My latest book, which had the working title of Forever 27, has a character who is slightly fixated on his reoccurring dream. It is probably the most complex book I’ve ever written as it has fewer characters than I’m used to and it took a lot of soul-searching to get it finished. But the idea of that dream has led to my own dream come true…
I am beyond delighted that with the support and feedback of my agent, Hattie Grunewald, I have now signed a two-book deal with Bookouture.
The first book has the new title of 99 Days With You, and all the details can be found on the following links:
The summer has been wonderful. I’ve had some unforgettable adventures with my girls and my partner. I’ve been lucky this year in that I haven’t had any major deadlines to work towards over the summer holidays. The work that I did need to do I managed to squeeze around holidays and into the evenings, so I didn’t miss out on spending precious time with my kids. It won’t always work out like that, so I really appreciate the fact it has this summer.
But, oh, September! The sweet knowledge that the kids are heading back to school and I can get some normality back to my working days. It also means I can tidy the house in a considerably quicker time than I would with the girls about.
Later this month I’m lucky enough to be going on a writing retreat. Before then I hope to plan out my next novel and then it’ll give me the chance to get cracking before the month is out. I’m pretty certain September will disappear a lot quicker than summer did!
The thought that you’re not coping can be crippling.
It’s often a thought I’ve had as a mum. I’ve said out loud that ‘I hate my life’ when I’ve been trapped in a moment. Like when you are cleaning a spilt drink off the floor when you’ve repeatedly said ‘Be careful, don’t spill it,’ a hundred times before.
Of course, I haven’t meant that. I don’t really hate my life. It’s just being a working parent is harder than I ever imagined and there are days when the fatigue and repetition gets too much. When something that continuously keeps happening (why do my kids always end up in an argument when I am on the loo?) that it brings you to the point of despair.
I’ve felt for a while now like I’m flailing. That potentially, I’ve been doing so many things in drips and draps that as a result, I must be failing at all of them. How is it ever possible to be a good mother, a writer, a housekeeper, a gardener, a daughter, a book promoter, a diary-keeper (I could go on…) all at the same time?
I think perhaps the truth is I can’t be?
For example, getting my new website ready has been on my list of things to do for about six months. I wanted to have a site where I was able to add content and update myself so as not to have outdated information. But, of course, it wasn’t as simple as I’d hoped and required some assistance (thanks to Ben and Owen) to get my old website address synced up with the new website.
The transfer of info didn’t take those whole six months. But in that time numerous things have cropped up. I wouldn’t be able to tell you the number of times I’ve washed up, washed loads of clothes (ironically, the machine has just buzzed), swept the floor, cooked meals, read with my twins, done the school run, or opened the fridge and questioned what I was doing there. I could tell you I wrote a book, and did some revisions and ignored the mess and felt guilty about it. I felt guilty for the times I haven’t been able to tweet and promote some of my books. I’ve felt guilty about not getting this website back up and running sooner. I’ve felt guilty about all the things on my to do list that are yet to be actioned.
That guilt sometimes ripens into that feeling of failure. It is hard to realise that sometimes mums (including myself) that are achieving so much yet fail to see how much they have done.
Okay, so my website took longer than I would have liked. My dining table is never clear. I am known to feed my children fish fingers and chips as a staple. My front lawn needs mowing. I’m yet to finish clearing the attic.
But despite all the things I’m not achieving, there is an awful lot that I am. My kids are alive for one! And not only that, they are happy and thriving.
Even though I sometimes feel (like I’m sure we all do) that I have too many fingers in too many pies, I need to remember… flailing does not mean I am failing! It just means I’m doing all I can.
I’m pretty sure we all need to remember that at times.
Thanks for joining me!
Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton