Monday, February 19, 2018


On Writing Belle, I love showcasing every type of storytelling out there: from music and screenwriting, to penning novels and expressing imagination through poetry. This week, we're lucky to have author Kay Blake with us, a prolific romance novelist. Today, she's sharing a guest article focusing on an important topic: diversity in fiction. I love her enthusiasm and passion  for telling stories that so many readers can relate to, and I know my readers will, too. Diversity in modern fiction is a hot-button topic - plus, diversity is what makes the world go 'round! - and I think Kay has brought us a great article here on Writing Belle this week.

Below the article, you'll be able to check out all of her current publications - give them a try! You just might end up getting hooked! 

Diversity in Fiction
By Kay Blake

As a little girl growing up I read all the time. I always had to have a book in my hand, in my bag or wherever else I could sneak a book into. I was the girl that lived at the library and had personal relationships with the librarians simply because I loved the written word.
As I got older I realized that there were so many great books that I’ve gotten the chance to read, but very few of those books had people of color in them. Or better yet when you are a girl growing up in a place as diverse as New York City, it was hard to find books with people that looked like me.
I was always a quick reader and an advanced reader so by the age of 7, I was already reading books that fell into the adult category. And even with those stories that touched on all the emotions and books that some people were surprised I was even reading and all the characters were white. If there was a black character it was one who didn’t have good qualities or they were unimportant characters that were not really in there for a real purpose or so. Or again they were the kind that perpetrated bad stereotypes.
And then I think about the big debate there was when Noma Dumezweni was casted to play Hermione Granger and the big uproar. As an avid reader and diehard fan of the Harry Potter series, I was happy that she was casted. Why? Mostly because I related to Hermione in so many ways. She was brave and smart. And she loved her friends. She was absolutely brilliant. I related to her so much when I first read that series. And while I loved Emma Watson’s portrayal of Hermione, it was good as an adult to see a woman of color, a black woman play one of my absolute favorite characters in literature ever. Many people got to see a character they related to on such a personal level look like them. I think that was a big thing for me.
Now many years later as I write romance books, I try my hardest to include people of color. I think for the most part anyone who reads romance, wants a good love story. And I am a firm believer that all people want to find love and be loved. So, why can’t we show that with beautifully written and diverse characters in books? Is it really that complicated to see a person that doesn’t look like you find love like all the many white characters on the pages of written words? I had someone say that to me about 2 years ago, that she couldn’t read books with black women because she felt that she couldn’t relate to the character if she wasn’t white. I can’t pretend to understand that kind of logic because simple us women of color have been reading characters that did not look like us for years. It is a common sentiment of many women of color, we would read something and still find something that we related to even though we didn’t look like us. It made me question were we (women of color) that difficult to get? And then I realized that no, it was a narrow minded thing to say. They didn’t want to get out of their comfort zone and they didn’t want to accept that the world is diverse and it is diverse in literature too.
With my most recent release Free Me, my heroine is Puerto Rican and my hero is Korean American. I truly enjoyed writing them because not only did I get to be inclusive, but I got to learn many things about their culture along the way, and still gave them the HEA (happily ever after) that they deserved. And while most of the time I write sassy, smart black women as my heroines, I like to keep in mind that if a character comes to me, and they aren’t what I am, then I will do my best to give them a story they deserve. I think people see diversity as a phase and it isn’t a phase. People of color are here and we are here to stay. We aren’t going anywhere and most importantly our stories are true. They matter. We matter and we deserve to see ourselves depicted in fiction whether it’s television or literature. Let the things we read depict the reality of the world even if it is fiction. 

Check out ALL of Kay's books! 

Book 1: Second Time’s A Charm
She wasn’t supposed to still feel this way? 
Liz Alexander hasn’t been to New York City in six years. She left behind the life as she knew it and the man that broke her heart. When tragedy strikes, Liz is forced to go back and face the man she thought she no longer loved. 
Liam Parker hasn’t seen Liz since she packed her bags and moved across country. Now seeing Liz again after all this time made Liam realize that he would do anything to get the woman he loves back. 
Will the past get in the way? Or will their love have a second chance?

Book 2: Protecting Eden
An Interracial Romantic Suspense Novella.
Eden has always taken care of herself.  She didn’t need or accept any help from anyone. It’s always been that way. She finally thought her life was back on track until her boss was murdered in front of her.
After ending up in the hospital and finding out that the ones who killed her boss were still at large, Eden is sure that her best bet would be to get out of the city and fast.
Steven has been living his life one day at a time, battling the demons from his past.  When his old army buddy calls and asks for a favor, he is hesitant. Needing the money, begrudgingly he takes the job which requires that he keeps Eden safe.
With Eden being headstrong, and Steven worried that he may not be the right man for the job, they can’t deny that they are attracted to each other.
Can Steven get past his demons and work his way into Eden’s heart while keeping her safe? Can Eden let her guard down enough to trust Steven can take care of her and her heart?
Book Links:

Book 3: Catch Me If I Fall
I have reached rock bottom. The kind of bottom that is so dark, there is no light at the end of the tunnel. There is nothing, but pain, loneliness, and helpless despair. I didn't picture my life going this way. I wasn't supposed to be unhappy and broken.
How can someone find the good in me when all the good I had was taken from me?

Helping people makes me feel good. I don't do it for any accolades. I do it because when I needed someone to talk to, when I needed someone to keep me from spiraling out of control, I found it.

From the first time I saw her, I knew that there was something about her. I didn't know what, but like a gravitational pull I wanted to know more about her even if she was here only to find some support for her grief.
Maybe I couldn't solve her problems, but I won't let her face them alone

Book 4: I Knew You Were Trouble
He seemed to be nothing but trouble.
Ally had something to prove. She wanted a new start. So, she took a job across the country to be the personal photographer to this up and coming rock band called Runnin on E. What she didn’t expect was to be captivated by the lead singer of the band Ethan Avery. Ethan’s blond hair, blue eyes and a voice that can melt the panties off of any woman spelled trouble. Big trouble. And after what she left behind she couldn’t afford any more.
But sometimes temptation is just too hard to resist.
Music was my only solace until I met her.
From the outside looking in, Ethan has everything. He’s the lead singer of the new rock band Runnin on E’. He has devastating good looks and women. Lots of women. But Ethan has his demons. He hides them behind the lyrics of his songs. New found fame is nice, but Ethan wants something more. He wants someone who knows there’s more to him than what meets the eye.
And that someone is Ally. She’s beautiful. She’s different. She sees him. All of him. And now he wants her more than he’s ever wanted anything.
Can he leave his past demons behind and have the future he never thought he deserved?

Book 5: Free Me
My biggest focus in life is taking the steps necessary to get back to the person I used to be. And dancing seems to be the only thing that’s keeping that part of me alive. I love dancing. Love it with my whole being.
And then there’s David. He’s different. He’s intriguing. And he is making me question all the things I’ve said about being in relationships.
I’m afraid of being hurt again. I’m afraid of failing like I’ve done before.
But maybe there is more room in my life for more than I originally thought.
I’m not going to lie, I don’t take much seriously. Life is to be lived and life is for having fun. And so, I do just that. I live my life the way I see fit, and I repeat that mantra every day.  No commitments. No attachments. Just uninhibited fun.
But then I literally bump into the most memorizing, woman I’ve ever laid my eyes on.
And now I’m torn between being the person I thought I wanted to be and wanting to be a better me for her. 

Book 6: Lost and Found (A Novelette)
Zoe Reynolds life is thrown in a tailspin when she catches her fiancĂ© sleeping with his receptionist. Reeling from his betrayal and wanting a change fast, she cuts her hair and purchases tickets to go on a seven day cruise to the Caribbean. All Zoe wanted was some fun in the sun and some time to paint. That was until she meets handsome but shy Donatello “Donnie” Carson a forensics investigator who is on the cruise only to appease his best friend. Donnie is still hung up over bitter loses in his life, but with Zoe he is able to start living again.
Though both have past wounds, sparks fly and their connection sends them on a whirlwind romance. Can Zoe and Donnie let go of the past and find solace in each other

Book 7: Breathe You (A Novelette)
A marriage on the rocks and one weekend!
Bree met Mason when he saved her from what could have been an unfortunate situation. They became friends, lovers, and then husband and wife.
After being separated for almost a year, they take up the suggestion of their marriage counselor to go away together for the weekend to try and reconnect.
Can these two work out their issues, and save their marriage?

About the Author 
Kay is an award winning author who writes sassy, sexy and sweet contemporary and interracial romance. She is from arguably the greatest city in the world. (New York). She is a sarcastic sweetheart who prefers snuggling at home with a good book. Kay is a mom of 3 cubs and a wife. Kay indulges in strawberry cheesecake, horror movies, Harry Potter, The Walking Dead, wrestling and of course a happily ever after.
Author Links

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Get fictional - it's fun! Thanks for stopping by, and I hope to see you again soon!