Write what you know: single moms

In my last blog, I explored how novelists put their experiences into what they write. I also examined the idea in a blog for Gems in the Attic called “Write what you know. It’s fun!”

Most of my Bluegrass Reunion Series are books about single moms. The heroines were divorced, unwed mothers, widows, or aunts. I was able to write about being a single parent, because I had experienced it first hand.

  • Ex-jockey Alexis Marsden in Kentucky Woman can’t give her son what he needs, so she agrees to a marriage of convenience.
  • In Kentucky Flame, Horse trainer Melody O’Shea comes home to a famed American Saddlebred farm that is also the home of her daughter, the secret baby she gave up for private adoption.
  • Carrie Mercer in Kentucky Groom can’t possibly be falling in love with the groom at her daughter’s stable. She’s a widowed mother with heavy responsibilities.
  • Veterinarian Mandy Sullivan in Kentucky Cowboy has custody of her sister’s child. She doesn’t count on trouble showing up next door in the form of her ex-boyfriend, now a champion bull rider.
  • Kate Lawrence in Kentucky Rain is a recently divorced, single mom who is ill prepared to make it on her own.

I put single moms in other books too. In The Montana McKenna’s Prequel, I portray the feelings of a divorced mother, who has mixed feelings about dating again:

But Nate Caldera was late.

As usual.

In silent sadness, Liz watched her son. She didn’t want Brody disappointed—again. She had no control over her ex-husband and his broken promises.

Tonight, though, proved especially problematic. James McKenna was coming to dinner at eight.

Liz bit her lower lip and returned to her galley kitchen. She had an empty feeling in the pit of her stomach. What if Nate didn’t pick up Brody in time? How would she explain the presence of her son to James? It would be awkward, but surely he’d understand.

As a single mother, she faced this predicament every time she wanted to date. She wasn’t about to bring a man into Brody’s life if there was no chance of long term. Brody didn’t need that. She didn’t need it.

So mostly, Liz didn’t date. It wasn’t worth the hassle. Besides, not many men wanted anything to do with a woman who had a kid. She didn’t blame them. Not really.

So you see how I’m able to take one experience from my life and use it for my characters.

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