SM: Laura Polk is a popular writer for Single Matters magazine. Laura and I met as many single people do these days — online. She reached out to our magazine with the hope of helping other singles, especially single moms, which she had become in recent years. We talked on the phone, chatting about life and faith, and just hit it off immediately. She”s been a contributor for a couple of years now, but we recently discovered that she”s also been pursuing her dream of writing fiction. Talk about a busy single mom! We were excited to talk to her about her first first novel, Confessions of a Crispy Mom.
If you are a single parent, we know you”ll find yourself getting lost in this touching story.
SM: Laura, tell us about your book:
LP: Delia Gray, is a frazzled working mom of three who is struggling to keep it all together. During one of her most overwhelming days, she discovers letters from her mother who died when Delia was ten—something her mother asked her father to hold onto until he felt Delia needed it most in motherhood. Through those letters she discovers not only more about the woman she lost, but about the secrets of a happy motherhood. It’s basically about what every mother on the planet goes through. At some point (if not all the time) while we are mothers, there is a season of complete and utter exhaustion where we are trying to do it all and clearly can’t. As it turns out, these problems cross generations no matter how much the world changes.
SM: When you write, where do you get your ideas?
LP: I’m from the South, and love how authentic people are here. I don’t think there’s a family on the planet that doesn’t have drama, so I pull a lot of ideas from people around me. And the south is full of fascinating characters. I just pay attention to everyone and everything around me. I listen a whole lot. And ideas seem to spark from that.
SM: What inspired you to write this particular book?
LP: One of my girlfriends (who was also my neighbor) discovered she was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer. By the time it was found, it was so far along that it was only a matter of months before she was gone. I was so shocked at how someone so young, with young children, could go so quickly. I thought a lot about what she and her family must have been going through and wondered how a mother even got through such a thing, much less led her children through it. It led me to Delia’s story.
SM: You write for us as Laura Polk, why are you writing as Laura Frances for your fiction books?
LP: I’m single again for a second season in life. It’s something I didn’t expect, as I don’t think any single mom ever does. As I’ve struggled to move past my marriage and start over, I’ve also struggled a lot with my identity. Laura Frances is my given first and middle names, and Frances is a name I shared with my beloved grandmother. In a sense, it’s who I truly am, at my core. And since for me at least, fiction is more of an art form that pulls from our inner selves, it made perfect sense to me.\r\n\r\n
SM: What do your kids think of your writing?
LP: Honestly, I’m not sure my kids are even aware of what I’m doing. I share my successes and failures with them at times, but they seem disinterested for the most part, lol. I guess there’s a lot more exciting things to do through all the technology at their fingertips. Though, I will say that on occasion, I’ve overheard a couple of them talk to others about me being a writer and I can tell that they are proud of what I do.
SM: What does your book have to offer single parents?
LP: Single parents are amazing. The day-to-day struggles that they face to rebuild their family, offer some sense of normalcy, and to provide for their kids financially is far beyond what most families have to face. I hope my book shows them that they can’t get where they want to be if they are listening to what others say they should be doing. It’s more important to make our own version of family work, to enjoy our kids while they are in our home, and to stop worrying about what we can’t give them and focus more on what we can.
SM: Laura, thank you so much for sharing this part of your writing life with us. We wish you the best of luck and look forward to what you have to say not only through your contributions with Single Matters, but in your following fiction releases.
Laura”s first novel, Confessions of a Crispy Mom, is now available at online retailers.‘