And, just like that, my second book has been published!
Can I believe it this time? No, not really. It’s surreal and amazing and mind-blowing and very slightly terrifying, all at the same time.
I think it’s all those things because I care so very much about it. After dreaming for the best part of twenty years about being an author, I can now credibly claim to be one and, trust me, that is never ever going to get old.
I can’t tell you the joy I feel when I see my book (books, now!) sitting on the shelf of a bookshop, or when a lovely review pops up online, or when during a school visit a child tells me their favourite monster is a Poo Shuffler (it’s always a Poo Shuffler – but, then, find me a child who doesn’t like a poo joke; they’re few and far between). It’s what dreams are made of.
Since I started on this journey to becoming an author many years ago, I have learned so much. So much about the world of books, even more about my writing, and an awful lot about me.
The last couple of years haven’t been easy for anyone. We’ve all had to contend with challenges we had no idea were coming, as well as our own personal hurdles. But many of us have found things that helped us through… A love of Zoom quizzes, binge-watching brilliant Netflix series, appreciating the outdoors, baking, crocheting, realising that the office really isn’t that bad when one end of your dining room table has a laptop and four hundred post it notes on it… And writing.
I wrote three books during the national lockdowns. Alongside my family and friends, those books kept me sane. They gave me something to focus on, something to be passionate about, something in which to find joy.
So, as I watch the second book in the Monster Doughnuts series, Cyclops on a Mission, fly out into the wild, I do it with a massive sense of pride. I may have written that book but, in a way, that book also wrote me.
It reminded me of who I am, what I love doing and the many things I have to be thankful for.
When something is right, you know. And I know I am the luckiest person in the world to be doing what I love. Writing has become a fundamental part of me. It has given me strength and confidence and a true understanding of what it means to be passionate about something.
As Virginia Woolf once said: “Every secret of a writer’s soul, every experience of his life, every quality of his mind, is written large in his works.”