As I’m sure most authors will attest, writing is an all-consuming vocation. When I’m at my computer, immersed in my make-believe world, I lose all track of time. Occasionally my kids will wander in to ask a question, and I will remind them, somewhat irately, not to interrupt Mummy when she’s working. Only later, once I’ve resolved whatever syntactical dilemma or plot calamity was troubling me at the time, will I realise they’ve been watching Tom and Jerry on loop and subsisting on the crumbs between the cushions on the sofa for three days.
When I’m not at my computer, actually writing, I’m thinking about writing. Character flaws, one-liners, plot twists – you name it, it’s rumbling around in my brain pretty much all the time, regardless of what I’m doing in reality. Many a slice of toast has been burnt while I ruminate on a subplot. Too many school runs have been made just in the nick of time because I’ve delved into a rabbit hole of research and been waylaid somewhere in the ether.
It wasn’t much of a surprise, therefore that as my kids got a bit older, they began to take an interest in my writing. “What’s your story about, Mummy?” they’d say, which was as difficult a question to answer as when my editor asked me to write the blurb for it. “Can we read it?” they’d enquire, which received the same resounding negative as when my dad asked the same, for mature content written by me is suitable for neither audience. “Can you write a children’s book next, Mummy, with pictures, so it doesn’t take you as long to write?” Kids are experts at guilt trips.
In the end, I explained enough to satisfy my eldest child’s curiosity and off he went to play with his crayons. Little did I know he wasn’t playing – he was designing a cover for my book! Kids are also experts at melting your heart.
So, here it is, the unofficial cover of Mistaken, as imagined by my 8yr old son.