y mother has always been my biggest supporter and champion in everything. She has always been my number one fan and the one person I could always count on to tell me when to keep going and sometimes when I should try something else. She is the most inspiring person I know and like most inspiring people her life has never been an easy one. In fact, the more I learn over the years that she tells me about the more I’m both horrified, at times, and inspired more at others. We’ve often joked that her life would make the subject of a really great Lifetime movie, but I think her life would make a more interesting memoir or perhaps a novel.
Unlike me, my mother doesn’t write. She doesn’t really have an interest in writing, and these days the only thing she reads is my work (whenever she’s not working herself), and though various elements of my books in previous have been instances she’s experienced I’ve never written a full book that would, in itself, be a memoir (or I guess biography if I wrote it). A long time ago I discussed her writing a memoir or at least my ghost writing it for her and she was actually really interested, but for one reason or another things got in the way and that fell by the wayside. Elements from her life will probably make it into a lot of novels I write over the course of my life, but I really want to write a novel that is exclusively her story.
Why not a ghost written memoir? For non-fiction writers this may seem hard to believe but for fiction writers you will probably understand: I don’t like to be completely bound by reality. Here’s the thing about my mother, yes it’s been a lot of crazy things over the years but I also want there to be enough of a difference between the novel and the actual events (besides just changing names) that nobody like her ex-husband for instance, could come back and try to sue for libel. And I’m doubting he’s the sort of person who would just sign away his legal right to sue anyone for any reason. (He fancies himself a lawyer sometimes). I also don’t want to do a memoir because like me there are certain parts of her life that are too painful to remember in explicit detail and still others that she was simply too young to remember. Thoughts and actions of a particular person (like her brothers and sisters) she couldn’t possibly be expected to know. Her story is a story that needs to be told, if for no other reason so that maybe others can avoid some of the pitfalls she found herself in, or even just to help someone in a similar situation feel like they are not alone. Maybe that’s why I’m a writer. Maybe it’s my job as a writer to make sure that her story is told. And I’m going to do it.
Just… maybe not any time soon.
I also, won’t tell anyone when it’s coming, so you may never know which one is really real. Cause I’m evil like that.