I’ve never written a blog. I’ve been told though it’s not actually legal these days to have a website without a blog!
So. Here goes.
I wanted to tell you a little bit about this book and its life so far.
The idea came to me, eighteen years ago, on January the 11th 2001 at 1.21pm. Ten minutes after my second daughter came into the world to be exact. I’d had a home birth and my sleepy first born toddler had decided to nap through the whole birthing event, choosing to have one of her mammoth afternoon sleeps. When she awoke I was tucked up in bed with new babe in arms. Her Daddy brought her in and sat her on the bed, at which point, the little swaddled bundle in my arms let out a loud piercing wail. Our sleepy toddler, looked concerned. She leant in and stroked the top of her baby sisters head gently saying;
“Don’t worry baby, your Mummy will be here soon.”
To which I replied;
“I’m her Mummy sweetheart.”
She gave me a puzzled, horrified look and said;
“No, you’re just my Mummy.”
I pointed to my stomach and said;
“This was the baby in here darling.”
She looked horrified, gasped and yelled;
“Put it back in your tummy Mummy, quick! It’s fallen out!”
It was a funny, memorable first little encounter but it did get me thinking on how I hadn’t done a great job in preparing her for the arrival of a new baby brother or sister. So, I started writing a book that I wished had been around when I was having babies. Admittedly it did take me almost fifteen years to actually sit down and write it but hey, these things can’t be rushed!
In 2015 I submitted the book to a well know publisher. To my absolute delight the commissioning editor loved it and said they would publish! (To say I was slightly giddy would be under playing my emotions a tad.) Unfortunately, the editor then went on maternity leave (Oh, the irony) and the new editor didn’t take the book forward. I was devastated. I thought the traditional publishing route was the only legitimate way of getting my book out there. After moping around for a few months I started looking into self-publishing and I’m so glad I did.
After much searching I found the perfect illustrator. The whole project took nine months to complete (Ah, once again…the irony.) The process has been so rewarding. It’s been a huge learning curve but I’ve enjoyed every minute. Because I’ve self-published I’ve had complete autonomy over every aspect. The illustrations were so important to me. I wanted them to have a timeless feel, so my book wouldn’t date. I also wanted every child reading it to identify with at least one of the the illustrations in the book. Getting a diverse mix of ethnicity and family groups was also a fundamental part of this books story. It fills me with utter joy to think of little ones sitting down with you, reading this book together. Week by week, counting down the months of pregnancy and gradually forming a bond and connection with their new baby brother or sister. Please do get in touch and let me know your story and what your thoughts on the book are. (Even if just to say the colour on the front cover of the book matches your downstairs loo!) I’m genuinely so excited to hear from you all. Big thanks to everyone who’s helped and encouraged me along the way. It’s not been easy sometimes and having people around you, who believe in you, makes the world of difference. Most of all thanks to my sleepy, dazed, bewildered little first born for planting the seed for this book all those years ago. (As you will see from this photo she did, thankfully, grow quite fond of her little sis.)