All tagged falling in love

My stories always have a happy ending. Why is that? Actually, they not only have a happy ending, but they always end, “and they lived happily ever after.” That is, there is no doubt that nothing will happen that will keep the two people in the romance from staying together the rest of their lives … and in love—no matter what!

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  I’ve always liked “Runaway Bride” stories. It’s a genre unto itself. As my wife and I meandered down the winding, narrow canyon drive, I began to imagine a runaway bride, who was lost and running out of gas in one of the many rustic campsites along Oak Creek.

            In this genre—actually a sub-genre within romantic fiction—brides run away for all sorts of reasons. I imagined that the bride in my story was running away from an arranged marriage. I pictured her in a car she had stolen from the gentleman whom she was being forced by her family to marry. She was coming from Texas and going west to California. I saw her ending up in a campsite of a man who was coming from California and going east to Texas.

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In most of my novels, I bring in interracial relationships. Why? First of all, my marriage is such a relationship. I am a white man who is married to a Latina. For young people today, that’s no big deal. But for the older generations, who are the majority and who politically are in control, it still is a big deal—whether they will admit it or not.

            It is hard for a young person today to grasp the idea of going to jail for marrying a person of another race. But until 1967, when the Supreme Court ruled it unconstitutional, over half of the states—and at one time two-thirds of the states—made what was called “miscegenation” a crime, punishable by imprisonment. (See: Loving v. Virginia.) That is, if a white person married a person who was legally non-white, the two parties were subject to criminal punishment and their marriage was not recognized—similar to the situation today for same-sex relationships in some states.

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Her name was Tayla—Tayla Neel. In September of 1959, she lived in the Golden Spread Trailer Park, a refugee camp of next-to-homeless people at the far northeastern corner of Mackenzie, Texas. The snobby crowd at her high school laughingly called her “Trayla Trash.”

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