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Veronica's Coming Out; I Want the World to Know!

By CATHERINE

Veronica sprouted from my imagination during my first year at the University of San Francisco. I started writing about her as my first big project in my Autobiographical and Narrative Writing class.

Her story began with a true moment in my life, a moment when a random boy in my fifth grade class accused: “Catherine, I heard your mom’s black.”

Why was this kid demanding an explanation about my racial make-up, as if it was his business? The fact is that our mother is black and our father was white. Due to the randomness of genetics, both my sister and I have our father’s skin color. But as a 10-year-old girl, I was confused and uncomfortable about being singled out.

My graduate writing program roused up those memories, and I dug into the character of Veronica, who is entirely fictional, and her multiracial world. Anyone who went to Clinton Middle School will recognize Hammerstein’s Bagels and Pub on Nine Mile, but other than those Oak Park landmarks, it’s Veronica’s world, not mine. Unlike me, she has adventures; whereas, I just went to school and tried not to be a pesky sister to Elizabeth and her extremely cool friends.

When I decided that my Master’s thesis would be a novel about Veronica, I discovered that I had actually written a novel and a sequel. My advisors, Toni Graham, Zack Rogow, Carolyn Hill, and Anne Barrows, the director of the program, were all instrumental in the development of Veronica.

Following grad school, I tried to publish my books. When no one was interested, I sent Veronica on a long vacation on an iomega zip disk.

Lucky for Veronica and me, the publishing industry changed drastically. She is coming back from her vacation all these years later. Veronica will inspire biracial girls around the world, God willing, to proudly embrace their unique identities!

As Elizabeth and I know from looking white but being black, too, it can be extremely difficult for mixed-race girls and boys to find their place in the world. As 14-year-old Veronica navigates the tricky terrain of friends, boys, school and family, she showcases the many issues and dynamics that multiracial kids have to endure. This, on top of everything else that young teens are trying to figure out about themselves and the crazy world we live in.

Plus, not much has been written from the perspective of a biracial teenaged girl. 

So now, Veronica’s coming out, and I want the world to know!

“Veronica, I Heard Your Mom’s Black” will be published very soon. The second and third books in the Series will follow shortly. I’m working on books four, five, six and seven—all stories that allow Veronica to dive deep into compelling topics that play out in the headlines every day.

I call it The Infinite Veronica Series. And I’m so excited to share it with you! So stay tuned, and thank you in advance for helping me unveil Veronica and her inspiring messages on life and love.

© 2016 Two Sisters Writing & Publishing