Today I’m being interviewed by Libby, the main character in ‘Diary of a Mummy Misfit’.
She came to my modest town house and shared a coffee in my kitchen. It was good to see her after taking so long to create her.
“So, Amanda, why did you decide to write the diary?”
Well, Libby, my son has been in private education since he was four and, like you, we’ve struggled financially. I realised I had a wealth of information and funny stories at my fingertips. Hubbie and I chatted and realised there was a book waiting to happen.
“So, does that mean it’s all true?
No, most definitely not. My characters are a complete mish-mash of people I’ve met over the years and the majority of the events are figments of my imagination.
“As the main character, do I represent you?”
Now that’s a tricky one to answer. There are elements of me in you and I most certainly had the feeling of ‘not belonging’ many times. I’ve also had those feelings of being out of my depth but I think I’m really much more like Scottish Lou - the overly protective, paranoid mum … yes that’s actually me!
“You must have had fun writing the gorgeous Fenella? Does she really exist?”
I loved creating Fenella - I think she’s an absolute hoot. Of course she doesn’t really exist - she’s a smidgeon of a friend, a sprinkling of Margo Ledbetter from ‘The Good Life’ and a hint of Patsy from ‘Ab Fab’. None of my characters are based fully on true life - that would be boring.
“Do you plan on taking your characters further in a sequel?”
I’ve already completed the synopsis and written the first 20% - some new characters and a slightly darker plot - but it’s on hold for a while as I’m working on a new project. If a publisher decided snap me up and wanted a sequel, I’d knuckle down and get it out there as soon as possible.
“Does that mean you write quickly?
I wrote the diary in three months and then spent many months editing and revising. I also completed word cuts and amendments for two publishers - this gave me the final manuscript. Once I have an idea, I plan roughly and then fly with it. I love it when the characters tell me what should be happening and I enjoy the surprises they throw at me as they take on a life of their own.
“What was your reason for publishing in your maiden name?
The honest answer to that is … I’m a coward! I’m only in contact with one of the mums from my son’s prep school and she’s completely in the picture(she was the next person to read the book after my hubbie) but I didn’t want the other mums to know I’d written a book. If they find out, that’s fine, but I just didn’t feel comfortable going public and having tongues wagging.
“Finally, were you ever tempted to let me have a fling with Pritesh?”
Ooh, Libby, you almost make it sound like you would have enjoyed it! No, course I wouldn’t let you get up to anything with him - your marriage to Ned is far too strong. Who knows what I’ve got in store for you in the next book though.
At this point Libby brought the interview to a close with a little blush. Maybe she does have a bit of a soft spot for Pritesh?
To find out more about Libby’s life and the dramas of being a prep-school mum, head over to Amazon and download for Kindle, PC or Smartphone. Now also available in paperback at Lulu.