The Weaning – writing from life

I funded my MA study in creative writing by working as a childminder and my new novel The Weaning is about… a childminder.

I began work on the novel as part of a PhD researching autobiographic practice, soon finding that I was uncomfortable writing straightforwardly autobiographically and discovering how much was to be gained by fictionalising my experience.

The emotional roots of my experience provide the foundations for the book but everything else is made up. Well, not quite everything – a few totems from my real life found their way into the writing…

I had a jeweller friend make me the necklace which appears at the end of the novel.

Baroque necklace

A tin of my grandmother’s, a brooch of my mother-in-law’s and the key ring of a childminder client also feature.

Nan's tinlakeland souvenirLauren's keyring

An image from a favourite book from childhood informed the climactic sequence of the novel.

No Kiss For Mother



2 thoughts on “The Weaning – writing from life

  1. Loved your novel Hannah – I’m sure I’m not the only one who read it in two sittings (someone interupted me otherwise it would have been one). Beautifully written, it is the kind of story that you only get a slanting glimpse of when reading a newspaper headline or an account of a court case. Weaning gets to the bone of an everyday tragedy.


    1. Oh, thank you, Bridget! I’m happy that you appreciated The Weaning. I try to write the kinds of book I like to read – I am a fan of short novels (Alarm Girl was a slim volume too…) and I marvel at the way a certain arrangement of words on a page can bring about intense emotion in their reader – the power of language! Which of course, you understand, being a writer yourself.

      Liked by 1 person

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