Eleven months old Willoughby Walden loves exploring our bookshelves – especially pulling books out. It was so exciting to watch him leaf through my debut novel, What Milo Saw. I told him all about how it came to be and how it was my first step into the world of being a proper, published author. Even though he doesn’t yet fully understand, it’s such a joy to share this part of me with him and to know that he’ll grow up knowing that his mama was a writer, that she chose the path less travelled by venturing out as an artist – a path I question every day for its lack of financial stability and uncertain success.
The other day, my eldest, Tennessee Skye, who’s five, recited the plot of my latest novel for adults, You Found Me. It blew me away that she’d really taken it on board. She’s reached an age where she really understands what story means and books too. She even asked whether we can write a story together sometime about unicorns and princesses and witches! Often, when we’re driving somewhere, she’ll pipe up from the back of the car: ‘Tell me again about what happened to the little boy in Before I Was Yours.’ Just as Willoughby picks my novels off the shelf with his chubby little hands, Tennessee’s questions and interest make my heart sing.
As for my sweet middle, Somerset Wilder, she’s somewhere between Willoughby and Tennessee’s understanding. She likes to look at the covers and to point out the characters – and the animals, and to guess at their expressions: ‘Why the little girl looks sad, Mama?’ she asks – and then, if I can, I try to explain.
How do you share your creative work with those you love, especially little people? I’d love to hear. Even though juggling being a mother and a writer is so very challenging at times, it’s magical to share what I do with my little ones – and they certainly inspire me with ideas every single day!
Happy reading and happy scribbling,