When I began writing my book Playing the Part, I knew that the hero, Mick, was an action-movie star, and the heroine, Piper, was a romance novelist. I knew he’d been a child star and she was the daughter of college English professors who disapproved of her writing “those books.” I knew Mick loved escaping to his private Hawaiian estate and Piper preferred the activity of NYC.
It wasn’t until around chapter six that I knew Mick was biracial — the son of a white father and black mother.
I was surprised by this because I’d never really given any thought to the race of my characters. They were who they were — whatever race they evolved into in my story was the result of my mind weaving a back story unique to them as an individual. I didn’t choose it … It just was.
When I later spoke to people about my characters in this book, I frequently failed to mention the race of either character. They were who they were. Until someone asked me if I’d created a multiracial couple on purpose — I never really thought about it.
But once I was asked that question, I did ponder the “why” of this coupling, and I came to one conclusion: I was writing a love story just like my own.
No, I’m not a NYT best-selling romance author (yet — *grin*) and my Main Man of 21 years is no movie star, but we are a multiracial couple. And, yes, it has had its challenges, and I am still surprised when it is an issue in 2013, But that isn’t what our story is about.
I don’t love him because he’s white, and he didn’t marry me to make a statement. We fell in love with the color-neutral heart, mind and soul of each other. We stay in love because we are better together than we have ever been (or will be) apart. He needs me to find his car keys, and I need him to mow the lawn (I hate doing that). We work.
And that, I think, is the fundamental basis of all the romance novels written about love in whatever era. Yes, race or social class or background might be an issue of the plot of our story, but the central core is a tale of love between two souls. Two people who work.
So, I wrote a love story like my own — not because of the race of my characters — but because it’s about two people finding the one person who will make them complete.
Now if I could just figure how to write myself a private estate in Hawaii ….
Robin Covington is an HEA contributor and author who writes sizzling contemporary romance. Her stories burn up the sheets … One page at a time. She loves her family, tasty man eye candy and comic books. Her website is RobinCovingtonRomance.Com.
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