check your facts…

Oh, this is a lovely one. This is….a rant! Whoohooo. Enjoy it. I rant seldom, but when I do….boy do I.

This rant is provoked by a charming little column in the Independent, which has the faint whiff of ‘Deadline Panic -must write about something – ANYTHING!’ about it. My quibble about the piece is not that it’s ever-so-slightly uncomplimentary about my first book. I welcome criticism (well, actually I like praise better, but I have to pretend to welcome criticism too) and I’d far rather write a book that is loved and hated in equal measure, than one which everyone thinks is a bit OK. A bit ‘meh’. 
If I wanted to do Bland I’d do cookery books.

No, what has got my goat about the piece is that it’s about as accurate as my son is at archery. (That’s not very, for those who don’t know him.)

According to the column, I have a ‘new book’ out! Great! And I didn’t even write one this year! What’s it called?? Oh, it’s called The Yummy Mummy’s Survival Guide. Hmmmm, that’s odd. I had a book published with exactly that name, oooh, about 4 years ago. I know it can take a while for word of best-sellers to filter through to everyone, but still.
Four years old is hardly ‘new’ , unless you’re a geologist.

The next minor problem that I have with the piece is that, let’s see now, what was it? Oh yes: it completely and utterly misrepresents what the books is a) about and b) trying to do.

According to the writer, the desirability of a ‘model’ figure “has just been depressingly reinforced by…a new book by Liz Fraser that offers tips on such gravely important matters as how to look glamorous in the playground.”

Really?? I said that? Let’s have a quick check…..nope. Nothing in here saying that. What it DOES say, is that many women feel pretty shit about themslves after having a baby. They feel fat, and ugly, and unsexy and sort of hippopotamus-like. Which is great, if you like feeling like a hippopotamus.
But I’m yet to meet a woman who does.

So the point in the book, dear reader, was that if you feel shit after you have a baby, and if you think you’d feel a smidgeon less shit if you did some excercise and peeled yourself out of your milk-stained trackie bums for a moment and wore something, you know, not vile, then it’s surely worth a go. And if you’re happier, your baby will be happier too.
And then harps will play, and flocks of birds will descend from the sky and cheep merry tunes into your pretty face.

This is rather different from saying we should all look like Giselle Bündchen. But of course you know that, and you got that the first time around.
Because you, bless you, bothered to read the whole book, and read my blogs, and understand who I am, and what my (not new) books are saying.

I was doing pretty well reading the piece, until I reached this section, at which point I laughed so hard I almost gave myself a hernia. Be warned, it may make you vomit:

“The irony, of course, is that there is actually nothing more attractive than the glow of a pregnant woman, and the sense of tenderness, capability and pride a new mother exudes. This is what the female form is about. That, along with a healthy dose of self-confidence, is as good as it gets.

Bllleeeruuurrrghghghgh. Right?!

Now, I’m not sure if I’m hanging out with the wrong crowd or something, but in the 12 years that I’ve been on the baby block I don’t think I’ve met more than zero and a half women who exuded tenderness or pride when they were puffing around Tescos, plagued with haemorrhoids and leaking breast milk. And as for self-confidence….well, that’s the entire point of my (not new) book. You don’t HAVE any for a while, and you need to find ways of getting it back.

And frankly, if that takes a blow-dry and a new frock, then you go and get yourself one love!

Oh, I do feel so much better now. Nothing like a good rant to pass the afternoon, while someone else generates lots of free publicity for your work.
Now then, I wonder which other new books I haven’t written this week…  ; -) x


8 thoughts on “check your facts…

  1. Freddie

    Yes well the post partum depression really helped with the capability and pride after having my daughter – not.

    Such a shame that your book was misunderstood.

  2. lizfraser Post author

    i think you weren’t trying hard enough. Why weren’t you glowing??
    ; -) thanks for the thumbs up x

  3. Josephine Tale Peddler

    I wish reviewers would take the time to read books properly before their rants go into print. I constantly hear this from writers who get slated in the media from critics who haven’t taken the time to read the book or shouldn’t have been reviewing it in the first place because of some obvious bias towards the genre , writer or book. And it’s poor form to get the basic facts of publication so wrong!
    As Jim Morrison would say, ‘she just didn’t get it.’
    We love you, Liz so keep them coming! xx

  4. lizfraser Post author

    Ah, thanks Josephine. Really appreciate the words of sense – yours and Jim’s!
    No fear: next BIG non-fic book is being written as we speak. Or is it out already…? haha.
    all best to you, and keep writing! Liz

  5. Lu

    I can’t believe that review was printed. You should send your rant to the editor. If nothing else, you would have your say. I think your books are great. I started reading them even before I got pregnant (I was trying… not that crazy…). They are realistic and funny, and encourage us all to be a bit more tolerant with ourselves. I’d recommend each one to my friends!

    1. lizfraser Post author

      You’ve just made a fantastic day even better!! Thank you. Yes, rather surprising what gets printed, but we can only smile and say ‘ah well, at least some clever people did actually get the point of it!’ All best, Liz.

  6. Chrissie Taylor

    I am in total disagreement with the column. I can totally relate to the book, mainly because I am a young mummy, although I know the book isn’t just aimed at young mummie’s 🙂 Great book! Am waiting for the Yummy Mummy’s Family Handbook to arrive as I type 🙂 x x

    1. lizfraser Post author

      Ah, thanks Chrissie that’s lovely to read. Yes, journalists can write the most amazing nonsense for the sake of getting an article printed. I think the ££££ signs can shout pretty loud, and drown out any thoughts that, just perhaps, it’s all wrong! Still, those of us who understand the books can just smile and be glad that we do. I hope you love the next book, and it makes you laugh and learn something. I’m writing a novel as we speak. A heart-breaking, life-changing love story…I hope! All best, Liz.


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