On the 20th March 2015, I pulled back the curtains and searched for the sky. It looked like any other day. But unknown to me, lurking in my unopened inbox was a dream. I got myself and three children dressed and walked them to school. Then I walked the dog, still unaware that my life had changed. I got home and put on the kettle. And finally I opened up my laptop. And there it was, like a glittering jewel. An email. From a publisher. Asking if I would like to meet. I opened the email and my dream came true. I had submitted a novel, and they liked my writing, and in the process of researching me, they came across my blog, The Sandwich Years.
They asked would I be interested in writing a book about my experiences caring for young children and old ailing parents. I did what any self-respecting writer would do – I danced naked down the street shouting Yeeessssssss! Then I opened my eyes and returned to the moment and said, fully dressed, “Oh yes please.” And so I found myself with a book deal.
However, with the deal came a deadline. I had to write 70,000 words in less than 5 months. On top of my day job, raising three girls and caring for parents. But I did have help.
And slowly, shuffling of pages, pacing of feet, and tapping of fingers led to a plan… A book of Post-It’s.
which led to pure, unadulterated epic hours of actual writing until the first draft was finished. I had a little celebration….
But then Draft 2 began. And then Draft 3. And then Draft 4…. until I had it. I had a book. And when all the research and drafts were complete it became a Book in a Box.
Then I went to Donegal where I was meant to edit but Donegal is too beautiful so I gave it some space and came back refreshed and re-energised.
As I poured the sand out of my shoes, I began the final push of editing, reshaping, rewriting, restructuring. Did I mention editing? Oh the edits….they are like homework that never ends. It was originally meant to be called the Sandwich Years, but in it’s writing, it wrote itself a broader scope, a bigger story and so it became Daughter, Mother, Me; A Memoir of love, loss and dirty dishes.
It is being printed as I write, and I hope to have a real-life, dream-size copy in my hands next week. It will be in the shops from the 11th February and the launch will be on the 16th February in Dubray bookshop on Grafton Street. All are welcome.
In the meantime, I continue to write. And to dream.