Well it looks like I’ve been outed.
It was only a matter of time I guess, and I knew the day would come, so I figure it’s time I set the record straight before I’m run out of Putney by designer handbag-wielding mummies.
Last night I hit the town with ‘Fenella’ (if you’re reading this blog and don’t know who Fenella is, shame on you - head off and buy my books now!). When I began writing the first diary I knew I had to include this particular friend as Libby’s main partner in crime but I took parts of her and mixed her with Patsy from Ab Fab and Margo from The Good Life - thus Fenella was born.
A fictional character in a fictional book.
And I’m hoping that’s what the Putney mums will realise when they read my ‘Diary’ series.
Because last night ‘Fenella’ told me that she’d heard on the mummy grapevine that the book has hit their radar and questions are being asked.
Had I been published traditionally I’m sure I wouldn’t have been able to hang on to my anonymity but going Indie meant that I could choose how much of myself I revealed. I took the coward’s option, published in my maiden name and stayed undercover for as long as I could.
But my cover may have been blown and it’s time for me to speak up.
Diary of a Mummy Misfit and The Darker Side of Mummy Misfit are works of fiction loosely based on my experience at a London prep school. The characters do not really exist - the nasty ones were thrown into a huge melting pot and came out in the exaggerated guises of ‘Gestapo’ and ‘The Gnome’. The nicer characters were born in the same way.
What is real are Libby’s feelings. There were certain mummies who made me feel like I didn’t belong and that’s why I chose to write the book. It wasn’t written out of spite or nastiness, I merely saw an opportunity to draw on my experiences and feelings and give them a humorous outlet.
The decent mums, teachers, school heads etc. will hopefully recognise themselves and see the book as it was intended - a tongue-in-cheek look at the chasm between the Haves and the Have-Nots.
This book was never intended to hurt and, from the comments and 5* reviews I’ve received, Libby’s feelings are echoed by women the world over - not just mums and not just those at private schools.
A comment has been passed on to me from a mum who knew me (one I liked!): “I found it an uncomfortable read because I never knew Amanda was made to feel like that.”
I take that as a compliment as it means I did my job properly.