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.
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