Lev Grossman muses in this week's TIME Magazine:
Writing about rich white people is no way to make it as a novelist anymore. You're just one Fitzgerald among many. Rich black people, though --now there's a subject you can build a brand on.
I found the observation particularly amusing as, just last week, I turned in the copy-edited manuscript of my next Figure Skating Mystery, Skate Crime (available in bookstores everywhere December 2007).
Skate Crime is a little different in format from my previous four skating mysteries in that, in addition to the murder at its center, the book also features in-depth looks, complete with flashbacks, into all of the suspects.
One of them is Antonia Wright (first introduced in On Thin Ice), a character loosely based on the legendary Mabel Fairbanks.
In Toni's flashback, we learn of the difficulties the African-American (then 'colored') young woman had breaking into the top echelons of United States Figure Skating, despite being a very wealthy Harlem debutante.
It's a segment of Black history and society that doesn't get nearly as much play -- in either fiction or non-fiction -- as the less savory aspects. Or so I thought. According to Lev Grossman, though, it's the latest trend!
Meanwhile, what do you all think of my latest cover?