Have you ever been overlooked by an editor in favour of a white author?
Have you ever been asked to tone down, or increase the ethnicity within your books?
Are you familiar with Millennia Black’s lawsuit against Penguin? If so, what do you think her chances of winning are?
Yes. I’ve heard of the lawsuit but I’m not that familiar with all the details.
How do you think her victory will affect the way AA authors are treated within the industry?
I’m not sure.
What are your thoughts on niche marketing? What do you think the limitations are if any?
Niche marketing is fine for an author who is just starting out but I think it can hurt an author who is trying to to broaden their audience.
Have you been personally involved in trying to bring about changes within the publishing industry, with regards to how African American authors are treated? If so can you tell me about your efforts?
Not personally, no. But I do have a website Mystnoir.com that features AA mystery authors and characters, since our mysteries don’t get a lot of mainstream attention.
Do you think this will still be a controversial subject in five years time, or do you think major changes would have been made by then?
I certainly hope things will be different five years from now but they’ll probably just be another issue to deal with.
Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions.
Thank you for letting me participate ; ).
If you want to know a little bit more about Angela and her books, you can find her website here.
Coming up next, Gwyneth Bolton.