Aimee Horton

Life Lately

May
13

There are some bloggers that just get in your head (Alison, Molly and Morgana I’m looking at you), and yesterday no different.

I was sitting looking grumpily at instagram (instead of happily) then I flicked onto twitter…which I have no idea why, because that makes me always grumpy and despondent. But for once it didn’t…I happened to catch Molly’s latest post called “Life Lately” and as always, she hit the nail in the head.

Like her I have exciting (totally not meaning to be cryptic) things happening. I’m also nearly at the end of my draft of the next Dottie novel, and the sun is shining. When you’re pulled this way and that, sometimes your ideas for blogs are clouded. Right now I have loads of ideas, they’re just all pants when it comes to writing them.

So instead, I’m going to embrace Molly’s idea, and this is my life..lately..

WRITING

Me writing

I’m on fire with Dottie. Getting to THE END is going to be amazing, but I know that this draft is going to need a lot of work. I’m trying to remind myself of the quote “the first draft is always shit” one I tell myself all the time, but by golly, there’s shit, and then there’s the runs. I’ll be looking for Beta readers soon though, so please get in touch if you’re interested.

ENJOYING THE MONKEYS

Monopoly

Theo went on his residential last week. In fact this time last week I was just willing him to come home, and was very relieved he’d managed to not break something abseiling down THIS ACTUAL TOWER.

Tower

*throws up in mouth*

While he was away I feel very lucky that the school was closed for polling day, so I got to take Larry to the farm and spend some quality time with him. We used to visit the farm a lot before he started school, so it was lovely to recreate it. Even though we did end up having a very in-depth discussion about why things cost what they do in the gift shop and why we can’t cross out the prices and write a cheaper one on with pen.

Larry runs

 

I was bloody glad to get this one back though…

Theohome

ENJOYING TIME WITHOUT THE MONKEYS

Mr Aimee and I worked out that it’s been quite a while since we have managed to bin the children off let the grandparents have the kids overnight, so when our friends suggested a night out we JUMPED at the chance.

Although I have to say, I enjoyed sitting in the garden with my book thoroughly too.

Winebool

WEARING

Mainly my dungaree’s if I’m honest. I don’t care what Mr Aimee says (that I look like a drunk kids TV presenter) I LOVE THEM.

Dungers

I’ve also loving my slogan tee’s & sweats right now. I feel very proud to be able to support my fellow #Mumboss mums…well support or their tops make me feel like I might be cool one day.

Fearless

FEARLESS TEE by Tease and Toes

IMG_1883

 

GIN AND ON IT Sweat from Parent Apparel.

Anyway, now I’m off for a photoshoot…she says really casually…

Happy Birthday Survival of the Ginnest!

May
05

I know this is a bit Déjà vu – celebrating Dottie turning one, but you know me, if there’s a chance to celebrate with pizza and fizz then I’m going to take it! (YOU READING THIS MR AIMEE? PIZZA AND FIZZ.)

Seriously though, this time last year I basically spent my day waiting for my life to change. And it did – although not in the way you (I) are hoping.

I’m not rich beyond my wildest dreams, I’m not flying off the shelves of book stores, and I’ve not been number 1 in the amazon charts (although I did reach number 6 in humour AND WAS ON THE SAME PAGE AS JONATHAN HARVEY – he’s my hero).

But what happened is I got a chance to take a long hard look at myself. I’ve spent the year laughing like the boys do at a bloody stampy video, and crying like Tragic Larry does every time he thinks he might lose at anything.

I’ve watched Mothers Ruined and Survival of the Christmas Spirit be published, I’ve held them in paperback…IN THE ACTUAL REAL LIFE LIBRARY, and I’ve been lucky enough to have real life book bloggers tell me they love my book. I also got to meet some of these bloggers – which I’m thrilled about.

I’ve dicked around with the next novel from The Survival Series. I’ve felt the pressure of ‘second album syndrome’ because this will only be my second traditional novel – Ginenest is of course, slightly unconventional. However, I’m near to completing a very messy (but very workable) first draft!

A hint…Dottie has grown up a lot over the last year, she’s got an exciting new job and so with Henry by her side she’s juggling the work/life balance, along with dealing with some somewhat difficult personalities that aren’t her kids… in fact they’re grown ups!

I’ll keep you posted.

But for now, pass the gin – and Happy Birthday Dottie!

(If you haven’t yet read any of The Survival Series – just click here and get ordering)

#WriteThinking – Christie Barlow.

Apr
18

christieWhen I met Christie in January I was a little bit starstruck. Not only is she lovely in real life, but her books are hilarious, heartwarming, and just… well… fab. So when she agreed to write a post for #WriteThinking I was thrilled, then when I read the post, I was even more thrilled. It’s heart warming and motivating, just like her. So without further ado…


 

Sometimes I wake up in the morning, open my eyes and think, ‘Is this real?’

But then I hear one of the kids shout, ‘Where’s my uniform, mum? Mum, can you check my spellings? Has someone let the dog out?’

Okay, my four kids, my mad cocker-spaniel Woody, the chickens, the horses and even my husband can jolt me back to reality pretty quickly but at the end of the day, it’s these characters in my real-life that got me writing in the first place.

One day, after I’d turned 40, my children were asking me what did I want to do? I found myself answering, ‘I’ve always wanted to write a book.’ I had spent years dedicating my life to being a full-time mum, and piano teacher, but now the kids were getting older, there perhaps was something more I could do for me. After making this bold statement, I thought I better try and see it through – and show my kids that you CAN achieve anything you set your mind to.

What to write about came to me pretty easily, as I was always fascinated with the dynamics around the primary school gates with mothers and playground politics. Of course all my writing was fiction with a huge heaping of one-liners. After self-publishing A Year in the Life of a Playground Mother, I was amazed to see it rocketing up the Amazon charts reaching no 1 in its category and no 11 for Kindle downloads. The reviews were amazing, calling it ‘witty’ and ‘laugh-out-loud funny’. Before I knew it, my wacky village characters were appearing on the page in a sequel, The Misadventures of a Playground Mother.

This is when my life really took a parallel course with reality. One morning after the school run, I came home to find an email from literary agent Madeleine Milburn – I had just finished writing Misadventures, intending to self-publish again, when Ping! I not only had an agent but within a few weeks, I had a publishing deal with the fabulous Bookouture.

My third novel, Kitty’s Countryside Dream has just been released. It introduces a new set of characters centred around love and genuine friendship, with a few chickens added in to the mix. And, I’m working on a completely different novel that’s due to come out in September.

It’s been an amazing experience – especially since signing with my agent and Bookouture. I’m attending events and meeting many authors whom I’ve admired for years. Through my social media presence I was approached by the Zuri Project, a charity that supports development and community well-being in Uganda, working with UK celebrities to make a difference.

But, I have to say, my kids keep me grounded! I had an opportunity to take my two youngest to meet David Walliams at a book signing in Birmingham recently. I joked to them that I might tell David I kept him off the top spot for a few days. Their reply, ‘Mum, you can’t steal his thunder, this is his day, let him enjoy it!’ Okay kids, you’re right – but I still took the opportunity to take a photo of my book next to his in a Waterstones’ bookshop!

Now I’m about to pop my head on the pillow after a crazy day of writing and responding to reviews on Kitty and I think to myself, ‘Is this real?’

Luckily for me, the answer is yes.

Warm wishes,

Christie xx

You can buy Christie’s latest book Kitty’s Countryside Dream here and follow her on Twitter here and Facebook here.