SO EXCITED FOR THIS GUEST POST. I love the inside workings of authors minds and guest posts allow just that. Keep reading for some interesting insight into writing Kids.
If you asked Mollie whether she struggled as a single mum, she’d have to cover her daughter’s ears before answering. Surrounded by friends, watching Esme grow into the sassiest eleven-year-old in North London, and building her name as TV chef Mollie Makes, Mollie’s never been happier. Well, that’s what she’d tell you. But as her best friends pair off, and Esme starts getting into trouble at school, Mollie wonders whether life would be different – not better…but easier – with a team mate.
Three’s a crowd?
But Esme’s dad, Jamie, would be the last man Mollie would team up with. After all, he made it clear eleven years ago that he wasn’t interested in playing the family game. So when he suddenly reappears, Mollie can’t believe her eyes. And soon, she’s got to ask herself the hardest question yet: she knows she can succeed as a single mum. But what if her daughter doesn’t want her to?
Guest Post; Writing Kids: Esme and Be My Baby
Writing kids is one of my favourite things to do, because you can get away with so much more in a scene. Kids say what they think and feel, exactly when they want. Similarly, a little tough love from a child packs a bigger punch than reasoning from an adult.
Esme in Be My Baby, the third book in my House on Camden Square series, is a firecracker. She’s almost too smart for her own good, has grown up knowing she was absolutely loved, but experiencing a lot of turmoil in living with her alcoholic grandmother, and then moving away from her home to London, to share a flat with her mum and godmother.
Esme is not short of strong female role models, from Mollie, Evie and Ruby, to her new favourite grandmother figure, Evelyn. She’s a book worm, who takes in everything, she knows what she loves and enjoys being a bit of a smarty pants.
She’s also a people watcher, and that’s a wonderful thing about writing a child character. Kids see so much more than people give them credit for. And whether it’s a child unwittingly giving away to a dinner party that ‘mummy has a baby in her tummy’ or explaining to the mother-in-law that ‘Daddy calls you a harpy - what does that mean?’ kids have the opportunity to create the most awkward, hilarious moments in books.
It would be easy to think kids like Esme don’t exist, but she’s an amalgamation of the kids I’ve taught creative writing and English to. Kids who are funny and smart and outgoing. Kids who dream big, and know what they want to do, and aren’t limited by the real world, the way adults inevitably become.
A lovely blogger suggested I might want to write Esme’s story one day, and I definitely would, but part of that would be so heartbreaking, because when kids grow up, they lose something of those dreams, of that certainty of their principles and beliefs. They sacrifice and compromise, and the idea of that happening to Esme is a little bit heartbreaking.
Esme has always been one of the favourite characters I’ve written, and I’m glad that in Be My Baby, she got her time in the spotlight.
A.L Michael is a writer and workshop leader from North London. She has a BA in Creative Writing with English Lit, an MA in Creative Entrepreneurship and is starting an MsC in Creative Writing for Therapeutic Purposes. She likes learning and hates essays.
She's a fan of cheap wine, expensive chocolate and still wants to be a secret agent when she grows up, but she'll settle for lying on the page.