Today I'm welcoming the delightful Kirsten Bailey onto the blog, where she talks about friends. I had the pleasure of meeting Kirsten recently at Jackie Kabler's book launch, and felt an immediate kinship with her as she too was mad enough to have four children. Unlike me, Kirsten has actually finished and published two novels. Second Helpings is the sequel to Kirsten's first novel, Souper Mum.
Exactly eighteen months after her dramatic cook-off against nemesis Tommy McCoy, Jools Campbell's down-to-earth approach to cooking and family life has won her many fans. But when the roof of her house caves in she is desperate for cash and finds herself agreeing to be a judge on a kids' cooking show called Little Chefs.
She is soon horrified to find that her co-star and fellow judge is none other than Tommy McCoy, on a mission to save his reputation. The audience loves the abrasive chemistry between Jools and McCoy whose style involves making the child-contestants cry and soon the show is hugely popular.
Behind the scenes, Jools is juggling all the relationships in her life with being a working mum. Will she succeed? Will she ever work out what quinoa is? Can she deal with Second Helpings of McCoy and the all too familiar media intrusion into her life?Author Guest Post: Kristen Bailey
My seven-year-old daughter is currently obsessed with the idea of best friends. Every day, she returns home from school relaying to me the intricacies of the playground hierarchy, how friends have been won and lost over games of ‘It’, who’s not inviting who to the next party. ‘Who is your best friend?’ she always asks me. I always reply with my stock answer. ‘You.’ She always gives me a look. ‘Well, that’s a bit sad, isn’t it?’ I should also mention she’s also a bit of a smart arse, my seven-year-old.
What do I know about friends? I know plenty about the TV show but I think modern life makes the definition of ‘friend’ all the more harder to understand. You can go on Facebook and have hundreds of the things...anyone from your neighbour five doors down to your aunt Betsy who ‘likes’ all your photos and only posts memes about cats.
It was a topic I, therefore, really wanted to examine in Second Helpings, the next instalment in the adventures of Jools Campbell, my Souper Mum. I wanted to get to know all the people in the periphery of Jools’ life, and chart how all these acquaintances whether old or new fit into her every day. Who are her friends? What is a friend? If Jools were to have a best friend, it would probably be Annie, the faithful university mate who steered her through difficult times and has stayed by the Campbells’ side ever since. But how else do friends come into your life? As Jools finds out, you meet people constantly; through the school gate, through work, and part of the adventure suddenly becomes working out how you define all these individuals, how you juggle all these relationships and realise their importance. In Second Helpings, Jools will get a second education about cliques, gossips, backstabbers and flakes but she will also find awesome people along the way: friends to keep, friends in the strangest of places...
She will also come to realise that friends come in many forms, shapes and guises. Siblings who’ve never let her down, spouses who know her inside out, parents who are just always there, sassy daughters (sound familiar?) – these relationships are built on love, blood, legal obligation but always a healthy sense of camaraderie too. They nourish, keep her afloat and make her the souper mum that she is...
Second Helpings is the sequel to Souper Mum and the concluding part of Jools’ adventures. It’s been a great joy to map her journey out, create all these characters, and pay tribute to the community of people who surround any one mother. As such, it feels I’m also bidding farewell to a good mate myself: Jools Campbell my fellow souper mum, writing companion, and alter-ego...in the five years we’ve come to know each other, you’ve turned into a BFF of sorts. Just don’t tell my daughter I told you that...
Thank you Kristen for a fabulous guest post!
You can buy Kirsten's books here:
Publisher: Accent Press
About the author:
Mother-of-four, gin-drinker, binge-watcher, receipt hoarder, hapless dog owner, enthusiastic but terrible cook. Kristen lives in Fleet, Hampshire in a house overrun by Lego and odd socks. Her debut novel, Souper Mum was released by Accent Press in June and its sequel, Second Helpings was released on 17th November.
She writes a blog about being a modern mother. That and more can be found at: www.kristenbaileywrites.com
You can also find her on Twitter/Instagram: @baileyforce6
and Facebook: www.facebook.com/kristenbaileywrites