Writing about my experience as a biracial British war baby was cathartic. As I transported my memories to paper, I often laughed—and cried. Along the way, I developed a loving appreciation for my mother’s personal strength. In an era when racism was the norm, my mother—a white Irish married woman—raised me, a biracial child, despite the fact that I was a constant reminder to others of her liaison with an African American soldier. Some women, in similar circumstances after WWII, gave up their biracial children for adoption.
My three children were fascinated by my stories of growing up in post-war Britain. They loved hearing about a time when chimney sweeps and lamplighters were commonplace, and how I would wear a prefect badge like Hermione in Harry Potter, listen to the wireless, or ride a double-decker bus to the Saturday morning picture show.
After I retired from a career in state government, I wrote the memoir that had for decades been writing itself in me. The spark had been lit during a community college writing class after I moved to the U.S. For a class assignment, I wrote an essay about my Auntie Margaret, a neighbor whose home was a loving sanctuary from my chaotic household where I suffered emotional abuse as the only child of color in a family of eight white children.
After "Fudge: The Ups and Downs of a Biracial British War Baby "
was published in 2015, I began writing columns for the Auburn Journal and The Union newspapers. A compilation of my favorites became my second book, Bonkers for Conkers.