Curled up on my twin-sized bed, between the pink and lavender patterned crochet quilt, my mind wandered to a far-away place filled with romance and all the beautiful things it promised. I was about eight years-old. When I was nine, I wrote my first unpublished novel. Of course, there was a knight in shining armor, a gorgeous princess with a flowing gown, a wicked old woman who didn’t want them to be happy, and a thing called “love” that whisked them away, together, to a tall castle far in the woods away from everything evil, where they lived happily ever after as man and wife.
As I got older, my taste in romance novels changed. I was drawn to Harlequin Romance Novels like a moth to a flame. I hid under the covers with the Mills and Boones books I traded with the girls at school. And when the multiple presences inside the house became too invasive, I crept outside to the back of the house where it was peaceful and quiet and read Danielle Steele and Sidney Sheldon under the florescent light, listening to the buzzing of mosquitoes and night moths.
Now in my mid-thirties, reality has settled the fact that those stories often times only existed inside the minds of the authors. But it takes lots of years to undo what has been deeply ingrained in a child’s mind and I’m still a work in progress. Fortunately, young girls in Africa today are not limited to the kinds of romance and fiction novels my generation was limited to because those of us who were fixated on foreign and unrealistic romance tales have grown up to rewrite those stories using characters who look like us, sound like us, and who live like us. These authors bring some reality to their novels that are a blend of fiction and real life. I reached out to five African romance writers for this piece and three decided to speak candidly about their lives and why they chose to become romance authors.
Sites That Link to this Post
- African Romance Writers Speak Candidly About Life, Reality and … | saucegourmet.com | February 12, 2013
- poetry site | March 13, 2013