The Green Mile cured me of an almost fanatical devotion I used to have to Stephen King. The “magical negro” trope in fiction drives me insane. It’s inconceivable that an author could create these black people with wondrous powers yet they’re never seen helping any black people. Even at a time like in The Green Mile where “strange fruit” was abundant.
Historicals are my first love, and I always wanted to write one and plan to write more. My interest in the Underground Railroad meant that my first story would probably be set in that time period. Like all resistance movements the Underground Railroad was exciting and thrilling and setting a story there seemed like a no-brainer. As did the creation of the Eshu, black shape-shifters who work to free the enslaved. I was so excited when my partner, Lisa G. Riley joined me in writing these stories. We had a lot of fun creating that nebulous “something different” readers always crave.
So, if like me you’re sick of “magical negroes” check out these two stories, I promise you won’t be disappointed. These stories didn’t sell well, and I’ve always wondered why. Is it the paranormal aspect? Or the fact that they’re historicals? I know many black people have a distaste for stories from this time period, even though none of the main characters are slaves. I guess I can see that in a way. After all we like stories with HEA and how can that be under those conditions? Of course, there were stories with HEA in those times, otherwise none of us would be here. I imagine that desperate times create deep and abiding love if for no other reason than that the characters have gone through the crucible together.
Have you read either of these, and what did you think? Are you a fan of historicals? Would you like for me to write more of them? I have more Eshu story ideas, but since these didn’t do well I’m hesitant to write more. If you didn’t read them why not? Do you dislike paranormal stories? I know that some of my fans simply don’t like the paranorm, and I so get that. I used to feel the same way.
6 thoughts on “Cure for the “Magical Negro””
If you don’t have plans to write any more stories of this sort, then what is all this talk we’ve been having regarding future stories. Clearly, we need to talk!
Anyway, as you know, these books are fabulous and like you, I’m proud of them. We’ve gone over possible reasons they didn’t sell ad nauseam. The story lines are unique and the stories are well-told, but people won’t know that unless they read them, so I’m guessing there’s some aversion to one or all of these things you mention above.
So, fans of Ros, I ask the same question: What kept you away from these books?
Oh, God! Sudden dreadful epiphany: Was it me?
Wah! See how she treats me, y’all? Now she knows that I change my mind back and forth a thousand times before coming to a decision. And that’s right Lisa, it was you.
I enjoy historical romances. Beverly Jenkins writes very good ones. I must admit that I do not like paranormal books at all! I just can’t get into them at all and don’t want to. Have you ever thought about a interracial historical? Do you think it wouldn’t be well received? I’m not talking about something along the lines of a mistress. A true relationship.
Stolen is an interracial historical, though it is paranormal. I’m sure I will do another some day, if I can ever figure out why this one didn’t sell.
I am a huge fan of historicals and I adored ‘Stolen’, I feel it is one of the best romances I’ve read so far. I’m surprised to hear they didn’t do well, but I’d love to read more stories with the Eshu!
Glad to hear you liked it. If you haven’t already, could you possibly review it over at Amazon? I’d really appreciate it as reviews really help sales. I think Stolen’s only got one.