Published: 25th May 2018
Amy Cole is a stay-at-home mum and a woman on the edge.
After a very public breakdown and failed suicide attempt, Amy finds herself trying to make it through her everyday life as a high-functioning zombie.
Elle De Bruyn is a force of nature ready to shake Amy back to life whether she likes it or not.
After a fortuitous meeting, the two embark on a journey together which will change them both and help them find out exactly what they’re capable of when rock bottom is just the beginning.
It’s easy to write at home! Just sell your kids
There are many great points about being a stay-at-home-mum, however having children when you’re trying to finish a book is not one of them.
When I’m asked about how I fit writing in with my life I usually explain that I leave it for two particular hours every evening when the kids are in bed but with an approaching deadline paired with my expert level of procrastination sometimes that’s just possible and you have to grab every free minute you have at your disposal.
Writing in the summer was a nightmare and my days usually went something like this:
My average day – word count aim: 2000
7-9 am: Kids wake up demanding particular food that I don’t have in the house and spend forty minutes crying about it. They sulkily eat cereal in between sobs while you chase them into another room and get a few words down before you forget that excellent scene you dreamt about. You get 13 words in before you lose your train of thought and hear a crash from general direction of crying children. Close laptop.
Total word count: 13
12pm: After you manage to get away from needy children to make their lunch you have definitely forgotten the scene you planned to add to the latest chapter. You read back what you did this morning and wonder what the hell you’re even trying to write. Fall into an existential crisis and look up social media to find that your peers are onto writing their fourth book of 2018. Sob uncontrollably as you delete the 13 words of nonsense.
Total word count: 0
3pm: take children out to an outdoor activity for them to burn energy and hope that the fresh air will wake up some grey matter in your sludge-like brain. It doesn’t. Try to get home without seeing an ice-cream van to avoid the inevitable tantrums when you won’t buy the sugar on a stick. Give in after four minutes of wailing and buy the sugar on a stick – along with one for yourself. Realise that it’s too late into the book to give up now and have to persevere with it or deal with the hideous feeling of failure for the rest of your life connected with giving up on your dream.
Total word count: 0 and now you have an ice-cream headache
6pm: Clean up after dinner and hand children over to my husband so I can retreat to the office in order to get some ‘serious’ work done. Go on every available social media and take yet another Buzzfeed quiz entitled: ‘Which character from Friends are you?’. Get upset over the fact the people at Buzzfeed think I’m a ‘Ross’, who the hell wants to be a Ross? Start to type a few half-hearted sentences when you hear someone approaching office door.
Word count: 27
8pm: Kids want to tell me about their day – like I wasn’t there the entire time- to avoid bedtime. After three glasses of juice because they’re ‘so thirsty’, taking a half hour to choose which teddy they want to bring to bed and 13 visits to the toilet after their juice they finally collapse into bed and it’s totally unreasonable to think that I could possible get back to work after all this.
Word count: 27
10pm: sit on sofa mindlessly looking at television while lying to husband about my productive writing day while basking in his praise about how amazed he is I manage to get it done in amongst the chaos. Decide to suffocate guilty feeling I’m experiencing with chocolate biscuits and promise to do better tomorrow.
Repeat until school starts back.
I did, eventually, manage to get things done but head my warnings people! If you want to be a successful writer during the summer months: don’t have children.
I kid. Mostly…
Elizabeth McGivern is a former journalist turned hostage-in-her-own-home surrounded by three men and a horrible dog named Dougal.
In an effort to keep her sanity she decided to write a parenting blog after the birth of her first son so she can pinpoint the exact moment she failed as a mother.
In an unexpected turn of events, the blog helped her to find a voice and connect with parents in similar situations; namely those who were struggling with mental health issues and parenting. It was because of this encouragement – and wanting to avoid her children as much as possible – her debut novel, Amy Cole has lost her mind, was born.
Elizabeth lives in Northern Ireland although wishes she could relocate to Iceland on a daily basis.