After being stopped several times and hearing people say “I didn’t know you were a writer,” it suddenly struck me that when we read books, we forget that it was written by someone who has a life outside of writing. Yes, I am a writer. Yes, I am a published novelist. Yes, I have been featured on blogs, in the local newspaper and on local radio. But, I am still a person too! I am still a mother and a housewife. I still have bills to pay, floors to clean, and mouths to feed. It’s very surreal travelling to do a radio broadcast and being treated like a successful author, then returning home and having a cup of tea with my mother-in-law before doing the school run and cooking dinner.
Today, normal life resumed. I don’t have any more interviews lined up just yet, (although they are being worked on), and this morning I was just Mum, which was quite nice. Well… it was until I ended up screeching at my daughter down the street because she scooted off out of my sight and headed for a road! Yes, I have the same frustrations as any parent. My children (aged 5 and 4) have selective hearing and treat me like I’m speaking a foreign language half the time. Yes, I ring my own Mum out of desperation, on the verge of tears, asking how the hell I get them to actually do as they are told. (The answer is – when you find out, let me know.) Yes, I come home to a house that is in desperate need of vacuuming and dusting, with pots piled high in the sink, and the washing basket just as full. Hectic!! Unfortunately I am not rich enough to hire someone to do my cleaning for me. Well, not yet anyway!
It still hasn’t sunk in that I am a published author. Even listening back to the broadcast and hearing my own voice on the radio wasn’t enough. Having friend request after friend request on Facebook, and a sudden rise in follows on Twitter, and it still hasn’t registered! As far as I’m concerned, I’m still Mum – mean and nasty for not letting the kids live on chocolate and crisps, horrible and terrible for telling them off when they do something naughty – even in public, cruel and awful for forcing them to wear hats, gloves and scarves when it’s cold, and even worse for making them eat their vegetables, brush their teeth and go to bed at seven o’clock.
Perhaps one day, when I’m surrounded by hired staff, it may strike me that I am a published author, a novelist, and locally famed (for the time being – I’m sure everyone will have forgotten by tomorrow), but until then, I will continue to be Mum and Mrs Howard, scrubbing the floors, burning dinner, walking the dog, helping with homework, and occasionally writing a little book.