Friday, March 1, 2019

Realistic fiction – Writing the law enforcement wife

By Sharee stover

The ironic thing about writing fiction is to do it well, you must create the story with enough realism that it transports the reader believably into a fictional place. I once read something that said being a good writer means you’re a good liar.

I prefer to think of it as being a good storyteller.

Like most writers, I work hard to create realistic stories and characters. That means I draw from my own experiences, use characteristics and traits I see in my friends, relatives, or acquaintances. Sometimes, it’s even just a matter of people watching.

In my current story, my heroine is a law enforcement officer’s widow. This is a place near and dear to my heart because I’m the wife of a law enforcement officer. So today, I want to share with you some of the things that law enforcement spouses encounter.

There’s a special community that exists in the families of emergency personnel. And, like most things, in life, it takes a village to thrive.

I am blessed to have sisters in the law enforcement world who are an extension of my family. We share a camaraderie and common understanding.

When our spouse took their oaths to uphold the law, we took one too. We promised to share our spouse on holidays, weekends, during horrific storms, and in my part of the world, tornadoes. It means being willing to single parent because there are times when our spouse can’t attend the school conference, sporting event, or extracurricular activity.

It means waking with him at all hours of the night when his phone goes off even if he worked an entire shift the night before.

It means a loneliness where we can’t share the burdens our spouse deals with…child molesters, murderers, burglars, and drug addicts.

It’s a special community and often goes unnoticed.

In a world where police officers are loved and hated…

Respected and rejected…

We feel those same emotions as their greatest supporters and cheerleaders.

I asked some of my friends about their lives as LEO wives and here’s some of the things they shared:

Being an LEO wife means:

·        Yes, many times it means he’s called out during the worst times. My daughter had a church event and right in the middle, my husband got called out and had to leave.

·        For us, it means celebrating holidays and birthdays late or not at all, because we just never got a routine due to his schedule. Thanksgiving and Christmas are the exception...but Valentine’s, our anniversary, 4th of July, etc. just don’t get much attention.

·        I can't tell you how many times we've been at a restaurant or on our way to an engagement and he was called out, so we had to get up and head home. 

It means learning to function with a lack of sleep.

·        Being an LEO wife makes me PROUD. I'm also very FRUSTRATED at times because of this career.

·        Even after a long rough day, he got called out again. So off he went for 6 more hours. He was up for 24 hours yesterday.

·        Overwhelming fear every time he leaves. It never goes away but you have to learn how to deal with it and support him.

And of course, there’s always those funny aspects:

·         Every person you meet wants to tell you about the time they got stopped. There’s a bond in sharing experiences and seeing those flashing blue and red lights in your rearview mirror increases your heartbeat no matter who you are.

·         And the answer? Drive the speed limit or face the consequences, there’s no magical “free” limit.

 And the bottom line:

·       Having faith that Our Father will take care of him and the others working the scenes.

·       I think to explain an LEO wife it takes a very strong, patient, loving and courageous person.  We value our family time together and appreciate our extended LE family that we all become a part of. 

·      We don't always talk about how lonely, scary and stressful it can be. 

·      All of the unknown.... is he/she coming home tonight?  Are they going to get hurt?  How long are they going to be gone? 

·      Raising and running kids around by yourself as a single parent.

·      You learn to lean on other spouses, and it takes a village sometimes.  We also become each others’ outlets and we respect the circle of privacy.

·       Because we all live it, we understand it.

·       Sometimes I feel like a military family too. Our spouse isn't deployed overseas though. We are living on the battlefields with them and they are deployed locally.

·       Loneliness because our lives are often lived in a place where confidentiality is a necessity for the public, for the victim, and for our spouse. Cases we can’t share with anyone. Stories that break our hearts.

Being an LEO wife is a special assignment. And writing an LEO wife accurately requires incorporating these details because it’s the reality of life.

Are you the wife of or are you an emergency responder? If so, what's a nugget of truth you could share with our readers today?

What have you read in stories that gave you a deeper understanding of the lifestyle for emergency responders? 

Watch for my new release in December! 

Colorado native Sharee Stover lives in Nebraska with her real-life-hero husband, three too-good-to-be-true children, and two ridiculously spoiled dogs. A self-proclaimed word nerd, she loves the power of the written word to ignite, transform, and restore. She writes Christian romantic suspense combining heart-racing, nail-biting suspense and the delight of falling in love all in one. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Romance Writers of America and Nebraska Writer’s Guild. Sharee is a two-time Daphne du Maurier finalist and the winner of the 2017 Wisconsin Fabulous Five Silver Quill Award. When she isn’t writing, Sharee enjoys reading, crocheting and long walks with her obnoxiously lovable German Shepherd. Visit her at

She’s not who she thinks she is

With gunmen at her doorstep, Katie Tribani learns her true identity. She’s been in witness protection since childhood, and now her crime-lord father has found her.  As bullets fly, US marshal Daniel Knight whisks her to safety—but not for long. Captured and held prisoner, only Katie can unearth her secret past…if she can survive long enough.

Twitter: @shareestover   


  1. Thank you, Sharee for sharing such an honest, heartfelt post. I loved all the comments from LEO wives. Please know you all do not go unnoticed. You are appreciated and prayed for. (And WOW, you must have some great story-starters for your books!) :)

    1. Thank you Katy!! Those prayers are precious and so very needed. Sadly, truth is so much stranger than fiction. The stories I could tell....

  2. Sharee, thank you for sharing your story with us. The sacrifice your family and your husband have made for the community is something I am grateful for, as well as for all the other sacrifices made by law enforcement officers and their spouses and families. I can't imagine the things they see on a daily basis. It takes a special person to do the job and we are thankful to have them on duty.

    1. Mary, you nailed it. I loved what one wife said about her spouse being deployed on the battleground here. So true and touching.

  3. God bless our LEO heroes! At my church, we pray for them daily, along with our military and other first responders. I'm an Army wife and can relate to some of what you wrote...although our wonderful guys and gals in blue face danger and death each and every day! We live in a small town and love our police force. They're fantastic, always so helpful and committed to keeping our community safe.

    What authentic insight you can provide to your stories, especially if you include the wives of LEO! Great concept for Secret Past. Love that she grew up in WITSEC and her dad is a drug lord. Brilliant!

    Hope to see you at RWA again this year! Hugs!

    1. Hello Ms. Debby! You definitely understand the sacrifice of an LEO spouse. Our small town is very respectful and kind to our officers which is a blessing for sure. Secret Past was so much fun to write!

  4. Sharee, you did a beautiful job representing us here. It is so true that while our spouses took a public oath, we took an unspoken oath to serve as well. Prayers for protection over our LEO families!

    1. Amen Karen! And high-five for rural troopers and cows. Giggle.

  5. Sharee, your post touches my heart. I have the utmost respect for law enforcement personnel and our military service members......and their strong families. Thank you for writing stories so others understand the stress and pride the families experience. May God bless all! Hugs!

  6. At my Citizen's Academy class last night, they talked about the life of being a police officer and ways they find to cope with the stress. They didn't mention the impact the job has on their family members, so I'm glad you wrote this!

  7. I thought of your hubby during the blizzard last weekend! Since you're too nice to say it - I'll add: And the frustration of knowing that if the public used a little more common sense in inclement weather, things would go so much smoother ;)

  8. Thank you for such a thought-provoking post, Sharee. Really appreciate you sharing your thoughts and insight. Our church keeps first responders and military personnel on the prayer list. Truly appreciate their sacrifices, as well as the sacrifices made by their families.

  9. Great post, Sharee! God bless you and your LEO!!!!

  10. Excellent post, Sharee. I never thought of all the interruptions a LEO wife deals with.


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