Thursday, 4 February 2016

Guest Post - Sophie King talks about her inspiration

My Sophie King novels have all been inspired by my children. I’m lucky enough to have three – each of them very different. I also have a big age gap between the first and third – seven and a half years. This led to a lot of laughter, tears, arguments, hair-tearing (mine), winning battles (them) and crazy school runs. At one stage, I brought up my youngest more or less on my own from the age of fourteen. This was another learning curve.

But – and most writers would admit it – all this led to lots of plots and ideas for novels. Naturally I adapted these and brought in fiction to disguise the fact. I also changed the characters. But I could not have written the humour and the pathos without the crazy busy family life around me.

Then came something I hadn’t prepared myself for, even though I should have done. Leaving home for uni and other destinations. Somehow it happened much faster than I expected. One by one, they peeled off. My middle child even went to Asia for three years (it was meant to be two). Were they running away from me? Or simply finding themselves?

It was hard to know. I hoped it was the latter.

When my youngest left home, I had a double empty nest syndrome. Not only was I a single mother without children around to distract me, but I had also lost my inspiration for the young family books I’d built my career on.

Luckily I was in for a surprise. Children usually come home even when they’ve flown the nest. At different times, they flitted in and out. It was wonderful to see them – and it also sparked off my writing plots again. Now, more than ever before, I treasure each moment with them; not knowing when they might ring the door bell, laundry in hand.

But what I hadn’t reckoned on was an extraordinary event that took place just before Christmas. Something so marvellous that it’s hard to put into words. I married young the first time and we had our children quite young. My daughter did the same and – yes, you’ve guessed it – our first grandchild arrived just before Christmas. She has brought us more joy than I can describe. It’s truly incredible to have a tiny baby around once more with all the gurgles and chat and cries and nappy changes that go with it.

I’m a very hands-on grannie partly because my own mother died young and I don’t want to miss out on this new role as she had to do. Every morning I spend an hour with my granddaughter so my daughter can get dressed and have breakfast, before going back to my second husband and my writing.

It’s a true delight. But the funny thing is that I feel like a novice. Everything is different now from my day. Babies sleep on their backs instead of their fronts. You need a degree in science to understand how the baby car seat works. Feeding advice has changed. There are more support networks.

You can see what’s coming. More Sophie King stories that involve young babies, grown up children and grannies.
Watch this space ...

Meanwhile, does anyone have some good tips for colic?

About Sophie King

Sophie King is the author of seven novels, and a short story collection, about families, friends and lovers.

Her first novel, The School Run, has been a bestseller twice, and The Wedding Party was shortlisted by the Romantic Novelists' Association as Love Story of the Year.

In between novels, Sophie writes short stories and has had hundreds published in magazines such as Woman's Weekly and My Weekly. Sophie is delighted to support new romance writing through her annual writing competition The Sophie King Prize.

Website | Twitter | Sophie King on Amazon

Thank you so much Sophie for this insight into your inspiration. It really does shine through into your books, which I really enjoy. It's been a pleasure to welcome you to Rachel's Random Reads.

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