Today I've got a special Guest Post by Meredith Schorr, the author of A State of Jane!! :)
In both of my novels, my main character is a single woman whose mother is very much involved in my heroine’s quest to be not-so-single. This involvement is not sought out by or welcomed by my main character, but despite all efforts to keep things on a need-to-know basis, both mothers inevitably know everything.
In my first book, Just Friends with Benefits, thirty-two-year-old Stephanie Cohen, despite being attractive, intelligent and a lot of fun, can’t seem to keep a relationship together for more than 3.5 months. Her mother, Susan, wants nothing more than for Stephanie to settle down and give her another grandchild. (Stephanie’s older brother already provided her with one.) No matter what other topic of conversation arises, the NFL standings, another family member’s birthday, a promotion, Susan always manages to ask her favorite question, “Been on any dates lately?” She sometimes takes it one step further by asking dirty details like whether the guy was good in bed.
In my second and newly released novel, A State of Jane, twenty-six year old Jane broke up with her high school sweetheart Bob after a nine year relationship, and after a year off from dating to avoid the dreaded rebound relationship, dives head first into the NYC dating waters. Her mother, a no-nonsense, tell-it-like-it-is kind of woman, constantly questions Jane’s decision to break up with Bob. He comes from a good family, he treated her well etc, especially after Bob’s so-called “rebound” relationship gets serious. Jane is confident she did the right thing by breaking up with Bob, insisting he wasn’t “the one”, but when her own attempt to find a new boyfriend becomes an uphill battle, the insinuations from her mother make her almost second-guess her decision.
Creating the “mom” characters in my novels was pretty easy, relative to some of the other secondary characters, mostly because my own mother is constantly on my back about when I am going to settle down and give her grandchildren. Not like she doesn’t already have 5 or anything! I am currently happy in a relationship with my boyfriend Jason, but since it is long distance, it comes with its own complications. Nevertheless, my mother manages to ask me how things are “progressing” each and every time we speak. Before my current boyfriend, I had a long string of “relationships” that didn’t stick, much like Stephanie. I also dated many men who seemed completely smitten with me only to disappear without warning, much like Jane. While I was in this serial-dating mode, I got an earful from my mother and I thought I would provide you with some examples:
Shortly after one of my “boyfriends du jour” (“Red Sox Guy”) flaked on me, my mother and I were on the phone and in the course of our conversation, she said, "So, the market has been pretty bad lately.” I responded, "hmm" as I was only half listening. She continued, "Maybe he was upset." I asked, "Maybe who was upset?" and she responded, "Red Sox Guy. He's a financial guy, right?" I said, "Yes, he's a financial guy, but why should I care if he is upset? He flaked on me. I'm over it." Anyway, to avoid writing paragraphs of dialog, I will simply tell you that my mom thought perhaps Red Sox Guy was so upset about the status of the market that he couldn't handle dating me anymore. I told her that was completely ridiculous and asked why the hell we were still discussing the guy since I no longer cared why he lost interest and neither should she.
Many years ago, I had a first date with a guy I met on Jdate. He was Jewish (obviously) and he came from the same home town as me, although we did not go to the same schools. We met at the W hotel in midtown Manhattan for a drink on a Saturday evening. He spent most of the date talking on his cell phone. He said it was a work call which I found odd since it was a Saturday night. Basically, he was totally rude and I thought about walking out but, quite frankly, I was drinking a very tasty glass of wine and wanted to finish it. He obviously wasn't into me (or visa-versa) but any decent guy (or at least any guy that I would want to be with) would be gracious to a girl regardless of his future intentions toward her. I had dinner with my family the next night and decided to share the events of the night before with my mom and sister. Although my sister agreed that the guy was a dick, after hearing the story, my mom asked, "So, do you think you'll hear from him again?" I said, "WHAT? Why would I want to hear from again? Were you even listening to me? He talked on his phone the entire time!" My mom just didn't get it. Actually, I don't think she was listening to me. All she heard was "Jewish guy from Rockland County" and imagined Passover Seders with Jewish in-laws. The rest of the story fell on deaf ears.
One last example: I went on several dates with another Jewish guy from Rockland County. I had been feeling pretty sick and had a chronic sore throat for about six months prior. I finally saw a doctor and was told that I had a lump on my tonsils that needed to be biopsied. There was a 1 in 10 chance that I had cancer. I didn't tell "K" (the Jewish guy from Rockland County) the details and only that I needed to get my tonsils out. Obviously, I would not be available to hang out for a couple of weeks. "K" disappeared and, while I was not torn up about it, my mother was. For months later, she would ask, "Do you ever see that "K's" profile on Match? Didn't that "K" live in this neighborhood?" That "K" did not like me enough to wait for me to recover from surgery and find out that, "Hooray, I don't have cancer!" Who the hell cares where he lives? As she will admit without reservation, my mom cared simply because the guy was Jewish and his parents lived only about a mile from her.
There are countless more examples of my mother’s preoccupation (almost to the point of obsession) with my dating life, although she has calmed down considerably, at least for her. It is worth noting that Jason is not Jewish and his parents live nowhere near “Rockland County” but my mother loves him. If he wasn’t such a great guy, I would fear that she only loved him because after a year he still hasn’t flaked on me nor have I changed my mind about him. I assure you, however, that she won’t stop badgering me until I get married. And after I get married, she will badger me until I have children. Sometimes I want to stick a sock in her mouth to get her to shut up but as infuriating as it is, she is somewhat of a muse to my creative endeavors so I can’t really complain! Well, I can complain but perhaps I shouldn’t.
Blurb of A State of Jane:
Jane Frank is ready to fall in love. It's been a year since her long term relationship ended and far too long since the last time she was kissed. With the LSAT coming up she needs to find a long term boyfriend (or husband) before acing law school and becoming a partner at her father's law firm. There's just one problem: All the guys in New York City are flakes. They seemingly drop off the face of the earth with no warning and no explanation. Should she join her best friend Marissa in singlehood, making cupcakes and watching True Blood? Or should she follow her co-worker Andrew's advice and turn the game back on those who've scorned her? As Jane attempts to juggle her own responsibilities and put up with the problems of everyone around her, she starts to realize that the dating life isn't as easy as she originally thought.
So if you're interested in checking out Meredith's A State of Jane and Just Friends with Benefits then you can check it out:
Amazon, Amazon UK, and Barnes and Noble, and available on iTunes!!!
And you can also check out Meredith's blog !!! And you follow her on Twitter @meredithschorr, and Facebook!!!!
The Romance Bookie :)