What inspired you to write your memoir?
I wrote my memoir, Innocent: Confessions of a Welfare Mother, to counter the cruel and hurtful stereotypes of poor women as lazy and greedy and dishonest (see “welfare queen”, “the greedy needy”, etc.). The women I knew when I was on welfare, though sometimes discouraged and depressed, never stopped trying to find work. However, it is almost impossible for a single woman with pre-school children to make enough money to cover both childcare and the meanest of living expenses. We are, most of us, only an accident or a bad divorce away from poverty.
About your Book:
Innocent: Confessions of a Welfare Mother tells the story of what happened when at 24 I found myself with a one-year-old child and another baby on the way, and no job, health insurance, or child support. Despite having a college degree, I could not land a job to cover food, rent, and childcare. As door after door closed in my face, supporting my children became my first priority. Abandoned by my husband and disowned by my parents, welfare was the only way for my family to survive. Innocent offers a powerful personal narrative on important social issues. Part coming-of-age story and part immersion in a foreign culture, this book puts a human face on poverty.
Barbara Morrison is the author of a memoir, Innocent: Confessions of a Welfare Mother, and a poetry collection, Here at Least, with a second volume, Terrarium, scheduled for 2013. Her award-winning work has been published in anthologies and magazines. She conducts writing workshops and speaks on women’s and poverty-related issues. She is also the owner of a small press and speaks about publishing and marketing. Visit her website for more information at http://www.bmorrison.com.
Barbara’s Monday Morning Books blog is where every week for the last six years she has been sharing insights about writing gleaned from her reading (http://www.bmorrison.com/blog). You can also find her on Twitter where she tweets regularly about poetry (http://www.twitter.com/bmorrison9) and on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/InnocentMemoir). Be sure to visit her GoodReads Author Page (http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1453712.B_Morrison) and her Amazon Author Page (http://amazon.com/author/bmorrison).
How did you decide how to publish your book and where is it published through:
Although I successfully self-published my poetry collection, I wanted my memoir to be published by someone else. The memoir market is quite crowded these days, and it seemed important to show that someone besides me thought my book good enough to be published. I was very happy that Apprentice House chose to publish it. Apprentice House is a student-run publishing house, a concept which appealed to this ex-teacher. I enjoyed working with the students and think they did a wonderful job with my book.