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.
A tin of my grandmother’s, a brooch of my mother-in-law’s and the key ring of a childminder client also feature.
An image from a favourite book from childhood informed the climactic sequence of the novel.