Wivenhoe author combines fiction with her personal experiences of life in lockdown – Gazette

Posted: June 13, 2020 at 11:46 am


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EVEN in darkness, it is possible to create light.

So says the famous quote and its a mantra that can be easily applied to Wivenhoe author Suzy K Quinn, the first person to write and publish a book during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Bad Mothers Virus is the latest in a best-selling series and a relatable tale dealing with the challenges of lockdown.

The backdrop may be intensely serious but Suzy puts a comical, positive spin on issues like home schooling, extra housework and braving the supermarkets. As she says, its romantic comedy meets Adrian Mole.

Its happy and sad but, in the main, an uplifting fictional story, said Suzy, who lives with husband, Demi, and daughters, Lexi, nine, and Laya, six.

I tend to think of it as light-hearted soap opera and wanted it to be funny - a book that will make people laugh if theyre feeling fed up.

Its also honest and no-holds barred. Fiction based on real life.

I tended to start really early, sometimes at 4am.

It was a challenge and a big undertaking but I wanted to do something positive, to write about the situation in a comical way.

When you laugh, you feel better and thats what I hope people take from this book.

At one point I worried I wouldnt get it done, though.

It was difficult and tiring, especially with the girls wanting and needing my attention.

Former St Helena School student Suzy is no stranger to success.

Her first novels, the thrillers Glass Geishas and Show, Dont Tell, were published in 2011.

She then wrote the Ivy Lessons, a series of romance books about a teacher and student which went on to sell over half a million copies worldwide, becoming bestsellers in the UK, America and Germany.

In more recent years she has switched her attention to the Bad Mothers Diary series - The Bad Mothers Diary (2016), The Bad Mothers Detox (2017), The Bad Mothers Pregnancy (2017) and now The Bad Mothers Virus.

While fictional, based on the trials and tribulations of main character and single, self-isolating mum Juliette Duffy, Suzy says she draws on her own life and experiences with Demi, Lexi and Laya.

Its based on real life. Im always honest, self-deprecating and dont mind poking fun at myself, said the 40-year-old.

There are lots of laughs about things like the lockdown rules and home schooling.

For us, like everyone, its been a crazy rollercoaster but its funny how quickly weve got used to things.

At the start, I worried we werent doing the home schooling properly.

I set a schedule but the girls hated it and rebelled, so we had to adapt the way we worked.

The changes we made have quickly become the norm, though, and, as a family, there have been lots of positives in terms of lifestyle.

Weve been exercising together and working out with Joe Wicks, although were now having to do that after school because the girls went back last Wednesday.

Weve really enjoyed keeping fit together and having lots of walks around beautiful Wivenhoe.

You dont always appreciate whats on your doorstep and its been lovely spending so much quality time together.

Suzy, who aims to write three books a year, is also a journalist who has previously written for The Guardian, Sunday Times Magazine and The Sun.

She loves travelling and thought she would go stir crazy during the lockdown.

Instead, she has embraced the quieter, simpler lifestyle imposed on us all.

At the start, I kept thinking it would quickly blow over, she said.

People kept talking about mild flu symptoms and I dont think anyone realised how serious it was going to be.

Weve tried new things along the way, learning new skills, and Ive taken to things I never would have expected.

For instance, Im not normally a particularly domestic person but Ive really enjoyed cleaning.

Once upon a time I would have thought what a waste of time.

Now Im finding it really satisfying and meditative, taking care of our family environment.

Its strange because I thought I would have gone stir crazy.

I love travelling and enjoy the freedom it gives you, so would have anticipated feeling imprisoned, being forced to spend time at home.

But it hasnt been like that and there isnt that fear of missing out.

Everyones in the same boat and its not like others are outside enjoying the sunshine while youre stuck indoors.

The Bad Mothers Virus has been published as an eBook and all profits will be donated to the coronavirus vaccine and NHS funds.

It feels like a really good thing to do and, from a personal point of view, its kept my mind occupied, she said.

It took some of the anxiety away and hopefully itll raise important funds for great causes.

My initial target is to raise 10,000 but Id love to get to 50,000. So far, its doing well and, in terms of pre-orders, it was in the top 500 in the eBook charts.

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Wivenhoe author combines fiction with her personal experiences of life in lockdown - Gazette

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June 13th, 2020 at 11:46 am

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