So, there has been a great discussion sparked by a post that I reblogged from Ja’da of quizoticmuses. I highly recommend checking out her blog and she has a book that you can purchase on Amazon here (which I just purchased on Kindle 🙂 ).
So, I am going to copy my two comments, and expand on each one, because I think I was on to something good, but stopped before I got too winded lol.
I feel like there are many times when African American authors are put in the urban fiction category, even when their work is not necessarily considered urban. I think people hear urban and link it directly to “Black” or “African American”. I don’t agree with this, because I don’t feel like I am an urban fiction writer. I am a fiction writer.
I also feel that a lot of people read novels, and they place their perception on the characters. For example, I can be talking about an average american couple, but in your mind, you are already going to decide whether those characters are going to Black, White, Asian, Latino, etc. I also feel that just because I am Black, doesn’t mean my characters will always be Black. I feel like little things like those, come with the territory of being labeled “urban”.
Today, I read the post in response to Ja’da’s post by Pearls Before Swine, which offered AMAZING perspective as well.
Her post went into more of a detailed discussion on writing style, which has a lot to do with how your work is portrayed as well. Another aspect of that is reminding yourself that how you write, has a lot to do with what you read. I will admit that my first taste in “urban” or “erotic” fiction came in middle school when I read “Flyy Girl” and “The Coldest Winter Ever”. After that, I dove head first into Zane novels. So as you can see, I was heavily involved in African American authors, and catering to more of the urban, erotic and street aspects of fiction. It was not until I got older than I started to read what I feel is more general fiction (Eric J. Dickey-my fav) and what I consider mystery (Walter Mosley-my other favorite).
Both posts really resonated with me, because as I prepare to publish my first novel, I begin to wonder what type of audience will I attract; or how people will portray my work. Will they see me as a fiction writer, or more of an “urban” fiction writer? I didn’t write my novel with the intention of being categorized as urban; however, I understand my characters and the plot in my story could possibly suggest that it could fall in the urban genre.
I thoroughly enjoyed both posts, and they have definitely made me think of what type of writer I want to be and how I want my writing to be portrayed and represented.
So, I would like to hear from you; What Kind of Writer are You??