Readers can make or break an author. So of course writers want to give readers what they want by coming out with jaw dropping, heart stopping, eye watering novels that will have readers bombard bookstores and recommend their work to everyone they know. It's all about supply and demand, but how do you know what readers want? How do you know what readers are demanding for you to write? Plenty of authors turn to their reviews after their novel is written in order to determine whether it was a hit or miss. But wouldn't it be better if you could know what readers want before you put pen to paper and will therefore be guaranteed a steady clientele, well authors this is your opportunity. Read once a month in the Reader's Voice exactly what readers of urban fiction wants once it comes to the genre. Know what is expected of you and how you can keep your novels original and fresh. And readers, let your voice be heard help authors write entertaining drama filled novels that will keep their sales boosting and your eyes entertained.
For the first issue of the Reader's Voice three women were interviewed and asked a mixture of questions regarding the genre, urban fiction. I wanted to know their likes, dislikes, and how they viewed the genre. I wanted to know it all!
When asked what each of the readers believed urban fiction offered that other genres didn't each reader responded by saying the genre offers the truth and are relatable. Co-Lette Phoenix, 37, stated "urban fiction offers story lines that some people can relate to. The characters maybe fictional but the events are real to a lot of people." Krystle Middlebrooks,22, said "urban fiction offers complete realness." Although people like to sometimes get lost in the imagination of the author, it never hurts for the fictional novel to have some type of truth to it. In the New York Times article From the Streets to the Libraries written by Anne Barnard in October of 2008, urban fiction reader Shonda Miller, 35, also believes urban fiction is the truth. "I read what I can relate to, they're writing about what I've experienced. It's easier than reading about Beverly Hills and Rodeo Drive," she said. Julie Armstrong, 46, likes the genre because she says "it is so real and tells the truth about the street life." Phoenix appreciates the fact that urban fiction gives readers a chance to look into what really goes on in the inner city.
There are people out there who look down on urban fiction due to its graphic and violent scenes, but there are also people who are fine with the genres violence such as Middlebrooks. She finds the violent scenes to be entertaining and drama filled. "Seeing how I'm a full time college student, there is very little drama in my life and when I need a dose of it I just open an urban fiction book" she explains. Many people may look down on the violence the genre has to give but you have to remeber that sometimes these scenes are simply for entertainment purposes only, if not real life experiences being written on paper.
Even though these readers like urban fiction and the realness it has to offer there are things that will push them away from picking up a novel such as bad writing, bad cover art, and stories that become too predictable. One reader even mentioned that if she could change one thing about the genre it would be the most troubled character actually makes it out the hood without ending up dead or doing time. Sometimes it is refreshing to have a happy ending, although it is realistic for there to be sad and dramatic endings, authors must remember that there are also sunshine after the storm.
Now what authors do these women read and has proclaimed their favorites? Who do they believe are great authors and contribute great novels to urban books? These authors are Ashley & Jaquavis, K'wan, Noire, Wahida Clark, Miss.KP and Kiki Swinson. These authors help keep urban fiction going and pull readers in from the very first page.