Mummy Lit – What?

Bella Osborne

Bella Osborne

So I was looking at the calendar and I got a little excited as it was nearly Mother’s Day and I love Mother’s Day. It’s a day that I thought I would never get to celebrate after a rocky road to becoming a Mummy but thankfully we made it via the scenic route and each year it is an utter pleasure to receive a homemade card and cold toast for breakfast from my daughter.

I was slightly wrong footed when I was discussing my writing with another writerly type person (we like to seek each other out, there’s safety in numbers) and we started discussing genres. I will call my writerly type person Bonita, for that is not her name. I explained to Bonita that I thought my writing was Romantic Comedy with a slightly darker side and went on to regurgitate my short blurbs on novel number one and my current work in progress. She agreed whole heartedly for novel number one which could be described as Notting Hill meets Eastenders and is about a womanising Hollywood actor, Tim, who falls in love with an ordinary woman called Kate. However, when I started to talk about my second novel which has the working title Virtual Family, there was lots of head shaking from Bonita (it’s a good name isn’t it?).

Virtual Family is about Charlie, who spent her childhood in foster care and finally finds the family of her dreams as their Nanny. When the parents of the four children she cares for are killed in a car crash, Charlie has to decide whether to look for another job or do all she can to keep the quirky children she loves out of the care system.

Bonita stopped head shaking long enough to inform me that what I was writing was ‘MummyLit’. I obviously nodded sagely and then confessed that I had no idea what she was talking about (I’m afraid I am often too honest for my own good). Bonita then went on to explain that MummyLit is a sub-genre focussed on (you’ve guessed it) Mums, (you are smarter than you look you know. Sorry…) Focussed on Mums. Given that there are quite a few Mums about that’s not a bad demographic to focus on.

It is obviously something many woman can relate to, but as I mentioned earlier I was a bit late to the ‘Being a Mummy’ party and it’s really the people without dependent children that have time for reading. Obviously BC (Before Children) you think you are extremely busy and struggle to find time for everything but quite frankly you have no idea until a child arrives and then you look back with wonder at what on earth you actually did with all that wonderful spare time you had and squandered on goodness only knows what because there’s nothing to show for it now… Sorry rant over.

I had a little think back to the books I read BC and I came to the conclusion that quite a lot of them featured children as secondary characters or Mums as main characters. Did it put me off? No. Did I feel I couldn’t relate to the characters? No. So I think you can make up sub genres if you want to (Bonita) but at the end of the day a good read is a good read whatever life roles the characters have.

I still think my story is a Rom Com (with a slightly darker side) and hopefully it will appeal to a wide variety of people and not just Mums. I fear that many Mum’s, like myself, struggle to have time to read and then when they do they only manage ten minutes before they find themselves slapping themselves in their sleepy faces with an e-reader.


Bella has just finished her first novel, Acting on Impulse, which earned her a runner-up place for the New Talent Award at the 2013 Festival of Romance. Every fortnight, Bella will be sharing her experiences and advice as a new author. She also has her own blog which you can visit by clicking here.

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Bella Osborne
Bella’s first novel, It Started at Sunset Cottage was released by Harper Impulse. She was a runner-up for the New Talent Award at the 2013 Festival of Romance and a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association.

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