When Terry McMillan kicked in the door for African American authors to finally get some shine, I was all aboard the love train. I read the Eric Jerome Dickeys and Omar Tyrees and Carl Webers. I was particularly in love with an author named Marcus Major, whose writing I found exceptional. I read the Reshonda Tate Billingsleys (her little sister is a good friend) and Victoria Christopher Murray and all those folks. As my tastes were broadened, I dsicovered reading black authors who specialized in the genres I liked to read like horror and suspense, such as Brandon Massey and Tanananrive Due. I read erotica by authors like Zane and the Brown Sugar series by Carol Taylor.
I joined the RAW Sistaz group and subscribed to AALBC.com. I was supporting my black authors! Yassssss!
But then as more authors got put on and publishers realized that *gasp* black people read too, the market got flooded with the same type of storylines. The surge in “street lit” didn’t help either. To me, black authors were all putting out the same type of pap. So I stopped reading them.
I’d always read some of the more commericial authors like James Patterson, Patricia Cornwell and John Grisham because I like the thriller genre in general. So I looked for more authors in that genre, such as David Baldacci and Daniel Silva. What I really found is that I liked spy novels. And almost all those authors are white and male. And generally very conservative. I can’t relate to them at all. And very few of the characters in the books are black. But the stories are good, so I read. And read some more.
The last book I read by a black author was Heard It All Before by Michelle Grant, who also writes at Black n’ Bougie. I have a couple more in my to be read pile on the side of the bed, but I picked a John Grisham book to take to work with me today. I guess I’ve gotten out of the habit of deliberately searching out black authors. And I don’t really like that because I DO like to read books about people who look like me.
But the stories need to be well written and capitivating. Or else I’m won’t be reading in the colored section just cause I’m colored too.
So my dear commenters, guide me back “home”. Recommend some contemporary stuff for me to read. I’ve read a lot of classic stuff like Zora Neale, Hurston, Toni Morrison, Richard Wright, and Maya Angelou, so I am well versed in that. Put me on to some new authors, please??