The market is continuously growing for African American literature, and the reason for this is that many African American stories haven’t been told. When I say African American stories, I draw from the fact that there are so many aspects of life and fantasy that have yet to be tapped into from not only an African American perspective, but from a perspective in general that places the protagonists in the stories as African American.
For instance, my first book Secret was formed from the hidden truths inside families off all cultures, but narrowed to an African American family of a fictional past. Despite the fact that Secret was written in modern times of the 1950’s-1970, there are still the elderly with us that will take things to their graves as well as sections in American that are still living decades behind.
This is the purpose of my not pinpointing a specific date or year in the story, choosing to allow the story to be a story that hangs off of the suspense and shock of all the family kept incest and rape secrets that have followed all cultures into the 21st century. From there the prequel, or back story, to Secret in the second book Colored Lily was published. I am one book away from the third book in the saga which will focus on Secret’s grandmother’s life – another shocker!
African American literature is already bombarded with the stories of romance from every angle, and I have finally entered into this arena as well with my next project – Ain’t Quite What I Thought – to release digitally and hard copy in 2012. Since suspense or shock is what my lean is in all my books, my romance will lean where it isn’t intended to go as a surprise to all my readers.
Still, with what I call life based fiction, the door hasn’t even been unlocked as far as fantasy, sci-fi, horror and more when it comes to African American literature, and as soon as that market is tapped successfully, everyone will learn just how broad the market is for a different type of African American or just even more general, American story being told by an African American. We have only just begun when one actually sits down to think of the timetable we are placed on.
It was only a century ago that laws curbed the success of the African American, and now this generation of people can finally expand from their roots and beyond in creativity as it will be accepted, studied and even loved.