By Madison Butkus
Hometown Weekly Reporter
Sponsored by the Friends of the Ashland Public Library, the Needham Free Public Library (NFPL) shared a Q&A event with romance author Tracey Livesay. While Livesay has an array of published works, her main topic of discussion revolved around her two books "American Royalty" and "The Duchess Effect.”
Livesay is a former criminal defense attorney who currently lives in Virginia with her husband and three children. Her love for romance novels started at the young age of eleven years old and continued all throughout her life. She was known as the girl who always had her head in a book.
While reading so many romance novels, she noticed that it was hard to relate to many of them. Being a part of her own interracial relationship, she wondered why more books were not written this way.
She went on to state, “I just wanted to read a romance that I loved and just happen to have the heroine be black and the hero be white and they have a happily ever after. And I found that difficult to find. Fast forward to the time when I am deciding that I want to try to pursue this and I’m writing my stories, I knew I was going to write about a black heroine, again, because it was important to me that people/women who look like me could see themselves in the genre.”
Unfortunately, there were many publishing companies who originally told her to change the couple to be the same race, but she always told them no.
Livesay mentioned, “I love writing these books but I also realize that I am doing something with my books. It’s not just about writing the story. I do believe that I am saying something, I am putting something out into the world and I want it to represent what I want it to represent. And so it was important enough to me that if people had said either you change or we don’t publish, then it’s back to law I go because that is what I wanted to write and that's how I got here. Over the years, it has gotten a bit easier and now I am building a brand so people know at this point that's what you are going to get.”
While times have gotten better, there is still much more improvement to be had. They have a seat at the table, but the question remains, why can’t there be more of them at that table? This is exactly what Livesay hopes to help change down the road and her novels are definitely the way to do so.
These two books depict the real-life romance of American Royalty between Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan Markle, if Meghan was Megan Thee Stallion. For more information on these two amazing books, please visit the Needham Free Public Library.