Superhero Secret Agent Vela Kurv

Why Writing Biracial Female Superheroes is What the World Needs Now

Former First Lady, Michelle Obama is currently adapting her bestselling book, Becoming, for young teens who are beginning their lives of real purpose. In an interview with Stephen Colbert for the promotion of her book, she talked about crying for 25 minutes after boarding Air Force One on the last day of her husband’s time in office as the 44th President of the United States and the release of eight years of always being cautious as to how the world perceived her, her husband and her children. She was the First Lady for eight years but she was defined by race and held accountable for representing her ethnicity as First Lady. Never defined purely by who she was as a human being and what she accomplished in her own life’s work, after all she was a graduate of Princeton University and Harvard Law School. She was also a successful practicing attorney of Sidley Austin Law Firm in Chicago, Illinois. She is a wife and a mother.

As a writer, how do we create such a duplicitous woman of stature, a woman of accomplishment and a woman of color? As a society, we put characters in boxes but what if a character fits into more than one box? How would one recreate a character with similar heritage to a Meghan Markle? For clarity sake, Meghan is the Duchess of Sussex. She is a recently retired American actress who married Prince Harry, thus becoming a member of the British royal family. More than that, Markle was born and raised in Los Angeles, California, and is of mixed race. As a writer, how do we create a character that’s remarkable, and both female and multiracial? Where do we begin?

How My Biracial Superhero Found Her Journey To Story

I created a biracial superhero that is defined by the content of her character and not a stereotypical orchestration based on her ethnic heritage. I began by defining the world in which she lived. I wanted her surroundings, her family and her aspirations to be personal. I wanted her beginnings to come from parents who loved each other, much like the home I grew up in, nothing about it seemed exceptional to me. I was a witness to the love shared between two people who married until the day my mother died. In fact I had many friends growing up that came from a two-parent household that was typically middle class. And I remembered my science fiction teacher from the University of California, Los Angeles Writers Program, explaining to his students, about the importance of always remembering the “human condition”. Incorporating the relatable aspects of humanity is key to connecting our character to the audience they will serve.

Writing Inspiration Comes From the Global Adoration of Many

I read an article on Wonder Woman by Charlie Jane Anders (from, an online science fiction and fantasy magazine published by Tor Books), that conveyed such a poignant and relevant context of how this writer defined her: ““For all their kinky eroticism, the original Wonder Woman comics are also a story about slavery, and what comes after you win your freedom. But most of all, the thing that made Wonder Woman irresistible to me, back then, was the way she felt like a fairytale hero and a conventional action hero, rolled into one brightly colored package.”

Creating a superhero has always been about answering a call for preserving the integrity mankind, righting a wrong or making a statement about an imbalance of some deep chasm that society needs. Being a teacher and part of the education community, I was drawn to watch Davis Guggenheim’s Waiting for Superman, which is a documentary on education. Guggenheim’s title comes from the life and perspective of Geoffrey Canada, an American educator, a graduate of Harvard University, Bowdoin College, and Harvard Graduate School Of Education, who was devastated to find out in his youth that Superman wasn’t real.

Canada is African American and he grew up in the South Bronx of New York. His background is ground breaking. He founded the Harlem Children’s Zone (HCZ), a non-profit organization for poverty-stricken children and families living in Harlem that provides education beginning with adolescence that is directed at breaking the cycle of generational poverty for the thousands of children and families the school serves. Superman was who Canada believed would save him and many others from a life of poverty and challenge, finding out Superman was fictional shattered his hope for a time. A writer’s inspiration comes from many places, world events and conditions of society that resonate within as to who we are as human beings.

The Breadcrumbs of Creating a Biracial Female Superhero

In my perspective, Superheroes provide hope. And as a writer, I believe, we design them to do so. As such, they have to feel real and relatable. Tying their creation to the plight of the fight in which they will battle pulls us in to their story and the struggle they will serve to win against it. Heroes and superheroes are iconic and relatable because we believe in their struggle yet they are not self-serving nor do they fall into a stereotypical frame. They are not all blonde and blue-eyed, they don’t grow-up inside a home surrounded by a white picket fence. They are not the high school quarterback or cheerleader. They struggle because they are unique and exceptional but unable to share their condition with a peer or someone they love and trust.

Superheroes tug at our hearts because of the plight or condition of which they must overcome to answer the call of their superhuman abilities. Superman is super because he is an alien that lives among humans that he has grown up with and has come to love. Batman is relatable because he cares about the conditions of society and wants to balance the scales against injustice. Wonder Woman is human and alien but believes in the goodness of mankind. I decided to create a superhero that combined the worlds of black and white and alien DNA. I wanted to see someone that looked like me yet was fighting the battle of the many heroes I loved as a child.

I drew inspiration from Gene Roddenberry and the fantastical world he created called Star Trek. I wondered about that world of which he created. I wondered…what would it be like if we had a world of totally equal opportunity, if we had no inequality, no disease and no poverty? What if we lived in a world where mankind only needed to better itself? What might that world look like? I considered quite a bit about the futuristic world of hope that he created.

Gene Roddenberry’s Star Trek Inspires A Writing Process

In Roddenberry’s original Star Trek TOS series (1966–1969), officers served and coexisted in rank on a bridge of multi ethnicities. Nichelle Nichols, (cast as Nyota Uhura), shared the story of how she met the world renown, Martin Luther King, during the Civil Rights Struggle while she contemplated leaving the Star Trek series. She explained that she resigned on a Friday to launch a career on Broadway. Roddenberry asked her to reconsider, because he was building something of significance. Making a statement about the inequity of a society during a time in which Roddenberry and Nichols both were living. I was moved by the reason she changed her mind and her ultimate resolve.

Nichols was invited to a civil rights organizational event at the end of her first year staring in the original Star Trek series and as luck would have it, she met the famous civil rights leader, Martin Luther King that night. He sought her out and told her how much her show meant to him. Nichols explained to him that she was leaving Star Trek, bound for Broadway. He reacted quite desperately and told her that she just couldn’t do that. What she represented was too important. Roddenberry’s Star Trek was the only show that he would allow his children to watch at that time, because of the multi ethnicities that served together of equal rank (all officers) and of equal capability and training. Nichols decided to stay on the series after her conversation with King. This was a moving inspiration of historical significance for me. It was my muse, so to speak and the beginning of the stirrings that lead to the creation of my superhero, Vela Kurv.

How Star Trek Influenced My Biracial World Changing Superhero

Star Trek had such a resonating tone of truth for me. It spoke to me as a child; I would watch the syndicated reruns everyday after school during my grade school days. The truth of opportunity and capability resonated with me, as well. How could it not, resonate with everyone, I thought.

This television series did something extraordinary during a very turbulent time in the United States. Star Trek was able to shine a light on inequity, on prejudice and racism and on the plight of war. In fact, so much of the series connected with me, that I decided to create my own biracial female superhero inside my own world of science fiction, like Roddenberry did. I named my character, Lorabella, who becomes a superhero that ultimately becomes, Vela Kurv. Her creation is tied to the Constellation Vela that goes supernova during the birth of the very first Vela Kurv.

My Superhero Finds Its Way To Story

It took some time for me to create the backstory of Vela Kurv. It is somewhat surreal. The story began as a short story assignment in one of my early classes in The Writers Program. I wrote about the future, incorporating time travel because for me, that’s where hope lives. I grasped on to the futuristic worlds that superheroes come from because of past societal inequities and created such conditions for the creation of my Vela Kurv. Lorabella becomes Vela Kurv because of her alien and human bloodline. Like all superheroes, she struggles with her own humanity. She has a lesson to learn in dealing with her own father, who happens to also be the commanding officer of Earth’s military.

My reasons for creating her were an answer to what is missing in today’s world. This world where she lives is a world filled with many faces and races of color; it is a world where humans of all races want to live and support one another. In this world they only see the humanity in one another and love and respect one another. Humans unite to save their world because they all love what the quality of life offers, and the possibilities of what it offers for generations to come.

The Writing Process of Creating a Whole New World

I drew the creation of my world from the struggle of humanity as it exists for us all in how we view our own world and circumstances; this is because the scales of justice don’t always feel balanced because the struggle for equality has never been just.

In my creation of a whole new word, I am hoping for one filled with truth, justice and equality for all men, women and children but until that day becomes a reality, I make my commentary through the world of Vela Kurv and I show how this biracial female superhero seeks to balance the scales of right and wrong, because she believes that it’s possible. She fights to make justice the prevailing truth inside the world in which she lives.

Writers create because we find inspiration. Science fiction is all about drawing from science to recreate our story of fiction, be it story or a whole new world. Finding the originality in our creation is key to telling a real, personal story. This is where a world changing superhero can live and become a surreal but relatable hero wrapped up inside a biracial beginning.

This article first appeared on the She Writes blog here.

Riley Rose (Author) McKesson is an author of superhero Vela Kurv books.

She is also a professional writer and producer that is currently working on a film project with Chas. Floyd Johnson, Executive Producer of NCIS TV series, as well as the Producer of Red Tails (2012), which he produced with George Lucas and (LucasFilms).

Rose co-produced the documentary project, ‘The Green Girl’. It revealed the story of the life of Susan Oliver in the award winning move. It was funded on both crowdfunding websites: Kickstarter, and Indiegogo. The film has won three awards.

Rose has written treatments, story synopses, and analyses. Rose has produced several short films for Sundance Film Festival. She has also worked with the Webby Award Winning web series creator of BZ Shorts.

Sign up for Riley Rose McKesson’s newsletter here and get the updates on what’s premiering in Hollywood.

Mattel Barbie New Dolls

MATTEL BARBIE – One Of My Favorite Things, Mattel Releases A New Barbie Extra Line At Walmart, Target, And Amazon In Time For Holiday Shopping

Mattel is once again rolling out a Barbie of color!

Mattel introduces a new Barbie. The company explains their position of the new doll in the marketplace: “There’s a little something “extra” about Mattel’s newest line of Barbie dolls.”

The new Barbie line showcases rainbow hair to a range of body types, skin tones and fashion. In fact, “…each of the five Barbie Extra dolls has a playful and over-the-top style, Mattel officials shared exclusively with USA TODAY.”

As the holidays roll in, Mattel released an announcement. “The new dolls go on sale Monday at Amazon, Target and Walmart with a suggested retail price of $24.99 each.”

New Barbie Dolls by Mattel

Mattel releases new Barbie line of dolls.

Kim Culmone, Mattel senior vice president and global head of Design Barbie & Fashion Dolls, explained that, “When it comes to fashion, Barbie Extra has a ‘more is more’ attitude, as even their pets are accessorized.

Each doll rocks their own unique style and offers girls an exciting fashion and styling play experience with posable, articulated bodies.”

Mattell New Barbie Line

New Barbie line of dolls.

Culmone elaborated and explained that the company looked over several sources for inspiration of design including culture, fashion runways, and street style. “Barbie is at her best when she connects to culture and Barbie Extra does just that from the name, down to every detail and accessory.”

Mattel New Barbie Line of Dolls

Mattel releases new Barbie line of dolls.

Mattel’s Culmone is clear about the message the company wants to present. “The dolls are fun and playful, letting kids dial up their self-expression and fashion fantasy play by showing them you can be a trendsetter at every age.”

Superhero Vela Kurv Books

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Vela Kurv Enjoys Star Trek TNG in “Elementary, Dear Data”

Vela Kurv Academy School Log

Star Trek The Next Generation’s (TNG) famous Captain Picard encourages his crew to explore their own curiosities for exploration with favorite hobbies, even though such tactics sometime expose the ship to great risk. During an adventure on the holodeck, in which Data is portraying Sherlock Holmes, Geordi asks the computer to create a Moriarty adversary capable of defeating Data.
Since the request specifies that Moriarty should be greater than “Data” himself (and not the Holmes character), the resulting character proves himself capable of far exceeding Geordi and Data’s expectations.


From Lorabella’s journals at the West Pipe Space Academy, before she becomes Vela Kurv

A lesson is learned in what is possible in holodeck programming. Moriarty becomes almost self aware. Picard is intrigued by the development and allows the character not to be erased and more knowledge is gained on what is possible inside the holodeck aboard the starship Enterprise.


No risk, no reward. A qualified leader cannot be afraid of measured risk, especially when greater useable knowledge is the reward.


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Disclosure: Riley Rose Author is an Amazon Influencer and a promotional brand affiliate.



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Star Trek TNG Where Silence Has Lease

Vela Kurv Sits and Watches “Where Silence Has Lease” on Star Trek TNG

Vela Kurv Academy School Log

On Star Trek TNG, “Where Silence Has Lease”

In Star Trek TNG, Captain Picard’s U.S.S Enterprise-D encounters a mysterious void in space. Picard, ever the explorer moves the ship in closer to investigate. To his surprise, it envelops the Enterprise and his crew can’t maneuver out. Picard must now negotiate with an all powerful being that has already killed a crew member in a mere experimentation to view human death.

Picard counters this malevolent species by threatening to destroy the Enterprise. This is a bluff that works and in the end he gains the acknowledgement that next time he encounters this powerful being, it will be amongst the stars and not in a void in space.


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Marina Siritis stars in Star Trek TNG. From Pinterest, Copyright free image.

Vela Kurv is Mystified with “The Child” on Star Trek TNG

Vela Kurv Academy School Log

Marina Siritis stars in Star Trek TNG, The Child.

Captain Picard must deal with the unimaginable. Counselor Deanna Troi is impregnated by an unknown alien life-form. Determining whether the life-form is a threat or if it has a peaceful purpose of simply acquiring intelligence is Picard’s best guess. Fortunately a peaceful purpose turns out to be so.

Diana Muldaur stars as Dr. Katherine Pulaski on Star Trek TNGAdditionally Picard meets his crew’s new chief medical officer, Dr. Katherine Pulaski.

Diana Muldaur stars as Dr. Katherine Pulaski

Both aforementioned circumstances are unknowns and are intertwined. Picard’s practical ability to examine and discern allows the threat of a medical contaminate aboard his ship to be exposed. And the fast growing child, an intelligent species in and of itself, sacrifices his young human life to preserve the Enterprise crew. This allows the starship’s rescue mission carrying the medicines needed to eradicate a killing disease to occur. Picard’s tact and resolve is a model to be imitated.


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Star Trey Voyager Resistance Episode

Vela Kurv Watches “Resistance” in Star Trek Voyager

Vela Kurv Academy School Log

Janeway is forced to rely on her own devices when Torres and Tuvok are captured by the Mokra during an away mission searching for tellerium.

Star Trek Starship Voyager suffers a serious shortage of tellurium, critical to the ship’s power generation systems. In an effort to acquire the tellurium, Janeway (Kate Mulgrew) and her away team visit a Class-M planet where the people called the Mokra live. The team is forced to operate covertly on the planet, because of the oppressive nature of the Mokra government.


After crew members are detained, Janeway is successful in befriending an Alsaurian resistance fighter named Caylem who is killed but not before he is instrumental in helping the Voyager away team deal with the Mokra officials. Janeway is appreciative of his sacrifice; it reinforces her belief system on loyalty, and the unified purpose that has been building between her Voyager crew. This new crew born out of two crews that were juxtaposed in mission and purpose; one renegade, one military, but both now search for a much shortened journey back home to Earth.


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Star Trek Voyager Episode Manuevers

Vela Kurv Watches Revenge in Action in “Maneuvers”

Vela Kurv Academy School Log

Star Trek Voyager Episode Manuevers

Chakotay ignores his duties of command believing that his past relationship with former Voyager crew member Seska, a traitor, is responsible for the Kazon warriors that penetrate Voyager’s hull and steal a transporter control module. The device represents a significant security risk since the Kazon do not possess transporter technology in this Delta Quadrant of space.
Chakotay commandeers a shuttlecraft, is captured by First Maje Jal Culluh of the Kazon-Nistrim sect who has unified with Seska. At Janeway’s discretion in allegiance to her first officer Chakotay who much of her crew respects, Voyager rescues him. Chakotay learns that personal vengeance no matter the egregiousness of personal attack is no reason to martyr himself when his loyalty should now always be to the Voyager crew. They are all in their plight together. All crew personnel might align together to find their way home to Earth.

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Tim Russ stars at Lt. Tuvok in Star Trek Voyager

Vela Kurv Watches the “Cold Fire” on Star Trek Voyager

Vela Kurv Academy School Log

Star Trek Voyager Cold Fire Episode

The Ocampa Kes once again engages a lesson on where her true new found loyalty lies.

Kes (Jennifer Lien), from the Ocampa species, chooses to align herself with the crew of Star Trek Voyager instead of her new found Ocampa inhabitants found on another spaceborne array created by another sporocystian life-form called Suspiria; the mate of the original Caretaker. The crew searches out the signal that tapped into the Caretaker’s remains aboard ship and finds the 2000 Ocampa who help develop Kes’ psychokinetic abilities to extraordinary levels.

Kes is frightened by the immense powers that were latent in her mind.

Tanis the Ocampa, courts Kes to continue to explore and expand her abilities with him. Suspiria and Tanis attempt to force Voyager personnel to release Kes. Suspiria attacked ship’s personnel because she believed Voyager to be responsible for her mate’s death. Janeway (Kate Mulgrew), reason’s with Suspiria and releases her from capture.

Janeway was hoping to persuade Suspiria to use her array to get Voyager back home to Earth a75,000 year journey. This was not to be; instead Voyager’s entire crew was targeted by Suspiria to be killed. Janeway is successful in driving Suspiria and Tanis into a subspace domain called Exosia, releasing Voyager’s captured and injured crew.

Thanks to Janeway, Voyager personnel have their lives and ship intact to continue on their journey from the Delta Quadrant in order to find a shortened route back home to Earth.


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Star Trek Voyager episode Tattoo

Vela Kurv Learns All About “Tattoo” in Star Trek Voyager

Vela Kurv Academy School Log

Star Trek Voyager, Tattoo episode


First Officer Chakotay (Robert Beltran), in Star Trek Voyager episode, Tattoo, finds a familiar cultural symbol on an away mission. He and his away team prepare to extract polyferranide deposits found below the planet’s surface. Chakotay’s challenge is to follow orders and direct the team to retrieve the deposits for Voyager or leave the planet and its inhabitants alone.


Robert Beltran stars as Chakotoy

He connects with an experience he had as a child and tries to contact his spirit people.


In true Janeway (Kate Mulgrew), fashion, respecting the good of exploration, believing that Voyager will find alternative resources, Chakotay makes contact with members of a humanoid species that his ancestors once called the Sky Spirits. Respecting the wishes of the planet’s inhabitants, Voyager departs without the needed polyferranide.


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Tim Russ as Lt. Tuvok in Star Trek Voyager

Vela Kurv Watches Star Trek Voyager Experience a “Persistence of Vision”

Vela Kurv Academy School Log

Janeway goes to sick-bay, but The Doctor cannot find anything wrong with her brain.

Passing through Bothan space, Starship Voyager crewmates suffer severe disorientation when a Bothan being causes the ship’s personnel to experience disturbing hallucinations.


One of Janeway’s (Kate Mulgrew), biggest advocates aboard ship is Kes (Jennifer Lien), and she is able to use her own telekinetic abilities to attack and free the crew from their debilitating hallucinations.


Kate Mulgrew and Tim Russ star in Star Trek Voyager

Kate Mulgrew and Tim Russ star in Star Trek Voyager

Janeway’s resolve to grow yet defend have taken root in Kes and her actions that lead to the crew’s release, prove this in this episode.


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