I used to hope I had an identical twin because I certainly was not like the others kids at Melrose grammar school. There I was with glasses, the first child to have braces on her teeth, and I loved to read instead of playing hop scotch. I had no twin but loved meeting and knowing them.
In recent years I read about identical twins, separated at an early age yet remained exactly alike in many ways. They both married a girl named Carol, drove a Chevy, and had a dog named Buddy. It made me wonder if we are programmed, like the butterflies who emerge from a cocoon and, with a brain smaller than the head of a pin, know to fly to an exact small town in Mexico.
These two ideas—identical twins and whether we are programmed —floated around in my head, pushing me to write a story. One day I had an “A-HA” moment. What if one was raised white and the other was raised black? And if their father was a jazz artist? Jazz had to be in there, of course. Finally, about two years ago I began to write. Something like the butterfly who just knows; the story wrote itself. I didn’t create Grandmère and Alice, Uncle Albert, Rodeen, and JJ. They just turned up, full blown and invaded the story.
Now “The Color of Music” has been published. I enjoyed writing it and am delighted that the few people who have seen advance copies have told me they couldn’t put the book down. I hope others will read and enjoy my book.
Interviews with author Claire P. Gordon