PRIDE AND PASSION is the sixth book in the Decades: A Journey of African American Romance series. This series consists of 12 books, each set in one of 12 decades between 1900 and 2010. Each story focuses on the romance between African American protagonists, but also embraces the African American experience within that decade. Join the journey on our Facebook page, http://bit.ly/2z9sMrd.
As an author of contemporary romance, I’ve written books about the African American experience. I have several books I’ve self-published and have extended my membership in several writer’s organizations, but none of my professional associations ever included historical romance of any sort.
I admit, I am not a history buff, nor was history my area of interest when it came to writing. That was until I heard about the Decades: A Journey of African American Romance project. When I heard about the project, something intrigued me about it and I knew I wanted to participate. Making the temptation even better was the fact that the 1950s was available for the taking.
In all honesty, I probably thought I knew more about my decade than I really did and I was surprised by that. Not every minute was spent fighting, protesting, and marching. This was a decade of firsts for African Americans in entertainment, politics, and education.
Further surprising me was how little I knew about the regular people just living their lives. Not everyone was a part of the movement. Not everyone was an activist. Not everyone wanted to be involved. Some people were simply happy living their lives. There were those who carved out a life for themselves during the 1950s, especially those in small towns like the one in PRIDE AND PASSION. These people intrigued me because when you hear their stories some of them don’t even mention Rosa Parks or Martin Luther King. They talk about being a part of military families and how they were able to have a family because the military helped pay the way. They talk about small town picnics and neighborhoods where everyone knew everyone and sometimes that had more impact on their lives than anything going on in the bigger cities surrounding them.
In PRIDE AND PASSION, I focus on a few of these people.
They say write what you know, but when you know less than you thought, it can be hard to decide what story to tell. However, the small-town aspect drew me in. I was inspired by stories like Fences that took a slice of regular life and just showed how people lived day-to-day. So as much as my heroine, Constance Ray, is a woman coming into her own during the 1950s and learning how to navigate life after the death of a spouse, I felt like I was right there with her. As I wrote, I was learning like she was. As I wrote, I was discovering the decade just as she was. As I wrote, my eyes were being opened to some of the little-known facts, happenings, and injustices I never would’ve known had I not been fortunate enough to be a part of this project.
What I hope you take from reading PRIDE AND PASSION is not only an enjoyable read, but I also hope you take away a story, an experience, you never would’ve had. I hope you feel transported to a time when a love could still be sweet and innocent despite the backdrop of the times.
Carla Buchanan is a professionally and self-published author who published her first novel in 2012. Since then she has published several more books in the romance and women’s fiction subgenres, and continues to write for those subgenres.