When I first read A Missing Peace I was blown away by the choices Beth made in a YA setting. With an Iraqi heroine and a Texan bad boy army brat hero, the story is an updated Romeo and Juliet with a military twist, and it blew us away. I invited Beth to the blog today to tell us about this story, and why it’s so very important to her.
Hi Kate and everyone! Thanks for letting me come here to talk about A Missing Peace today. It seems like everyone wants to know why I chose to write this book. Why it had to be this one. It’s come up in guest post and interviews, and I like that. This book was important to me. Writing this drew so much off of who I am, I think that’s why I was able to complete it in about six weeks. (Eight if you count the two I took off to have a baby).
So here it goes. My husband is from India. I’m an East Texas girl. My brother, my cousins, my grandfather and even my father were all in the U.S. military. It’s true, my husband is not from the Mideast nor is he Muslim. But somehow people manage to mistake him for Muslim, so we get harassed. Seriously.
If we fly out of a smaller airport, we’re always pegged for additional security. I had no desire to move to India, so we stayed in the U.S. The government official at the green card interview told me, “It’s your fault you’re here. You could have married an American citizen and you wouldn’t have to be here.” I have one cousin who maintains he can’t see my husband because it gives him flashbacks of Iraq. It’s ridiculous. And these things have been present it my culture for a while. I just didn’t notice them until they affected me.
I knew firs-hand what someone in an interracial intercultural relationship would face. I needed to write something that said we’re all just human. It doesn’t matter where you’re from, what you look like, or what you’re background is. All that matters is who you are as a person. Writing it made me feel better about things that have happened in my life. I worked hard to make Mirriam someone a Western audience could connect with, and from early reviews it seems I did that. I hoped that her one, individual story would open hearts and minds.