I have to say, writing an interracial couple, for me, was something that happened by chance, not design. I didn’t say to myself, ‘Hey, how about a hot tall, dark and handsome black American man and a half Korean, half Jamaican woman for a romance?’ I don’t write that way. Actually, I don’t even think that way.
I was raised in a dysfunctional family, to say the least. My parents split when I was so young I didn’t know what the word ‘divorcé’ meant. I was also, and still am, an introvert in the sense that I’ve got a whole world of thoughts in my head and half the time I’m in that world, rather than the one we all walk in.
What does this mean to my story?
Well, it means that my mom went to college after the split, and I was introduced to a lot of people from all over the world at a pretty young age. I grew up with people of all colors and backgrounds and religions in and out of our home. So I kinda grew up without that being a big deal. One of my very good friends, and at one time my babysitter, is a black woman who lived with us for a few years while she went to college with my mom. She even got my room. It was an interesting way to be raised, but I should thank my mom and dad for that since I walked away knowing there were differences between peoples of different cultures, but those differences weren’t scary and they didn’t define us. We did. Our relationships, our interactions, I guess.
Or maybe I spend too much time in the worlds I create rather than the world around me. I see the news, I know about poverty, and I realize life isn’t always as simple as I wish it was. But I write romance, and from my past, and my present, I create people, characters sure, but I hope people.
And being a person that spends almost all her time thinking of new stories, I always dig deep for my characters, basing them sometimes on movie stars, or singers, or a combination of people I know well and those more famous celebrities.
So, when I began to form Daren Scott in my mind, it was no wonder he looked a lot like my favorite Criminal Minds character mixed with a good friend I worked with. Or that after being in China for a while, I created a Korean character with a Jamaican mother for Kylie. It just worked out that way.
I hope it worked, I should say.
Both characters are strong, solid people. Dare with a bad boy, kinda go wild and crazy on you, but with a decent, honorable core that matches Kylie’s Korean traditional views and her modern woman ideals. Together they survive some pretty tough stuff in Catch Me If You Can, but they also learn quickly that what they’ve found is worth keeping, or in their case, catching. ;)