The (Middle) Child Left in the Dark

Well. This is awkward. I came here to talk about how I was going to post last September about juggling motherhood and novel writing but due to a new job and life craziness I never got round to posting (or indeed writing) said post in a twist of ironic failure-to-juggle… I arrived here, proceeded to cast an eye over my more recent entries and that’s where it hit me: I Didn’t Write A Post About My Second Novel On My Own Goddamn Blog. FFS. I added it to the My Books tab page, but other than that vague it’s with the publisher entry back in March 2022, I don’t think there’s actually been any mention. Which stinks because a) it’s the best thing I’ve written so far and b) as an overlooked middle child myself, you’d think I’d know better!

I mean, I know I don’t get around to blogging as much as as I did in the days of painstakingly chronicling the potty training of my precious firstborn anymore, but DAMN this takes self-marketing to new levels of ineptitude. Anyway, here it is:

The Child Left in the Dark. There is, at least, some irony to be appreciated here.

The Child Left in the Dark. Book two of my soft sci-fi trilogy Take Her Back, follow-up to The Girl with the Green Eyes. I’ve been so busy wanging on about it on Instagram (#bookstagram), TikTok (#booktok) and Facebook (#book… book?), attempting to navigate the unspoken rules of book-promotion while trying to avoid being TOO much of a self-trumpet-blowing wanker (but also trying to actually, you know, make a sale or two) that I completely forgot to even mention it here, my trusty old blog where I’ve been blithely self-trumpet-blowing for years. I know I’m trying not to centre my parenting blog – which is, first and foremost, meant to be about parenting – on too much book news to avoid the aforementioned trumpet-blowing-wankery but feel I really should have at least mentioned the fact that this fearful parent is also a second-time published author. Here is a snippet:

Want to read on? That link again: The Child Left in the Dark

I wont wang on too much, having wanged on elsewhere, but suffice to say, if you enjoy uncomplicated sci-fi with a badass female lead, some seriously sinister twists and turns alongside oodles of multi-generational mother daughter drama, you should enjoy The Child Left in the Dark at least as much as its predecessor (do read The Girl with the Green Eyes first though, otherwise you will be very confused about the sounds and sights haunting Ariana. Or indeed who the fuck Ariana is). The story *may* have been likened to ‘if His Dark Materials were written from the perspective of Mrs Coulter’ by a reader on Twitter which just about made my entire life, so there’s that too. Fans of HDM, I am *not* comparing, but you may enjoy my inferior product if that particular theme tickled your fancy.

Book Three is being edited (still) by night mostly (because new job, life craziness, etc). I very much hope it will be published later this year or early next. I did think it was done, then I sent it to my e-reader and made some 167 or so further changes, so turns out not so much. Lots to unfold, lots of loose ends to tie up, lots of comeuppances to be had, twists to turn and one chapter in particular which still makes me shudder* even though I’ve read and re-read it about 478 times.

OK, 169 changes to be precise, not counting the random highlighted words I don’t like (the above ‘here’, I suspect, because I’ve just used it two lines above.)

Will be back soon with a proper parenting post/life update on All The Busy Happenings. Suffice to say I have not taken up jogging like I promised myself I would once B3 started nursery (he’s been there since September and I have jogged ONCE), everyone needs a haircut and there’s a ragged, beastly monstrosity growing among the general weedy chaos in my raised bed because somehow it’s fucking April already.

Even Google Lens didn’t know WTF it is.

*Makes me shudder because of what happens to a character, not because of how badly written it is, just to clarify. I actually think it’s quite well written. Dark AF, yes. But well-written.



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