When it comes to relationships, we've all been warned to keep our distance from those so-called "bad boys." Clad in muscle tees and baggy jeans, these forbidden flames seem right in all of the wrong ways. It makes sense then that chain-smoking womanizers manage to win over our hearts, much to the dismay of our parents.
But what if your current love isn't accepted in the eyes of your family based solely on his race? Actress-turned-author Diane Farr was faced with this issue seven years ago when she began dating a Korean. Nearly a decade has passed, leaving Farr equipped with three children and numerous life lessons on interracial love.
In Kissing Outside the Lines, Farr details her journey and the stories of others on the quest for love with no boundaries. Both witty and bold, Farr challenges readers to "kiss these people often as a well as tell anyone who sees you different from how you see yourself — to kiss your ass."
What is the premise behind your story?
The book was born out of my experience of dating and later marrying my husband. We're biracial — he's Asian and I'm Caucasian. On our sixth date he said to me, "I'm not allowed to marry you, I'm supposed to marry a Korean girl." My parents had a similar conversation with me around junior high school, giving me a list of who I was and wasn't allowed to love. But somehow Asian just didn't fall on the "no" list. Of course, by the time I left for college the first thing I did was go and fall in love with a black man.
How has your journey with your husband, Seung, changed you as a mother?
It changed me because it all started to boil down to what his parents would treat our kids like. I was a grown woman. I had my own money, lived in my own house. I was not in a situation where I was going to be financially dependent on his parents. I've always been looking at this from the standpoint of motherhood. But grandchildren are 99-percent of the time the great equalizer. My in-laws were visiting from Korea this week and my father in law is standing in the kitchen saying, "She is so beautiful. It's because she is mixed, because she has two things."
What lesson do you hope to teach your children?
I work so hard to figure out the right setting and the right vocabulary so they realize all families look different; all siblings are different. That race and ethnicity don't define you, they're just flavor.
How has this book helped your relationship?
The book did for me exactly what it was supposed to: it filled the gap. It answered a lot of questions that I had but also made me have to think about their side of the story. I didn't want to write a screaming, scathing, you-are-the-bad-guy piece. It made me see everybody's side of the story where there is no black and white.
Now about that cover art…
Everyone thinks it's me! My own mother even asked how I took that photograph. It's not my picture, but she does have fabulous legs so I'm appreciative everyone thinks they're mine.
Details: Seal Press, $24.95