This doesn’t make much sense to me, but it’s fascinating.
Something else you should read: Millenia Black and Jim Crow Publishing. Monica weighs in, too. This is just bizarre. Personally, I don’t know what the publisher is thinking. I’m sure they’re justifying it in terms of marketing, but please, give me a break. A story is a story, and if it stands on its own, if it’s good enough to print, then who the heck cares what race the characters are? And who, I ask you, cares what race the author is? The readers certainly don’t. In fact, I know they don’t. Good God, my last name is Chinese and I was once told that alone would keep me from selling, because it’s “instantly foreign.” Heck, my last name is Chinese but no one at my publishing house complains that I write white characters—or black, or biracial, or guys who can turn into tigers. And if I was black and writing white characters, or Chinese, or men who turn into tigers, I don’t think anyone would complain, either. Am I being naive? Maybe. But I also believe I write for good people, and I believe that if racism in publishing is to stop, people must push for their rights as authors.
Monica is worried that Millenia will have to leave her publisher and start all over again. If it does happen that way, it’s a shame—but I think it would be worse to stay with a house that does not value you as a writer, but only as a color.