I am another person who has lived with a novel and it’s characters in my head for a long time and yet they never make it onto paper or screen. Another one who swears she will write a book someday. Another who procrastinates and never finds or makes the time!
When I was asked if I would like to host a guest post by International bestselling Swedish author Emelie Schepp, I emailed back immediately saying yes, let’s do it! I was very interested to hear what this lady had to say on the topic of being a mum of two and making time for her writing!
Emelie’s latest novel Marked For Life was realised on July 6th and tells the story of Public prosecutor Jana Berzelius as she investigates the murder of high-ranking head of the migration board. With a number of possible suspects, the case is made further intriguing when they find a child sized hand print at the crime scene followed days later by the discovery of a pre-teen boys body washed up on the beach. The body holds a striking clue that sends flash backs into the mind of Berzelius of her own dark past. The marks, initials carved into the boy’s skin, have clearly been left deliberately as a message to her and now she must protect herself by finding the suspect before the authorities do, thereby revealing something she has strived to leave behind.
In talking to Emilie about how she balances family life along side career she was asked:
Emelie, how do you balance your family life now that you have a writing career? Especially with the importance of self-promotion and events for your books. Do you have any advice or tips?
Here is what Emelie had to say.
“My two kids were five and three years old when I decided to write a book. Since I still worked fulltime I had to make time for writing in the nights. Every day at 8 PM, when my kids had fallen asleep, I sat down in front of my computer and wrote.
In Sweden, every third person dreams of writing a book. But to make the dream come true you have to find time to write, and that is very challenging, especially having small kids. In order to make time to write you have to skip doing something else. For me, that meant turning the TV off. It is amazing how many hours we spend watching TV, instead of writing the book we are dreaming of.
So, I skipped the tv and I also turned off my mobile (and all social media) and focused only on writing. I started in May 2012, and in September the very same year I held the first draft in my hand. No one but my husband knew that I wrote. I didn’t want anybody else to know, because then I would have to put up with questions like: “What is the book about?” and “When is it finished?”. And instead of saying “I am writing a book”, it is a lot more fun to say: “I have written a book”.
I have now sold almost one million copies of my books in 30 countries around the world, so I am lucky to be a writer full-time today! And now, I am very grateful that I don’t have to write during nights. My writing is not a secret anymore and yes, now I have to put up with all those questions: “What is the new book about?” and “When is it finished?”. But I love it!
During my writing periods, I always work from home, and that means I am always there for my kids when they come home from school. But being an International bestselling writer also means a lot of travelling and spending some time away from my kids. Me and my husband want all the best for our kids so a year ago we moved from Norrköpingto the small town called Motala where my parents live. They support us and are always there for our kids when we travel for book-fairs, signing tours, and my book releases all over the world. Knowing that our kids are safe and that they are having a good time, makes you more comfortable as a parent and it also allows me to put more effort into my career as a writer. I think it is very important to ask for help. It is very hard to manage a career otherwise.
I am also very blessed to have my husband supporting me, and today he works with me full-time. We are partners in crime, business, and love. And we have always involved our kids in my career, they have helped us carry books and have attended a lot of signings and book festivals around Sweden. Me and my husband are very glad we have shown them that if you work really hard, and believe in yourself, it is possible to make a dream true.”
Thanks to Emilie for taking the time to be a guest writer here on The Chaos Of 3, now my first job in honour of Emilie’s brilliant advice is to start getting these kids to bed by 8pm! After that I could conquer the world!