I read a lot, and I go to a lot of book conventions. One thing that I have noticed when attending these conventions is that there aren’t too many authors of color floating around. Another fact which I am ashamed to admit is, I myself, am not too familiar with very many authors of color.
Whenever I am planning to attend a book convention, I research all the authors who will attend. It’s often pretty eye-opening. One convention I will be attending this year has a list of 77 Authors on it, and from what I can tell there is only one author of color on that list. I will say this though, not all the authors photos are available so those who have opted not to have their photos on their pages could in fact be authors of color.
This was a sad realization for me. Because I have basically devoted a lot of my time to authors who are not POC, I’ve missed out on some really good ones. That being said, I did some more research on authors who are POC, and that you and I can discover together!
Here is my list of the 10 POC Authors to check out:
Genre: Science-fiction & Fantasy, Romance, Mystery & Thrillers
Why you should be reading: The late L.A. Banks is best known for her Vampire Huntress series. Her work comes highly recommended to me by my sister. L.A. Banks was basically the black Laurell K. Hamilton, if you are looking for an author to compare her work too. I wish I had picked up her work while she was still living, but sadly, she passed in August of 2011. Her books have been on my TBR forever, so I think it’s probably about time to give them a go.
Book Recommendation: Minion (Vampire Huntress, book 1)
There is one woman who is all that stands between us and the eternal night. Here is an account of her legend…
All Damali Richards ever wanted to do was create music and bring it to the people. Now she is a spoken word artist and the top act for Warriors of Light Records. But come nightfall, she hunts vampires and demons—predators that people tend to dismiss as myth or fantasy. Damali and her Guardian team cannot afford such delusions, especially now, when a group of rogue vampires has been killing the artists of Warriors of Light and their rival, Blood Music.
When strange attacks erupt within the club drug-trafficking network and draw the attention of the police, Damali realizes these killings are a bit out of the ordinary, even for vampires. Instead of neat puncture marks in the neck showing where the blood has been drained from the body, these corpses are mutilated beyond recognition, indicating a blood lust and thirst for destruction that surpasses any Damali has encountered before. Soon she discovers that behind these brutal murders is the most powerful vampire Damali has ever met—a seductive beast who is coming for her next…
Genre: Romance, Chick lit, Contemporary
Why you should be reading: M. Clarke is an International best-selling author, known for her Something great romance series. She writes contemporary romance stories that are fun and flirty, and her books are very entertaining. I discovered her at an indie author convention a couple years back, and have become a fan of her work. Something I should mention is that M. Clarke is a pen name. The authors real name is Mary Ting: you can find her YA, Romance, and fantasy books under that name.
Book Recommendation: Something great (Something Great, book 1)
She didn’t know what she was missing…until he found her.
Maxwell Knight was positively trouble, dangerously good-looking, and seductively charming. He was everything Jeanella didn’t need in her life. Only Maxwell didn’t see it that way. His pursuit was relentless, making her even more determined to push him away.
Fresh out of college, life was simple and plain for Jeanella Mefferd. Every part of her life was smooth sailing; her friends, her job, and even the guy she’d started dating. Then one night, while at dinner, she spotted someone who made her feel things she’d never felt before—dangerous, heart pounding and breathless heat. Thinking she would never see him again, she brushed it off, but when she started to run into him unexpectedly, all she could think of was how he made her feel with his sweet flirtations. Everything about Maxwell Knight screamed trouble, especially when she found out he was her new boss’s son. Now, heading to a New York fashion show, would she be able to focus on her career instead of Maxwell, who had been scheduled to attend with her? As much as she tried to forget their encounters, his good looks, smooth words and determination to win her over gravitated her toward him. The next thing she knew, her mind was utterly consumed by him. Would she be willing to ignore all the dangerous signs and jump into his arms? Or would she miss out on the chance of finding something great?
Genre: Young Adult/New adult, Romance
Why you should be reading: One of my favorite New adult/Young Adult Romance writers. Her stories are full of angst, and she does a wonderful job of narrating the teenage experience. My personal favorite of hers is Searching for Beautiful. That book is one of those ugly cries, keep tissues by your side type of reads. I highly recommend checking out her work.
Book Recommendation: Searching for Beautiful
Before, Brynn had a group of best friends, a loving boyfriend, a growing talent for pottery. She had a life. And after…she had none.
When Brynn lost the boyfriend who never loved her, the friends who feel she betrayed their trust, and the new life just beginning to grow inside her, she believes her future is as empty as her body. But then Christian, the boy next door, starts coming around. Playing his guitar and pushing her to create art once more. She meets some new friends at the local community center, plus even gets her dad to look her in the eye again…sort of.
But can Brynn open up her heart to truly find her life’s own beauty, when living for the after means letting go of the before?
Genre: Romance, Fiction
Why you should be reading: If you’re in the mood for a dark romance, then B.B. is your girl. I love her work and have read everything she’s written so far. B.B. Reid does not write your average sugary romance books. Her men are wild, reckless, and will literally kill for the women they love. Her heroines are just as tough. The plot twists in her books will keep you guessing.
Book Recommendation: The Peer and The Puppet (When Rivals Play, book 1)
Borrow the bike. Win the race. Collect the cash. It should’ve been an easy job. Ran out of town with a broken leg and a lawsuit, my mother’s latest flame swoops in like a knight in gilded armor. Blackwood Keep is a place I don’t belong, and I’m not the only one who knows. To the boy across the hall, my savior’s only son, I’m a stray looking for a bone.
He’s lord of the manor.
King of the academy.
And number one on my shit list.
I have no intentions of becoming a happy family with the social climber and her wild daughter. A bottle of Jameson and a cracked skull gets my problem shipped to reform school, but I didn’t bank on her returning.
Four’s out to get even, and she almost had the perfect plan: expose the privileged kid moonlighting as a gangbanger. She’s smart, but she’ll have to be smarter. Sending her away won’t be good enough this time. I’m going to have to tame the little troublemaker. To the girl across the hall, the one without a name, I’m nothing without my silver spoon.
She’s lady of the trailer park.
Queen of the swamps.
And my new favorite pastime.
Genre: Romance, Contemporary, Fiction
Why you should be reading: Kennedy Ryan is another author whose work I have been planning on reading for a while. I’ve got a few of her books and I keep adding more to my TBR. Kennedy writes Contemporary Romance and her most recent release Hook Shot, which is book 3 in her Hoops series has had rave reviews. As you probably guessed, the Hoops series is a sports romance so, if you love sports and romance, then this is perfect for you.
Book Recommendation: Long shot (Hoops book 1)
A Standalone FORBIDDEN LOVE SET IN THE EXPLOSIVE WORLD OF THE NBA…
Think you know what it’s like being a baller’s girl?
My fairy tale is upside down.
A happily never after.
I kissed the prince and he turned into a fraud.
I was a fool, and his love – fool’s gold.
Now there’s a new player in the game, August West.
One of the NBA’s brightest stars.
He wants me. I want him.
But my past, my fraudulent prince, just won’t let me go.
Genre: Romance, Chick lit, Contemporary
Why you should be reading: Kimi Flores is another one of my favorite contemporary romance writers. Kimi writes sweet heartfelt stories that will make you feel warm and fuzzy when you read them.
Book Recommendation: It All Started With A Lima Bean (Intertwined Hearts, book 1)
A past that haunts can be laid to rest through the act of forgiveness, even if the person you forgive is yourself. It must be gifted freely.
Abby Sullivan cherishes the life she is creating for herself in her hometown of Santa Barbara, California. She adores her best friend and supportive family. Her job as a kindergarten teacher offers her life hope and purpose. She is very talented at many things, especially hiding the pain of her past. That is until her world collides with Caleb Hunter’s, giving them both a lesson in forgiveness and love.
A life changing love is cruelly snatched by sickness and death. A person must be willing to give love, the greatest gift of all, to receive love.
A successful writer, Caleb is living life day-to-day. Giving refuge to his sad and lonely heart since his wife’s sudden death from cervical cancer, his primary focus becomes honoring her memory by rearing their five-year-old daughter, Madison. Yet, when Madison Hunter walks into Miss Abby’s kindergarten class, everything changes for all three of them.
With a little nudge from a loving mother-in-law who has everyone’s best interest at heart, anything is possible, especially when forgiveness and love gift even more blessings than ever imaginable.
Genre: Romance, Fiction
Why you should be reading: Although she currently only has one book out, I had to put Robinne here. Robinne’s book The Idea of you is such a beautiful and painful romance. Her book was released in 2017, and it gave me the longest book hangover of my life. This was another ugly cry read for me. I’m telling you, it is so good readers are still begging her to write a sequel.
Book Recommendation: The Idea of You
When Solène Marchand, the thirty-nine-year-old owner of a prestigious art gallery in Los Angeles, takes her daughter, Isabelle, to meet her favorite boy band, she does so reluctantly and at her ex-husband’s request. The last thing she expects is to make a connection with one of the members of the world-famous August Moon. But Hayes Campbell is clever, winning, confident, and posh, and the attraction is immediate. That he is all of twenty years old further complicates things.
What begins as a series of clandestine trysts quickly evolves into a passionate relationship. It is a journey that spans continents as Solène and Hayes navigate each other’s disparate worlds: from stadium tours to international art fairs to secluded hideaways. And for Solène, it is as much a reclaiming of self, as it is a rediscovery of happiness and love. When their romance becomes a viral sensation, and both she and her daughter become the target of rabid fans and an insatiable media, Solène must face how her new status has impacted not only her life, but the lives of those closest to her.
Genre: Memoirs, Young Adult
Why you should be reading: Veronica was born in Panama and raised in Brooklyn, and her work often reflects her Afro-latinx heritage. She wrote an acclaimed memoir, Mamma’s Girl, and also a young adult novel, The Go Between, so if you want range, she’s got range.
Book Recommendation: Mamma’s Girl
On the streets of Brooklyn in the 1970s, Veronica Chambers mastered the whirling helixes of a double-dutch jump rope with the same finesse she brought to her schoolwork, her often troubled family life, and the demands of being overachieving and being underprivileged. Her mother — a Panamanian immigrant — was too often overwhelmed by the task of raising Veronica and her difficult younger brother on her meager secretary’s salary to applaud her daughter’s achievements. From an early age, Veronica understood that the best she could do for her mother was to be a perfect child — to rewrite her Christmas wish lists to her mother’s budget, to look after her brother, to get by on her own.
Though her mother seemed to bear out the adage that “black women raise their daughters and mother their sons,” Veronica never stopped trying to do more, do better, do it all. And now, as a successful young woman who’s achieved more than her mother dared to hope for her, she looks back on their relationship in this moving, startingly honest memoir, and shares some important truths about what we really want from our mothers — and what we can give them in return.
Genre: M/F romance, M/M romance, Erotic romance
Why you should be reading: Now, this author is a new one to me but she also was recommended to me by my sister. Her Queens of Kings series is what stuck out to me while researching her books, so I immeditately added them to my TBR.
Book Recommendation: Heart of The Matter (Queens of Kings book 1)
Heart “Mac” MacKenzie is a tough police lieutenant in the rough streets of Brooklyn, New York. She’s a strong leader who doesn’t mind getting in the trenches with the men and women she leads at the seventy-four precinct. Her house, her people, and her family—both blue and blood—are the only things that matter. She would live and die for the blue wall that shields her from a traumatic past.
When her captain assigns her a high-profile kidnapping case that she doesn’t want, and insists she allows the missing girl’s irritatingly sexy uncle to tag along during the investigation, her blood boils. Mac has no choice but to do what she always does when things get out of control, lay down the law—her law.
Kenneth Searlington is a rich playboy from the Upper East Side of Manhattan. With stunning looks and an unlimited source of wealth, he’s used to being the center of everyone’s attention, especially the women that he comes in contact with. His life is fun and carefree until his niece, Merridith is kidnapped, and he’s forced to seek out the help of his godfather an NYPD police captain, David Porter.
Afraid and frustrated, Kenneth defers to his uncle’s expertise and his promise that he’s putting his best cop on the case, Lieutenant MacKenzie. When Kenneth discovers “Mac” is actually a sexy as sin lady cop with a fiery temper to match, he decides mixing a little business with pleasure might be just the thing he needs to distract him from long-standing family issues that are trying to crawl their way back into the forefront of his life.
Each used to having their own way, can these two work together long enough to bring an innocent child home? Or will they settle their differences and unyielding attraction in a more carnal way and get right down to the heart of the matter?
Genre: Romance, Mystery
Why you should be reading: Claire is a New York times best-selling author, and another one whose books are piling up on my TBR. I have heard so many great things about her books. Her Hearts series is currently at the top of my list and I plan on reading her work soon.
Book Recommendation: Kaleidoscope hearts (Hearts book 1)
He was my older brother’s best friend.
He was never supposed to be mine.
I thought we would get it out of our system and move on.
One of us did.
One of us left.
Now he’s back, looking at me like he wants to devour me. And all those feelings I’d turned into anger are brewing into something else, something that terrifies me.
He broke my heart last time.
This time he’ll obliterate it.
Well, after doing all of this research, I can honestly say my TBR pile has gotten even larger than it already was. I’m looking forward to discovering some new authors and revisting some favorites.
Did any of these authors interest you? Were you already familiar with any of them? What other POC authors would you recommend? Share with us in the comments below!