I always remember 8th March not just because it is International Women’s Day but because it’s the day my sister Hannah was born. I was there at the birth itself as she was born at home. It’s my first memory. The story goes that I was shocked and tearful that my new sister looked rather purple immediately after she was born and was worried that something was wrong with her. It was a great introduction to the wonder and mystery of life and of women’s bodies and I am so grateful to my parents for having allowed me, aged 3 and a half, to share in that. In a way, that day, 30 something years ago, was the first day I understood birthing pains. It was also the first day I clearly remember being looked after downstairs by my grand parents while Mum and Dad recovered from my sister’s birth.
The process of birthing creative work also has its own kind of birthing pains I think. Last year I published Listening to our Grandmothers, my first full book in which I tell the stories of five women in their 60s and 70s. I wasn’t sure exactly how I was going to get it finished and the final week or so was excruciating at times as I struggled to, metaphorically speaking, birth my work into the world.
I didn’t have a clear marketing plan or PR strategy – at the time it was all I could do to let the book out and so, whilst I have sold quite a few copies, I still think there are lots of people out there who would love to read this book if they knew it existed! I think this because many of the people who have read it have told me they found it ‘gripping’, ‘compelling’ and ‘beautifully written’. You can read more reviews of the book on the Amazon page <here.
That’s why this weekend – Friday through Sunday – in celebration of International Women’s Day (and my sister’s birthday) Listening to our Grandmothers will be free on Kindle to anyone who wants to download it! I would love as many people as possible to read these inspiring stories and, even better, be inspired to tell their own to their own family and friends so please download it yourself and spread the word.
Have a lovely weekend