Aimee Horton

Happy GIN Day!


What a gin day it has been, I may have had a glass of gin after my brunch this morning (Williams Chase GB Extra Dry in case you were wondering) and then after a fab night at Elton John last night, we went to collect the boys from my mum and then it was straight off to a party with Iron Man.

As an aside, why do we stand behind our children while they’re eating at birthday parties? I have never understood this, I just go along with the flow and stand behind my child as he ignores me, or tells me that he’s had enough and can he go and play.

Then I came home and dumped the boys are Matt so I could do one thing, and one thing only. FINISH DOTTIE.


Technically I finished it yesterday, bar about 500 words, which at the time I wrote “BLAH BLAH BLAH fill in some crap here” but that’s not really good enough is it?

So I changed “some crap” for “something” and added “The End” and sent Mr Aimee into Sainsbogs for gin. Unfortunately he didn’t have any ID so they wouldn’t serve him, so I had to go in myself.

I had no such problem.

If truth be told this draft is a bit of a mess. Well, a lot of a mess. I spent a lot of time trying to be a grown up proper author and write a plot and an outline, and break it down by chapter etc. However, I should know by now that I just need to wing it with the first draft. Luckily by the time I got to the 30k mark (!) I realised that and the second half of the story came a lot more smoothly, and now I’m done, now I’ve written the majority of THE END I can start from the beginning and go back and make things right.

I’m actually rather excited.

So with that in mind, I’m raising a glass of my new gin Whitley Neill and enjoying the rest of the weekend before I crack on with the hard work.

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Because not only do I need to get cracking with making Dottie work for you guys, but I also need to get cracking with this lot.


Yes, that’s right, that’s two baskets worth of laundry that needs ironing/putting away (this is why we all look like tramps right now). But it’s ok, that’s just what happens when you focus all your attention on writing a book.


Anyway. HAPPY GIN DAY! Enjoy the rest of your weekend, and I’ll see you on the other side of my second draft!


PS. If you’ve read and enjoyed any or all of my books and haven’t had chance to leave a review yet, I would really appreciate it if you clicked here for and here for and just left a few words. Reviews could be the difference between somebody buying or not buying a book so I WOULD LOVE YOU FOREVER if you helped people decide to buy. x


Happy Birthday Survival of the Ginnest!


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 Holly Seddon


hollyseddonI’m feeling very cool today, because I the AMAZING Holly Seddon has written a post about how she fits in writing books around her kids. Oh, and not just any books, but blooming amazing, gripping books, that you can’t put down!


How do you write books when you’ve got lots of kids?

I get asked this question a lot. I understand why, I do. I have four children, which – in 2016 – is not the norm. It’s a curiosity. Add in the fact that being an author is also a curiosity and I understand why a lot of questions spring up from the Venn diagram of big family + author.

I don’t think there’s anything murkier beneath the furrowed brows and logistical questions. It’s not about mums, or dads. It’s about time and headspace. I think.

So, how do you write books when you’ve got lots of kids?

The same way you write books when you have lots of dogs. Or lots of hours of overtime. Or lots of uni essays to write. Or all of the above. You have to choose to.

That sounds flippant. But I don’t know how else to explain it. It doesn’t just happen. You have to choose it, put it above other stuff, plan for it.

The fact is, having kids is an ah-mazing excuse to get out of almost anything. The more kids, the more excuses. They get ill. They’re tiring. They have endless rounds of school trips and parents’ evenings and tooth fairy requirements and on and on and on. They can get you out of work engagements at the last minute and they can get you out of social engagements whenever you’d rather stay in your jammies (almost every time, for me).

So if you want your children to give you an excuse to not sit down and write the book you’ve always wanted to write, there you go. Wish granted. I do wonder sometimes if that’s why people are asking. To work out why I have and they haven’t. Because they’d really love to ‘but’… Perhaps they hope my answer might be “I have a full time nanny” (God, I wish). Or “my husband is a stay-at-home dad but also, somehow, a billionaire” (nope) or, I don’t know, “I shut my kids in the cellar” (I promise I don’t).

The truth is: It’s really hard but it’s worth it. I prioritise. I make little changes. My husband and I take it in turns to have lie-ins at the weekend. I use mine to write. I write every evening. I write when the kids are in bed. I write when the baby naps. Sometimes I can’t sleep and I get up in the middle of the night or at dawn and write.

I’m very, very lucky. I am very privileged. I don’t deny it’s easier for me than many.

My husband is a rock god of supportive partners and I’ve managed to be freelance i.e. flexible working for a while now. That helps immensely. But I used to work in a full time job when I had three kids, and I did other stuff too like Open Uni (we all have other stuff) and it was at my busiest that I wrote the first draft of Try Not to Breathe. I had to be selfish, actually. I had to be indulgent. Taking myself off to the bedroom to write while the kids played, writing with headphones in while my husband played Fifa or watched something that didn’t interest me. Going for dog walks and paying zero attention as I tapped dialogue into my note on my phone.

Four kids, three kids, two kids, no kids, there’s always a way to not write but even if it’s only 100 words a day, there’s also always a way to write. And I’m not going to pretend otherwise. So if you have a story in you, choose to let it out. Even if it takes you years.

Holly’s latest book Try Not To Breathe is now available in the US. 

To get it from the US click here, from the UK click here. Alternatively you can follow Holly on Facebook and Twitter.