You Have to Let Them Drive Away – Author Susan May Warren on Family & Motherhood

Today we welcome author Susan May Warren back to the blog. As a mother herself, Susan explains how her experiences with motherhood have shaped her thinking for her new six-book series featuring the Christiansen family.


I admit I wasn’t quite ready for my daughter to leave the nest. It wasn’t like she gave me much warning—two days after graduation, she packed up her car and drove away to summer camp. I stood in the dirt driveway at 6 a.m., my cheeks wet, and thought, Wait . . . there’s still more I have to teach you. I’m not ready.

And was she? Had I built into her the character, the values, the decision-making skills she’d need in this next—so important—phase of life? Was she ready to say no to the wrong boy, yes to the right one? Was she ready to embrace the right opportunities and learn from her mistakes?

I hoped so. I prayed so. And, over the last two years, I’ve realized the answers. Yes to some, no to others, and most of all . . .

Just because she drove away didn’t mean my parenting was over.

My beautiful family!

As I embarked on this new series for Tyndale, I realized I wanted to build stories about a family facing the same struggles that I was facing, that my reader friends were facing. Some of my readers, yes, are falling in love, finding their footing in a new season of life. But others are in the season of letting go and trying to figure out how to parent adults wisely, sparingly . . . prayerfully. I crafted the Christiansen family to resemble my own—children who were raised with faith but now have to test it with life. And yes, sometimes they will get it wrong. They’ll make mistakes, behave badly, and even get into trouble.

And like real parents, my main characters, John and Ingrid, have to figure out how to best help their children grow up.

Every book starts with a letter from Ingrid to one of her adult children. It’s the cry of the heart of all mothers—hoping they’ve instilled the tenets of faith but knowing that their children must walk that path alone, must make their faith choices for themselves. We can’t drag our children to heaven, nor can we will them to make right decisions.

We have to let them drive away.

I hope you’ll join me as we follow the Christiansens through faith, family, and real life.

Thanks for sharing your story (and photo of your beautiful family!) with us on the blog today, Susan.

For more on Susan and her new novel,  Take a Chance on Me , she can be found online:

At her website:

At her blog:

On Facebook:

Or follow her on Twitter @SusanMayWarren



As a reader, what makes a fictional family “real” to you? What can the author do to engage you with the struggles and trials of their fictional world? And to save the best for last, who’s your favorite fictional family in literature and why?

Happy reading, all! Visit us on Twitter @Crazy4Fiction to chat!