We’re asking writers we admire to write for us, and we’ll be releasing their posts monthly throughout 2021.
We asked Maisie Chan, a children’s writer from the Midlands, now living in Scotland, to write this month’s blog as her debut novel is published.
“I’ll start this blog in a very British way and talk about the weather. May is usually ‘the summer’ in Glasgow, which is where I now live, and the hottest month of the year for us. But not this year. It’s been damp and grey. I’m feeling a little grey myself. I haven’t been able to travel to Birmingham to see my friends and family since 2019. I feel discombobulated.
“However, I have to live in the present moment and May has been up and down, I won’t lie. I’m trying to work on multiple writing projects at once which is great as I’m now a full-time writer. I am learning to juggle, however, as I have around four book projects on the go at once and I’m pitching for a children’s TV show, hoping to get my first screenwriting credits in children’s animation. I feel split down the middle with one part of me in ‘debut author’ mode and the other in drafting mode.
“I’m writing a new novel, which is going very slowly and like pulling teeth. And at the same time, I am promoting my debut novel, Danny Chung Does Not Do Maths, a children’s book out in June. It’s an exciting thought to know a book I started writing in 2018 is going to hit the shelves. And I’m feeling both elated and a little scared that my first novel will be out there, for people to read and judge. It’s not lost on me that my book will be one of the very few with a British Chinese boy on the front cover, there aren’t many even in 2021. Hate crimes against East and Southeast Asians (ESEA) all over the world have increased massively and I hope that my small contribution can help make people like me more visible in the world of children’s publishing. If we aren’t seen at all, then are we real? Are we human?
“I am in ‘second novel syndrome’ which according to many published authors is very real! I definitely feel it. When you write your first novel, it’s not usually under contract, so you can take your time. For the second one, however, you have a smaller time scale in which to write it (mainly for children’s novelists who churn out a novel a year it seems). It’s not been the most inspiring year, my creative well has not been filled. I’ve spent a lot of time stuck inside.
“As I bid a farewell to the month of May and prepare to welcome June, with my book launch and birthday around the corner and the hope of sunny skies, I give thanks as I am going to get my first vaccination this month. Perhaps that is the most prized thing of all?
“Signing off. A true Gemini.”
What I’m Reading:
The Race by Roy Peachey, published in June 2021