Who doesn’t? love a nice holiday, sea, sand and sun, every girl loves a walk on the beach, sand between her toes the fresh sea air, but, what I love most about a holiday is the airport, I love the busyness, the atmosphere, the voices and conversations between families, the smell of the fresh coffee, I love to sit and watch groups of girls with matching printed tops and flowers around their necks heading off for that Hawaiian themed hen party, giggling and laughing, reminiscing. The “new couple” cuddled up together waiting for their flight number to be called but so content and in love that it seems it wouldn’t matter whether they reached their destination or not. The men loading their golf bags with excitement rubbing their hands like they’ve just placed a bet, as they order their first round of beers at the bar, the tiny new born, on her way home to be shown off to her grandparents for the first time, her parents fussing over her, wiping every single dribble to make sure she would be immaculate upon pick up.
I am Laura Quinn, Author and creator of Monkey Blue and friends, founder and director of Monkey Blue press, this is my story, a story I want to share, a story, that any working mum can relate to, and to continue…. what I love most of all about airports is the book shops, the smell and the feel of all those new books, I remember being a young teenager on a school trip and having to be chased out of the the book shops to continue the walk along with my twenty something classmates, but I knew, someday, somehow, my book, with my name, would be placed on one of those shelves. So, how did I get here? how did I go from having a children’s book Idea in my head to getting them stocked in the biggest bookstores in the world? Barnes and Noble, Amazon, Eason’s and Waterstones, well it wasn’t easy I can start by telling you that.
The first thing I said to my husband after an excruciating, long winded labour, that inevitably ended up in caesarean section was, “I’m never ever doing that again,” The second thing I said? “There is no way on this earth I am returning to work” I felt it was my time now, I’d planned on staying at home and being a lady of leisure, Ok, I was slightly naïve, not to mention still high on pethidine. I’m not one for putting down other women, in fact I’m all about the women, but my reality of bringing home a baby verses the images I’d seen of Kate Middleton in her flowing dress, her blow-dried hair falling in to a wave like she just stepped out of a salon and not an actual maternity ward, well, let’s just say, I fell short. I mean, it could have been me, it should have been me, I’d packed my dryer and straighteners, I’d mastered the art of the wavy blow-dry, I had the flowery dress from H and M and a makeup bag full of tricks, I had all the tools, the only difference was I neither had the energy to do it nor the energy to care, I didn’t even manage to brush my teeth and that wheel chair I’d foolishly snubbed in my way in, it became my very best friend on the way out. So, along with unwashed hair and teeth an infected wound and the inability to walk, well it altered the image, just a tad. My husband on the other hand, he mastered “The William” in his crisp clean white shirt so at least one of us succeeded.
Somewhere between playtime, bath time and bedtime I began to create my childrens book collection, I titled the series of books Monkey Blue and Friends, I found an extremely talented illustrator and we clicked immediately, I pushed on with a second, third and fourth book, I joined the making magic happen academy and true to its name, magic started happening in my life, I began my own publishing press and I was so inspired by my illustrators love of Halloween that I created a Halloween collection what on earth, (is under my bed) is the first book in that collection with two more books also written waiting to be produced, I signed with Authorights in London to republish this collection with more extensive marketing and advertising, this collection is my personal favourite, I then began a third collection, Mummy wheres my, “Dummy, Potty, Blanket and Bottle, weaning books to make the process of losing their most valuable items that little bit easier and I am already in talks with a company who personalise books for this collection.
Sarah Griffiths is a mum who has Cerebral Palsy, she contacted me as she felt she also had a story to share, she wanted the world to know that despite her difficulties she is still just a mum, out doing the very best for her own child, from that encounter, My Mums not different was Co-written and the book is being released this September, with promise to also become a collection. There is no doubt, I have so much going on and it can be an extremely busy time but as I watch my little book collection, grow and grow and my press receive more and more attention, with more fabulous Covers and Titles falling under my umbrella I should feel fulfilled, but work on my first Novel is underway so there is no time to rest on my Laurels, I am delighted that I took a leap of faith, I am now attending book signings, book launches, storyboarding with talented artists and I have plans to attend London book fair with my collection.
I went to my local hairdresser and asked her to colour and cut my hair, I cropped it up into a bob, In some ways I felt like I was shedding my old life and preparing for my new one as a professional Author, When I came home to show it off to my Mum, she said as she admired it, “A Women who cuts her hair…is about to change her life.” (That women is right about everything.)