12.30.2011

Blasian Lit Thread #12

Smoky Red Taboo by Imari Jade
The Empress of Japan has enlisted the aid of relationship expert Malia Isakawa to help find out why her thirty-year-old son, Hiroshi Yamaguchi, hasn’t stepped up to the plate to get to know his fiancée, Rika Takaki. In two weeks, Rika will be eighteen years old, and Chei and her husband plan to officially announce the engagement to the world.
Hiroshi has never done what is expected of him. He takes one look at Malia Isakawa and falls head over heels in love with the African-American beauty, and suddenly the fate of the Japanese Empire might be in jeopardy.
Malia, on the other hand, has always considered herself a professional and didn’t plan to become the love interest of not only one but two Japanese princes. Can she fix this mess, or will she not only cause an international scandal but also break up a family?
Buy from Amazon Kindle,

Under His Spell by Liz Davis
Lynn Calloway has been living a quiet, routine life—that is, until she meets a gorgeous stranger. Drawn in by his dark, magnetic gaze, she’s instantly intrigued. She notices something different about him from the very start, but it isn’t until they spend a passionate night together that the secrets he’s been holding begin to reveal themselves in the most unexpected of ways.
From the moment Takoda Chasing Horse lays eyes upon her, he’s certain that she’s the one. But before he can make her his own he will have to reveal the truth. A shape-shifter by birth, he has the ability to transform into a wolf.
The passionate love they develop for one another is unbreakable, but a tragic past presents obstacles that neither is prepared for.
Under His Spell is the story of two wounded souls coming together and the battles they must face to save their love.
Buy from Amazon Kindle

Passion Fruit by Imari Jade
Twenty-five year old, Satoshi Hayashi, the pianist for the Japanese pop-group, Aomori refuses to give up hope that his close friend Shaundra Yoshida has perished in a killer earthquake and tsunami in the Miyagi Prefecture of Japan. Hundreds and maybe thousands of lives have been reported lost, but Satoshi feels that he would know if Shaundra was dead. Over the last year they had this special bond. He knew when she wasn’t feeling well or when she was in a frisky mood. If she were dead, he’d know it, and he didn’t give a damn what the other members of Aomori thought. He was going to find her if that was the last thing he did.

Depressed and despondent over the loss of his wife, Shaundra, Ichiro Yoshida turns to alcohol to console his troubled mind. He neglects his looks, doesn’t want to write another song, and he sure does not want to go on a scheduled tour of Europe that has been arranged by their boss. Shaundra was his life. Why can’t anyone see that he stopped living the moment she disappeared? And why had she walked out on him just hours before leaving for Aomori’s China tour? Was she that unhappy with their marriage? Or had some other man captured her fancy and taken her away? He doesn’t know what the future has in store for him, but he won’t stop trying until he finds out the answers.
Buy from Amazon Kindle


I Saw You Baby by Shara Azod
Aina was running scared. Everywhere she looked, there was Master Sergeant Daiki Wakahisa, looking so fine it made her weak in the knees. Knowing she couldn’t have him, she chose to run, vacating any area he was at. Little did she know the Master Sergeant was watching, and counting the second when he could make her his.

Buy from Lulu

52 comments:

  1. @ Ankh - Get out of my head, or pay rent!

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  2. Am I wrong for being really creeped out by these synopses?

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  3. Oh dear Lord! Will it never end?


    Funny side note: The first draft of Corruption's cover had the same image of the guy on the cover of Imari Jade's book. Naturally, I said "hell no" quick, fast and in a hurry.

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  4. The first draft of Corruption's cover had the same image of the guy on the cover of Imari Jade's book. Naturally, I said "hell no" quick, fast and in a hurry.

    Good thinking!!!!

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  5. @Neo Prodigy

    Am I wrong for being really creeped out by these synopses?

    Not at all! Just reading the blurb for Passion Fruit scared the hell out of me.

    @Amaya

    I want this to end, badly, but it looks like it is going to continue for a long time.

    Lady have mercy on us all.

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  6. Almost there..almost there,but still I just wish that the characters of these book covers would be in a romantic embrace. By the looks of these book covers( maybe with a little exception to Liz Taylor's), they make it seem that they are not into each other.

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  7. Yeah... some of these titles do seem a little iffy. I haven't read any of the books though, so I like to at least hope that some if not most of them are actually good (or at least not too bad). A girl can hope anyway.

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  8. A common thread that I see in most of the "romance" novels is the presence of a dude with no shirt or an open shirt. I find that highly a highly annoying throwback to the Harlequin days of old. It simply isn't necessary, methinks.

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  10. You know I like reading IR Romances as much as the next person, especially a really good BW/AM. However, I don't think I'd be really interested in a lot of those. But I don't know.

    But to the first people who posted what did you mean by "You want this all to end", well, besides the obvious. Haha.

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  11. Oh, I forgot who said it, but I agree about the open shirt thing. It does get a little annoying. I saw this cover once that had no people on it. It looked kind of, I guess, "Alice in Wonderland"-like. I have to say that was one of the best book covers I've seen. If I DO ever publish, I want something classy like that. Probably no people, just the book title, and some really cool designs. Some of these covers are just....

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  12. *Longtime lurker emerging*

    1 - Why does everything seem so Japanese-centric? Is it just these selections? There is a panoply of Asian ethnicities/nationalities that can be mined for material.

    2- I imagine writing to be a fraught and consuming process. So I admire the gumption and pluckiness of those who undertake the endeavor. But, if these blurbs are any indication of the writing inside the book...*sighs*
    Perhaps some of these authors require a stronger editorial presence?

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  13. OK...so i read the whole imari jade trilogy which is: In Deep Kimchi, Saranghae, I Love You and Passion Fruit....I hated the ending of passion fruit. It made it feel like I wasted my time reading all these books. I mean the writing wasnt that bad its just that the way story end in Passion Fruit just left a really sour taste. So I was a bit disappointed. I mean the story had the potential to be fudging awesome but then it took an odd turn for the worst smh.

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  14. omgosh the same dude is on the in deep kimchi, passion fruit, the good, the bad and the naughty, i saw you baby covers...man I hope this guy is making some money for being on all of these covers lol

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  15. ".man I hope this guy is making some money for being on all of these covers lol"

    I hope so, too! That's the main reason why I shy away from the idea of using models and other celebs as the 'faces' of original fictional characters. After a while, the characters mesh together, especially if a whole bunch of writers 'cast' the same person constantly. A running joke with myself is that Gabrielle Union gets more work on The Chamber than she does in real life (which is sad). =D

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  16. @ shlbshl

    1 - Why does everything seem so Japanese-centric?

    $64,000 question. It's also probably why readers don't support Blasian lit as much as we'd like to.

    2-...Perhaps some of these authors require a stronger editorial presence?

    Yes, yes, and yes.

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  17. @shlbshl

    Why does everything seem so Japanese-centric?

    Perhaps this is because the Japanophiles rule the world and they've taken great pains to not only document Japanese culture and traditions on the national level, but also on the local/prefecture levels. I don't know of any country on the planet where the most minute aspects of a society have been so meticulously detailed. Because such material exists, writers have a tendency to believe that they actually understand how the Japanese think and feel and they just run with it. In truth, any potential writer would learn more about the Japanese people by watching a two drama series and doing a simple comparison and contrast. At the very least they'll learn that the Japanese people are far more diverse than they ever imagined.

    @Ankhesen
    It's also probably why readers don't support Blasian lit as much as we'd like to.

    I wonder... I think the problem is the overt focus on romance. Most men, worldwide, wouldn't even bother picking up such a book and this means Asian male readership will also be limited. Writers need to focus on more mainstream, speculative, sci-fi, fantasy, action, adventure, mystery, suspense/thrillers, and other genres. There's nothing preventing a Blasian couple from hooking up in such stories. People fall in love under the most extraordinary of circumstances. It would be a shame if Blasian Lit = erotic/romance novel.

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  18. Ankh, I cannot keep a straight face when I look at some of these covers! I'll be open-minded and check out at least one of them.lol

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  19. I'm sorry.. I had to come back! lmao. Seriously what is the deal with these covers? I really want to support, but it's extremely difficult when everything is such poor quality. We really have to step up our game on this front.

    P.s.- At least an Asian-Brutha is getting work with those covers. I can't knock the hustle! LOL

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  20. " I think the problem is the overt focus on romance. Most men, worldwide, wouldn't even bother picking up such a book and this means Asian male readership will also be limited. Writers need to focus on more mainstream, speculative, sci-fi, fantasy, action, adventure, mystery, suspense/thrillers, and other genres. "

    @Hateya, that's EXACTLY one of the biggest reasons why many male readers (and for that matter even some female readers) avoid these type of stories.

    I can tell you that I avoid romance stories like the plague and the few I have enjoyed (such as Corruption) is because the stories a) break the traditional mold and/or b) had skilled writers who wrote great stories and characters that possessed universal appeal which transcended the genre.

    A buddy and I were talking and he made the best point. Guys don't mind love interests or romantic subplots in stories as long as it doesn't overtake the entire story.

    This is the same failing I see to often in black/urban/hood lit and even the m/m genre. Interestingly enough both marginalized genres are often written by non POC and/or queer male writers for an audience that's non POC and/or non queer male so there you go.

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  21. @shlbshl

    1) I know! I'll do anything to read more books with West and South Asian heroes. If they are not centred on romance, I'd be even happier.

    @Daphnee

    Thanks for letting us know what you thought of Imari Jade's books!


    @Hateya and NeoProdigy

    It is really hard to find Blasian fiction that does not fit into the formula of romance with a heterosexual couple, preferably with a Japanese heroes. I'm still looking for books that are not centred on romance, or feature queer characters.

    I'm currently reading Pao which is more about the history of Chinatown in Jamaica and Jamaica's pre- and post-independence history than the romance between a Chinese man and a black Jamaican woman. I can't wait to write a review and put it up here.

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  22. I swear these covers are some of the worst I have EVER seen. I just don't understand why some these e-book Blasian stories are so poorly written and edited. When I'm reading and editing simultaneously, I get annoyed.

    I'd like to support more lit, but only if it's well written, edited and has a compelling story to tell. Asia is a vast continent & some of these authors need to buy a map and a clue.

    I've also noticed a disturbing trend in these J Pop focused books and that is the virginal, effeminate boy group member. I don't like to see these stereotypes perpetuated, much less in Blasian lit. Just, no!

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  23. I write Blasian literature, but I try to make sex/romance just one part of the story. I use romance almost as a tool. I maintain that after watching DS9, I learned that you can't go wrong with an ensemble cast.

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  24. "I don't know of any country on the planet where the most minute aspects of a society have been so meticulously detailed."

    Yes. It certainly seems so. Even in lay materials and writing there seems to be an enormous amount of pretense surrounding seemingly extraneous details of Japanese life. What or whom is driving this and to what aim? Is it the Japanese themselves, or is this part and parcel of, for lack of a better term, orientalism? That is, is this meticulous cataloging of Japanese life yet another attempt by westerners to "other" POC, or do the Japanese have some agency in this?

    I guess I'm grappling with this: The Blasian Narrative resonates with me largely because of an underlying tenant that is woven into much of its featured writing--principally, that the white gaze has thoroughly colored (and not in a particularly constructive way) the perceptions that POC have of one another. And that in order for POC to relate to each other in a more nuanced, constructive, and mutually beneficial manner, we must actively work to sidestep or subvert this (white, western-constructed) filter through which we often revert to viewing one another. So, I think that Blasian Lit is necessarily an important step in that direction. But, dubious writing and cheesy covers aside, some of these selections seem perilously close to recycling a host of western-constructed tropes. Perhaps this myopic focus on Japan is tied to that? For as much as I want to be on board with these novels, I also want fully rendered POC characters who are (largely) unbound by the white gaze. So if we POC can't manage to write about each other in this way...

    I dunno. It sorta seems like we're back to square one.

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  25. @Lenoxave

    I've also noticed a disturbing trend in these J Pop focused books and that is the virginal, effeminate boy group member. I don't like to see these stereotypes perpetuated, much less in Blasian lit. Just, no!

    In my experience a lot of these books tend to stereotype their Asian characters. In one of the threads, I complained about how South Asian male characters are usually portrayed as knowing the entire Kama Sutra off head and having their first sexual experiences with sex workers in the red light district. If that is not Orientalism, I don't know what is.

    I agree with Hateya when she suggests watching dramas. In some Asian dramas, characters may be over the top but in others, there is a real diversity and richness in character development. The least some of these authors could do is watch dramas and cinema. It is so easy to find Japanese, Chinese, Korean and Filipino dramas online. Plus, Bollywood is HUGE.

    @shlbshl

    But, dubious writing and cheesy covers aside, some of these selections seem perilously close to recycling a host of western-constructed tropes. Perhaps this myopic focus on Japan is tied to that?

    Yes this is a possibility. I still hear people, this includes people of colour, saying that the Japanese are the 'best Asians because they look white'. This is the sad thing about some of these books, that they recycle stereotypes. As I said above wrt Indian characters knowing the entire Kama Sutra, or with Chinese characters busting into martial arts in every other page (in most cases the author does not even bother to give details as to the type of martial arts being used).

    It seems you've gone through some of our earlier lit threads, I do hope you've found works that you can be on board with. This post is really not a representation of books with Blasian themes, there are a few gems to be found.

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  26. @Lenoxave OMGOSH...I used to be an editor for fanfiction for three years as well I am the person in my group of friends who always edits people's papers...with that said, the editing in a lot of these books is just horrible. For me, I am a grammar and spelling freak so when I see such horrible spelling and grammatical errors; I get so annoyed and there is only so many errors I can take. There is a book I bought yesterday that is called The Golden Dragons and its is so horribly edited that I wish I could return it. To me, it takes away from the book and blocks out the story for me so yeah....

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  27. Daphnee...

    Do me a favor; I'd like to chat with you through email. Please come to my blog and email me through it. I have a few questions for you in regards to your editing experience.

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  28. Daphnee, thank you for being honest. That's what I've been looking for, it only makes me stronger. Let me know if you are interested in editing the next book. You can reach me at my email address or Facebook, I friend you. :)

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  29. @amaya cool beans. you can facebook me as well just type in daphnee nazon I am the only one with my name hehe

    and also from last crtique he book I was reading is actually a good story...I just wish it was edited better..the story deserved to be edited better....

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  30. I'm almost afraid to post a comment because of the butt-whooping I took in Blasian Lit Thread #5: Snap Shot, but here goes:

    Patience.
    That's what we need. Changes take a long and educating people takes longer. Maybe the authors of these works just don't know what they do. Hence the need for blogs like this.

    I agree with most of the comments on this post that blasian lit should not be limited to one group of Asian characters or romance/erotic or to anything else that pigeon holes this genre.

    I actual enjoy the romance genre (not so much erotica) and I think people may forget that romance stories can be set in any time period/world/etc.

    I'm just happy to see some blasian fic out there. No, not all of it will be quality, but it is out there.

    And isn't the basis of the blog to began a positive dialogue and constructive criticism of all things blasian?

    I kinda feel at a loss if I say "Cool, new blasian lit to check out" because I don't want to be guilty of persisting myths including in my own creative work.

    For all of the forward progress, I feel like I have to not only be a perfect writer, but constantly be the political correct champion for black, women, and black women alike.

    I wonder if sometimes a story can just be a story without all of the convictions and hidden messages behind it/being read into it?

    Please don't think I want to set POC esp black women (and I'm married to a white boy, shame on me!) when I just want to read a novel. I need to take off my Super Sistha cape off sometimes.

    Ms. J
    author of that book with that black woman with problems. The one from thread #5.

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  31. @Ms. J

    I went back and reread the Blasian Lit Thread #5 and it seemed that it was an amicable and intelligent discussion on all sides. I thought everyone, including you, handled themselves in a most classy manner. Which trust me, on the internet, that's rare.

    "Patience.
    That's what we need. Changes take a long and educating people takes longer."

    And that's all the more reason why we need to call these problems out and put them on blast. So people learn and get better. The problem with asking people to be patient with change is that change tends not to happen.

    This is the same issues I see in LGBTQ fiction. When I call out the deplorable depictions that queer men have to endure, I'm usually straight-splained that I should be patient and that "one day" change will happen. And low and behold, it never does. It's only when you put the issues on blast and bring attention to them that progress happens.

    Also as a published author, I know the first rule of storytelling: THE AUDIENCE OWES YOU NOTHING! They don't have to read your work, they are not obligated to do so. So if I want people to read my work and become invested, if I'm supposed to be providing an alternative to the constant racist/misogynistic/queerphobic ish that inundates media, then that means this proud member of Team Bring It better represent and go hard. Because if I don't come correct, I could risk contributing to the problem.

    Visibility = progress. If that were the case then Will & Grace would have been trailblazing television rather than the homophobic minstrel show it was. Not all visible Blasian portrayals are a good thing, because sometimes bad portrayals can do harm. Now to be clear, I'm not necessarily talking about the titles listed here (though some of them kinda bug me) but bad portrayals in general. If we want Blasian lit to grow, then we can't lower our standards, in fact we have to be more critical because we're fighting an uphill battle.

    Criticism =/= being negative. Criticism means learning what the areas of opportunities are to grow and become better.

    "I actual enjoy the romance genre (not so much erotica) and I think people may forget that romance stories can be set in any time period/world/etc."

    That's true and romance as a genre can be in YA, sci-fi, m/m fiction, etc. But a lot of people don't care for romance and can only take it in doses. And if you're trying to get more male readers, then you definitely have to branch out and limit the romance elements. So branching out is imperative.

    "I kinda feel at a loss if I say "Cool, new blasian lit to check out" because I don't want to be guilty of persisting myths including in my own creative work. For all of the forward progress, I feel like I have to not only be a perfect writer, but constantly be the political correct champion for black, women, and black women alike."

    I don't think there's a sin in checking out these or other titles. In fact that's your business. And I can tell you from personal experience, trying to be perfect in all things will always lead to failure. Humans are flawed people. That's something I've had to learn.

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  32. "I wonder if sometimes a story can just be a story without all of the convictions and hidden messages behind it/being read into it?"

    And this is where Moff's Law comes into play. Because we live in a society and culture that permeates institutional oppression and reinforces it through media, we have to look and analyze said messages in order to grow, evolve and to see the Matrix for what it is.

    "Please don't think I want to set POC esp black women (and I'm married to a white boy, shame on me!) when I just want to read a novel. I need to take off my Super Sistha cape off sometimes."

    I think you can enjoy a novel/tv show/movie and still recognize that it's problematic. Hell I watch Gossip Girl and Vampire Diaries (as a published YA author, I'm claiming research as I have to know what's hot and poppin in the streets, that's my story, I'm sticking to it and we'll NEVER discuss this again) and I enjoy them but I'll be the first one to put both shows on blast for problematic elements.

    I'm a huge Scott Pilgrim fan but I also ripped the graphic novels and the films to shreds for the problematic story elements.

    I sincerely doubt anyone will be calling the drop squad on you for reading a novel or being married to a white boy. Cuz when it comes to the latter, I guarantee you I'm on the top of their Most Wanted List in that regard.

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  33. I just finished Imari Jade's "Smoky Red Taboo". It was a pretty quick read. I actually liked her style of writing. I wasn't crazy about the plot. The entire story seemed a bit rushed.

    I would like to see erotica writers Sienna Mynx and Vera Roberts venture into blasian erotica (Both are self-published) I was exposed to Sienns through The Chamber. She wrote some pretty amazing Spock/Uhura erotica (She always had gorgeous banners too)I didn't notice too many errors in their work, and Their book covers look like they have some kind of budget.

    I suppose the skies the limit. There can be mystery, Erotica, Humor, Sci-fi... I guess we have to wait and see where all of this goes.

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  34. @Nicole

    I've read some of Sienna Mynx's works and so far, I've liked them all. I would like to see her write Blasian erotica as well.

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  35. @ eccentricyouruba

    I really think Sienna Mynx has a promising future. And like you, I pretty much like all of her work. I frequent her blog she seems like a big-time perfectionist!

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  36. Thanks to Neo-Prodigy and all for being respectfully of my opinions.

    Now can I take a day off from being PC (politically correct) lol?

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  37. I'm going go ahead and be honest. I write BW/AM romance/erotica. I mean I'm trying to add other themes to it, such as supernatural, etc. However, that's what I write. I would be writing the same thing if I wrote BW/WM or BW/Native American Man. I don't really know if I should be ashamed that I write it, especially with some of these books on this blog. I think BW/AM romance is like a lot of other genres. There are some that are bad, there are some that are good, and then there are just those in the middle. Now, it could be that we're having such an influx of Blasian Lit because it's "What's Popular" now, and that would obviously have an affect on the quality of what you're reading. Honestly, I can't really be the person to really critique myself: I'll either grade too softly or too harshly. However, I would hope that I fall somewhere in the middle. While I agree that it would be nice to have Blasian couple in more that just romances, I feel like I can't entirely say anything because that would be like the pot calling the kettle black, you know.

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  38. @Delicate Wisteria

    I'm going go ahead and be honest. I write BW/AM romance/erotica.

    This is great! Have any of your works been published?

    Now, it could be that we're having such an influx of Blasian Lit because it's "What's Popular" now, and that would obviously have an affect on the quality of what you're reading.

    This is exactly the case. It's very clear when the author does little research on the cultures required to make the Asian characters believeable.

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  39. @eccentricyoruba

    [i]This is great! Have any of your works been published?[/i]

    No, I'm not published. Haha. I wish. Maybe someday.

    [i]This is exactly the case. It's very clear when the author does little research on the cultures required to make the Asian characters believeable.[/i]

    I can understand that. I mean I myself probably won't have as much research as other writers because usually my Asian male characters are Asian Americans and the story takes place in the United States. I think that's why a lot of my stories take place in my comfort zone because I'm so afraid of getting it wrong.

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    1. Oh, I wish you the best of luck!

      Yeah sometimes I think the other authors would be better of writing Asian-American characters because they usually fail at writing Asian sourcelander characters. Then again there are so many resources out there to reduce chances of getting it wrong. Google is always a starting point and watching TV dramas from the relevant countries is also recommended.

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    2. Thank you very much.

      Maybe they think that the readers won't know the character is Asian so, they feel they have to be sourcelanders? Just an idea. I mean I can understand being a little lacking in research, if it's sourcelander character, if it's the first draft. This goes especially if you don't do huge and extremely detailed outlines or plans except for maybe designing some characters. You want to get everything down. However, that's the first draft, not the finished product. In the rewrites and edits, I would strongly encourage checking stuff out, and making sure it's accurate. You know what I mean?

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  40. Maybe they think that the readers won't know the character is Asian so, they feel they have to be sourcelanders?

    You know, I've never considered this. But basing these characters on what their audience knows means the characters would be more stereotypical. It makes sense. Most of the Asian male characters I read in BW/AM romance/erotica are clichés, then again a lot of romance/erotica have cliché characters the only difference there is that these characters are cliché and stereotypical. I've mentioned before how I find it annoying when the South Asian character miraculously knows all the moves in the Kama Sutra because you know they've learnt it from youth.

    However, that's the first draft, not the finished product. In the rewrites and edits, I would strongly encourage checking stuff out, and making sure it's accurate. You know what I mean?

    Yes! Sometimes I feel like a lot of these books don't even go through draft stages. Like they just have a first draft then minor editing then it's up for sale.

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    1. [I]You know, I've never considered this. But basing these characters on what their audience knows means the characters would be more stereotypical. It makes sense. Most of the Asian male characters I read in BW/AM romance/erotica are clichés, then again a lot of romance/erotica have cliché characters the only difference there is that these characters are cliché and stereotypical. I've mentioned before how I find it annoying when the South Asian character miraculously knows all the moves in the Kama Sutra because you know they've learnt it from youth.[/I]

      I think that they are afraid that their Asian male characters would be taken as being white, especially if they have published IR before that BW/WM. I know that I have been worried about that. Usually when I'm doing an Asian male character, I figure out some way to say that he's Asian, but in a suitable way. For example in a short I wrote, I had the couple walking, and the woman was saying how when she was younger that she was a huge fan of K-Pop; so, the guy started messing with her about it, like he called her "noona". Plus sometimes I just come right out and say he's Asia. Simple as that; the problem is saying at the right time(and even in the right way). However, I didn't rely on the stereotypes, at least I hope I didn't. I mean an Asian guy knowing how to give a massage or relax someone because he just knows that is one thing. Saying an Asian guy knows that because he's Asian is another thing.

      Yes! Sometimes I feel like a lot of these books don't even go through draft stages. Like they just have a first draft then minor editing then it's up for sale.

      I don't even know how to really reply to that. I mean I can understand doing that if you're posting stories online or something. However, if you're actually marketing something, I thought it was an unwritten rule to do multiple drafts. You know, just to make sure everything is smooth and all of that. I don't know how many you do though. Some say three, and some say how many ever you need. But when you're writing a first draft, there are a lot of phrases that can be said better by the second(or whatever number). That's why I'm doing it. In the first draft, you're trying to get to the end so, the scenes may not be entirely smooth. That can be corrected by the second.


      And this is slightly off topic and I also don't have my glasses on, but on the cover of the first book up there, are those even Japanese characters? They look more Chinese than Japanese.

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    2. I think that they are afraid that their Asian male characters would be taken as being white, especially if they have published IR before that BW/WM.

      You know, I've never considered this. A lot of these authors that write Blasian romance/erotica seem to have started out writing BW/WM. I still find it frustrating though, that some of these authors rely on stereotypes because they don't want their Asian male characters to be taken as being 'white'. It's like, if they don't fit in a stereotype, they can't possibly be Asian which is stupid because stereotypes are hardly based on facts.

      This hits close to home because I've had people come up to all sorts of conclusions about me, my personality, my religion, my interests, etc because I'm African. And I've been called 'white' because I do not fit into their assumed stereotypes of how Africans are, should be and should think. Ugh. It's like saying that only white people are allowed to be complex varied individuals.

      However, I didn't rely on the stereotypes, at least I hope I didn't.

      It doesn't sound like you're relying on stereotypes. I'd really like to read your work. I occasionally write, mostly speculative fiction and I usually don't mention ethnicities even though most of my characters are Black and Asian. I usually hope it shows through with physically describing the characters but most days I can't be bothered. I've noticed this happens more often in speculative fiction, characters would be Black, indigenous or Asian and there's no way to tell from their names because the author has created a language. Still the way characters of colour are described makes a difference.

      I'd say you need as many drafts as you need.

      They look more Chinese than Japanese.

      We all know that Asians look alike and no one would know the difference between Chinese and Japanese people /sarcasm.

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  41. @Delicate Wisteria
    And this is slightly off topic and I also don't have my glasses on, but on the cover of the first book up there, are those even Japanese characters? They look more Chinese than Japanese.

    I believe you're referring to the Kanji. Originally, especially before Japan was truly one nation, but rather zillions of little countries, the male aristocracy exclusively used Kanji, Chinese characters. Hiragana was the women's language and eventually Katakana was introduced to represent foreign words and concepts. It's cool that they managed to bring them all together into one unified writing system. That the author used this "period piece" type of Kanji with modern models only served to turn me off.

    Of course, that was before I read that the Empress of Japan enlisted the aid of an relationship expert. WTF?! There's no way in hell this could ever happen. Anyone with an ounce of knowledge regarding the Japanese imperial system would know that the path this author took was wrong, wrong and more wrong. There's only so much belief you can suspend.

    I'm sure someone will point out that I wouldn't know this if I didn't have Japanese connections, I wouldn't have this "quasi-insider information." True that. For this reason, people shouldn't write about shit they don't understand. If someones chooses to do so, then that person is obligated to do the research. *grumble*

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  42. @shlbshl

    I haven't forgotten your questions. I'm trying to formulate a decent response.

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  43. @Hateya

    Oh, okay. I have studied some Japanese, but I mostly studied Hiragana and Katakana; I know very, very little Kanji. I know that a lot of the characters derived from Chinese characters, but I don't think I've seen older Kanji until now.

    As far as the plot, I don't know if I can really say anything. I mean I'm writing Urban Fantasy, still with a hint of romance naturally. Haha. ;) So, Suspension of Disbelief makes up my entire genre really. (If anyone is curious about Urban Fantasy, it is essentially LIKE Paranormal Romance, except the romance will be much more secondary than in Paranormal Romance. Also, and this is just in my experience, more likely than not, in Urban Fantasy there is higher chance of finding more mythical creatures than in Paranormal Romance.)

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    1. @Delicate Wisteria

      The author was definitely playing it fast and loose with that cover. Since most of the aristocracy actually descended from the Chinese, I suppose it made sense that using Chinese characters signified their ranks and their level of education.

      Don't beat yourself up over your plot with a hint of romance. I am not anti-romance, just anti-romance-as-the-plot. I like the idea of an Urban Fantasy. For this, I'll happy suspend all belief. You're creating an environment, not encroaching on someone's culture. Let me know when you're ready to share a bit.

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    2. Okay, it looks like I'm on the late freight here, but I've gotta say, as the author of Under His Spell, It's interesting to hear all of your opinions about romance cover books/blurbs. I'll admit, I'm not great at writing blurbs, as it can be difficult to condense a 200 plus page novel into one or two short paragraphs. But, I'd like to hope that I'm steadily getting better. *shrugs* I try my best. Lol..

      Now, about the covers..you guys do know that most authors have very little say over the covers, right? Well at least in the romance genre. We give information about the hero and heroine, a general outline of what we'd like it look like, and they do the rest. And yes, they do reuse the models and I admit it can be amusing. :) Probably a shocker here, but I really like the cover of my first book. And the third one as well.

      Well anyways, I thought I would actually leave a comment instead of just lurking. I really did receive insight from this post, though. :)

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    3. @ Liz - Welcome to the Narrative! Feel free to stick around and browse our posts.

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