For those who have emailed me about this story, know that I am still pursuing it. I spoke with Millenia Black this morning and I have several calls into many parties pertaining to this matter. There is a forthcoming podcast in the works devoted exclusively to this issue, but here’s what I can tell you now:
The Great Betrayal, the novel in question, is being released by NAL Trade on December 5, 2006. The novel will feature the characters as Caucasian, rather than the suggested change to African-American.
Black claims that recent legal maneuvers spawned the book’s release as is. She told me that, outside of the change in race, she had no problems with any of the editor’s changes. (I also finally got through to the editor today and hope to hear her side of the story.)
The Great Betrayal was accepted in outline form with the characters as white. Black then wrote the novel based on this outline. It was just after Black had finished the manuscript when the character race change was requested by her editor.
Communications on this matter between Black and the editor came through her agent. The editor broached the race change question with the agent; the agent then relayed this to Black. Black said no and there began an email volley between Black and the editor. Curiously, the matter was never taken up by phone directly between Black and the editor.
There is a lot more I’m following up on here and I will present the results as they come in.