Monday, August 8, 2011

Tuesday, August 2nd, I was greeted by the internet with sad news.

One of my favorite authors, L.A. Banks, passed away after succumbing to a fight with cancer. She meant a lot to me for so many reasons, but I’ll admit my love for her started when I realize that she was a black author who wrote paranormal books that featured heroines of color.

If you forget about the textbook black romance, fiction written by black authors usually fall into one of two categories. Either you have the thought-provoking, poetic prose about the black experience such as Toni Morrison’s Sula or you have the urban novel with its snappy slang that still follows the black experience.

There’s nothing wrong with either of those genres of writing, but sometimes, it feels like that’s all black writers are limited to, that that’s all people expect from black authors.

As a black woman and avid fan of science-fiction and horror, it’s somewhat disheartening that I don’t find more books in those genres by authors of color--not just black authors, but authors of color... PERIOD. Slowly, there are more authors of color writing in those genres, but it’s still so sparse. And I know some like Octavia Butler have been around ages and are only now getting the recognition they deserve.

I’ve picked up a couple of horror/paranormal anthologies that have done a great job of combining African mythology/black folklore with horror and science fiction. Reading stories like Whispers During Still Moments by Linda Addison or Vamp Noir by Angela C. Allen makes me wonder why authors of color don’t play in these genres more. They add such a fresh spin these stories.

L.A. Banks was probably one of the first black authors that I read in the paranormal/urban fantasy genre. I started reading her Vampire Huntress series when I was pregnant with my son--who’s almost 6 now. And sure her stories are multiracial like all good paranormal books (isn’t that almost a rule by now), but her heroines are always women of color who are intelligent, strong, inspiring characters. 

Sure, the first Vampire Huntress book was only okay to me, but as I continued with the series she really started adding a depth to the characters and their environment that I really could get lost in. She played with old legends and made them her own and introduced me to a character who has come to be one of my top favorite female characters in a book.

I really hope that L.A. Banks inspired other writers of color who might’ve been reluctant to write in these genres. And while her life was cut short, I’m so glad that she had the courage to step out into a genre where she was probably told in the beginning didn’t want her. R.I.P., L.A. Banks.


This blog is a mishmash of thoughts, pictures, and rantings among other things about games I've played, games I will play, and games I am currently playing. From time to time, I may post book reviews that I've written that are about different games and/or game worlds. Feel free to recommend games or add me on the platforms I've listed. I don't do competitive multiplayer much anymore, but I'm always down for some co-op these days. I'm usually DigitalTempest everywhere unless otherwise specified.



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2016 Reading Challenge

2016 Reading Challenge
Tiara has read 6 books toward her goal of 52 books.

Tiara's bookshelf: currently-reading

The Elfstones Of Shannara
tagged: upcoming-reads, currently-reading, 2016-audiobook-challenge, classi...
Gardens of the Moon
tagged: currently-reading, fantasy, z-narrator-ralph-lister, 2016-audiobook...

Tiara's bookshelf: read

really liked it
Review to come.
tagged: 2016-star-wars-reading-challenge and 2016-audiobook-challenge
The Girl from the Well
liked it
More reviews @ The Bibliosanctum TL;DR Review 2.5 to 3 stars. Not badly written… I’m just disappointed by the squandered potential. I’m going to reread Anna Dressed in Blood to make myself feel better about this Longer Review: T...
tagged: 2016-women-of-genre-fiction-reading, horror, and young-adult
Thirteen Reasons Why
I don't think this quite captures the complexity of bullying and suicide, and some of the issues that Hannah started facing toward the end of the novel really seemed to detract even more from the feelings she was going through by having ...
tagged: young-adult, popsugar-2016-reading-challenge, 2016-audiobook-challe...
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
liked it
Spoiler free review to come.
tagged: 2016-star-wars-reading-challenge
The Phantom of the Opera
really liked it
tagged: classic-horror, classics, audiobook, 2016-audiobook-challenge, horr...

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