When you're watching Lifetime's The Secret Sex Life of a Single Mom tonight, you might not know that it's based on a true story. There is a real Delaine - and her name is Delaine Moore, author, columnist and life coach. BFTV had the pleasure to talk with Delaine on Thursday to discuss the transition from her memoir to movie, and what it was like to have people bringing to life her deeply personal story.
"My first reaction, it was like pinch me, definitely," she told us. "But that being said, I'm the one who had actually come up with the idea or had thought that my material would translate so well onto the screen. I was the one who actually then went out, and I had a couple contacts who worked in the industry...and then they're the ones that came back and said here you go, here's an option. But even when that happened, I thought what are the chances of it actually being purchased? So then when Lifetime gave it the green light last year...it was just insane!"
Insane in a very good way. Now six years removed from the events portrayed in the movie (and happily single), Delaine is astounded at how she's gone from a woman whose world was crumbling to someone who's now in a much happier place, with a successful book and now a movie based on that book. And at times, it was a bit surreal to watch the film come together.
"It really hit me when I was on the set," she reflected. "Sitting there on the set and watching one scene in particular that stood out to me, it really made me emotional. This is based on my life. And this is a painful and challenging and exciting and difficult time in my life all wrapped up into one.
"And what's so wonderful for me is, it came from such a real place. From an honest place," she continued. "Because I wrote this for me, to get it out of me. I've been able to put my truth down on paper and have it inspire creative work of other people and then have messages which I think are relevant and important being sent out to such a large audience. This isn't about me anymore."
What did Delaine think of the finished product? "Lifetime has created something that is entertaining and important and valuable to women," she told us. "Ashley Jones does a phenomenal job; I'm so pleased that they chose Ashley. I'm very pleased. Of course, in the movie, they don't have time to cover everything!"
So if you want to know the complete and unedited story, you've got to read the book. "There's a lot more in my book," she said. "The movie is the loose skeleton of my story. My book is the full-fledged version. My book has more drama and more action to it than a Lifetime movie, which is so funny to say. I'm just a regular woman. I didn't set out to attract that kind of drama and that's what happened!"
"I really do think that the most interesting thing about me, and what's interesting about the story, is that I am just the everyday regular woman," she reflected. "I'm also someone who's extremely interesting and educated and a devoted mother and a great friend...It's been six years since this happened. Every year that went by, I learned a lot about life, about men, about parenting. The learning never stopped."
She's parlayed her own personal growth into professional success, including speaking engagements, columns published across the Internet, and media work including an upcoming appearance in the CBC documentary Women Unleashed. But even though these opportunities have opened up her world, Delaine made clear that she's still just an ordinary woman, and her first priority has always been her family.
I never, ever lost focus of my children. My children are now 13, 12 and 10, and my children are aware that there's a book out there and this movie is happening. My kids are my number one priority and they always have been," she told us, adding that she's also planning to pursue her Masters degree. "This book and movie are exciting things that have happened, but they're not my legacy."
"What people need to understand and they might be surprised by, as glamorous as all this stuff sounds, my real life and my real identity are very normal and very fulfilling," she continued. "I never set out to be a part of the entertainment industry, and I'm very blessed and excited to be a part of it."
Ultimately, what Delaine is hoping for from The Secret Sex Life of a Single Mom in any incarnation, is that by sharing her story, she can help other women who might be struggling like she was six years ago. Asked what she wants the audience to take away from the movie, she told us, "When you're in the midst of the chaos of your family unraveling, it may seem like there's no way out, and yet life continues.
"And it's not about getting to a particular destination. It's not about rushing into your next relationship to find salvation in the arms of the next man. It's about looking over your shoulder and saying, 'Wow, look at how much I've grown.' And I'm proud that Lifetime captured that in their own way."
The Secret Sex Life of a Single Mom airs tonight at 9 PM ET/PT on Lifetime; for more on the movie, check out my interviews with stars Ashley Jones and Alex Carter. For more on Delaine, visit her website (iamdivorcednotdead.com) and follow her on Twitter (@Delaine_Moore). Her book is available on Amazon.