A writer friend recently told me that I was one of the strongest people she knows and then she referenced that I raised my son as a single parent.
Once I got over the shock (I seem to live my life in worry and fear lately but I am very vocal and get after people and organizations that mess up my life), I started thinking that this may have a lot to do with the family situation I created in my novel Beyond Blood.
My main character, PI Dana Bowman has a seven-year old son, David. She is also divorced, so a single mom.
In my life, I do have a son whom I raised as a single mom. But I did have help from my ex-husband. Dana gets no help from her ex, Ron, but she and David live with her fraternal twin brother, Bast Overture, also a PI.
My son was a young child in the 1980s while Beyond Blood is set in 1998. But subconsciously I guess some of raising my son rubbed off. But there are several differences besides the time frame. Dana is much more outspoken than I was back then and she ventures where another character Great Aunt Doris says she shouldn’t because she is a mother. Aunt Doris says Dana shouldn’t be working as a private investigator and chasing after bad people also because it’s not safe for David.
Unfortunately, it turns out Aunt Doris is right here because David is kidnapped. But that puts Dana in the double-bind of being the PI to find her son and being his mother. That creates a lot of character conflict which influences the plot. And that is pure imagination. My son was never kidnapped. The closest he came to “disappearing” was when he was four years old. I couldn’t find him anywhere in the house (and yes, I was home at the time) or outside – at first. Then I looked a little closer in the big backyard. Yup! There he was, crouched down in the grass and playing with his toys.
My point here is you can use some situations and even characters loosely in your novels and short stories. But you have to fictionalize it all. Just think “trigger point” and use your imagination from there.
Maybe living my life in fear (balanced by being very outspoken and yes, I admit, sometimes grumpy) has spawned something good. Because Dana’s family situation continued in the four linked short stories in Beyond the Tripping Point and in the current Beyond novel I am currently rewriting.
Sharon A. Crawford
And as usual, if you click on the book cover at the top it takes you to my amazon profile and my two Beyond books