veronica lanely-falconeri editor, new york times (formerly reporter) 12 february 1978 (39)
born in new canaan, ct
lives in brooklyn, ny
married to anthony falconeri (4.17.07)
mother of (1): sophia nicolette falconer (9.1.10)
family: victoria lanely (mother), robert lanely (father), daniel lanely (brother, 43), elizabeth lanely (sister, 35)

Born the middle child to Victoria and Robert Lanely of New Canaan, Connecticut, a little Veronica Lanely would never quite be a "normal" girl in such a town. Victoria was a stay at home mother, a socialite, and her father was a CEO of a fortune 500 company. Born to wealth and never in want of anything, Veronica learned from a young age that if she put up enough of a fight, she could garner attention and maybe even a little respect from the people around her. She was never content to be like the other girls, dressed in fluffy dresses and paraded about on the heels of their mother, talking about what their dream husbands would be like, rather than what they wanted to be when they grew up. Her older brother was five when she was born, and he didn't take too kindly to having a little sister to take away attention from himself. The Lanely children would all become competitive with each other, never entirely focusing on familial harmony, but rather who could get the best grades, who could do the best in sports, and who could garner that top spot of "favorite child". Her parents would never admit to having one of course, but Veronica would always like to think that at least she was her mother's favorite. Ever the impetuous and curious child, she would often times exhaust her parents asking what words meant or why rules had to be set the way they were. She was inquisitive, and never, not once took "just because" as any form of an answer. Her mother encouraged her naturally curious mind, and would spend hours with her, researching whatever topic her daughter seemed to want to discover any given day. Veronica adored her mother, and would spend hours following her around since she was a toddler, watching her cook or host parties. It wasn't anything in particular that her mother did to garner her devotion, she was just there, and she loved them. When she was just a little thing, she would proclaim that she wanted to grow up to be just like her mother - a mom and nothing more, nothing less, but her mother knew that her eldest daughter had bigger things to tackle in her life.

From the time she was small, Veronica's mother shared with her a great love of literature. She would tell her stories and read her books from a time before she herself devoted her life to her family. She grew up on the books her mother gave to her, reading everything from politics of foreign countries to American pop culture. Her thirst for knowledge was rarely, if ever quelled, and all she wanted was to learn more, to explore her own mind and the world around her. Private schools cultivated and expanded Veronica's mind, as her parents would never think to send their children to public school. Oh yes, they were absolutely elitists when it came to their children's education. Veronica thrived with academics, even though school itself was a bit of a challenge. Her inquisitive nature and ever present need to buck against authority didn't mesh very well with teachers at the strict Catholic school, but she managed to get through it alright. She enjoyed the challenge, and even more so enjoyed challenging her teachers. Her dad would tease her that the entire staff of teachers sighed in relief as soon as she graduated.

There was really no question in where Veronica would go to college, both her mother and father were Yale graduates, who had met their freshman year. She didn't mind it, and actually looked forward to going to the same university both of her parents attended. College was a blur of classes and activities, where she pledged to the same sorority her mother had been a part of. In some odd way she felt like she was coming into her own, even if she was following in the very footsteps her parents wanted her to. She majored in Journalism, which pushed her in the direction of writing and finding her passion in uncovering news stories. It wasn't the most glamorous of passions to find, not one that would make her millions or really put her on a path of elitism, but it was what she loved, and it suited her well.

Veronica was twenty-two when she moved to New York on her own - or as much on her own as she could be with her father paying for a loft apartment in Manhattan. She wanted to make it on her own, try and garner a reputation for herself away from her last name and the prestige that came along with it. She had never entirely cared about the wealth, about the things that came with it, but wondered what her life would be like completely apart from it. She had a friend working at the New York Times, who let her know when they were hiring interns. She didn't bother to call, but rather marched right in, resume in hand, ready to start then and there. As what had become custom for Veronica, she wasn't willing to take "no" for an answer.

Starting her internship days after interviewing, Veronica went about her normal routine of "nose to the grind" and slaved away, getting coffee and fixing the damn copier from jamming, and basically doing everything she could to prove herself in the work place. Even the most mundane jobs had to be done, and she was ready for it. She had in mind that she wouldn't find a single distraction that would warrant her attention, but she was dead wrong. His name was Anthony Falconeri, the copy editor whose smile seemed to grip her heart every time he walked by. She'd write pieces that would have to go by his approval, and she held nothing back, even though she was a "lowly intern", when she thought he was dead wrong. He frustrated her and drove her absolutely crazy, but at the end of the day it was he who she thought about before drifting off to sleep every night. Her own dating record had been nothing to write home about, a few boyfriends here and there but overall there was nothing of note. The way she felt about Anthony was completely new, and it was slightly bothersome, if only because she couldn't entirely control it. When he asked her out in the middle of one of their then infamous arguments, she was stunned silent for perhaps the very first time in her life. She could do nothing but nod and speak her acceptance before wandering about in a bit of a daze for the rest of the day.

She was surprised how easy it was for her to fall in love with Anthony, he drove her absolutely crazy and challenged her every single day, but it was an environment which she thrived in. He challenged her to be better, to work harder, and at the end of the day she had a true partner in life, in work, and someone she could love all the more because of it. Of course living in New York and working at a newspaper like the Times, rumors flew around of an old crime family, long since gone from the city with the same last name as Anthony. She'd ask, he'd brush it off, and she knew better than to press the subject. After all, she wasn't one to ride the coattails of her own last name, who was she to question his? A year of dating and she was engaged, and a few months afterward, she was tagging "Falconeri" onto the end of her name. Her parents were impressed by him, and she fit in just fine with the family that came up to visit. She was glad for them, and considered herself lucky to have such a husband. Yes, their fights could be just short of apocalyptic, but when the dust settled they were still standing, muttering their own forms of apologies and making up with each other. She adored him in her own way, and nobody else needed to weigh in on their often volatile relationship.

Veronica had to thank God or whatever power was out there that she'd never had dealt with the loss of someone so close to her. When the call came in about Anthony's father, she stayed by his side, never pushing, yet never wavering from holding him when he needed it or keeping her hand knit through his and murmuring assurances that he would be okay. It put her own plans in perspective, however. Here she had been working so hard, the pair of them a power couple, that she had put her own real plans to start a family on hold. She wanted children, ones that were a little of her and a little of him. If that meant taking a backseat, slowing down her own career ... she would do it, write from home even, just to give them that chance. The conversation had come up before, several times of course, but it wasn't until they'd returned home that she really wanted to start a family, she wanted to be a mom, and she wanted to watch Anthony as a father. She had been so wrapped up in her own desires, that she hadn't entirely noticed the change that had come over Anthony, the harder shell that slowly began to wedge between them. She loved him, she wanted them to work through his grief, which of course was all she thought it was. He quit his job, which she supported even if she didn't entirely understand. Not seeing him all day, as she had become so accustomed to, took a toll, but she still didn't see his endgame coming, not in the least. The second he put divorce papers in front of her, she laughed. She honestly thought he was kidding, but the look on his face told her otherwise. For the second time in her life she was struck silent, unable to think or entirely breathe properly. That lasted all of a minute before she'd demanded explanations which came half assed at best, and the pair of them had a fight unlike any other. She refused to sign them, he moved out, and she has attempted to quell the pain with her own anger. As it stood, she refused to sign all of the papers, and kept finding things wrong and reasons to delay, hoping that maybe something - or someone - could smack sense into him if she couldn't do it on her own.

Missing Anthony became almost unbearable, and after a bottle of wine on New Year's Eve, the two found themselves in each other's arms once again. Not that it did anything for their relationship just yet. Everything clicked into place, at least as far as her not understanding what was wrong with Anthony. The answer came when Benjamin was killed, and Anthony came to her, weighed with so much grief. She didn't know the details, but that reporter's mindset was nagging at her all the while. It wasn't until Benjamin's funeral, when she walked into the wrong conversation with Luci, that she fully came to understand what her husband was born into, and what she in turn had married into. For some, it could have been so easy to walk away, but not for Veronica. She would stand by Anthony, and wouldn't let him go through this all alone. Add to that, their little reconnection left her pregnant with their first child. A medium was reached, and soon things were as they were before ... well, actually not at all. Things were completely different. Veronica found herself the wife to the don of the Italian mob, having his child, and still trying to reconcile that this was the same man she fell in love with.

In the aftermath of tearing up their divorce papers, Veronica has found herself stronger, but not without its pitfalls. She knows how closed off she's become to others, how fiercely protective she is that is far more than just motherly instinct. Her job does leave her in a slightly precarious position, but at least she's gotten far better at turning her journalist brain off when she's at home and around her family. The turmoil and pain of their family has ebbed and flowed in the years since, but every trial, she would venture to say, makes them that much stronger. In the attack that left her husband clinging for his life and her brother in law dead at the hands of a rival family, Veronica had to fully embrace the choices she'd made, and the life that came with them. There was no more ability in her to turn a blind eye to her husband's family, to play neutral because it suited her and her interests.

fast facts