My grateful thanks to Melanie Price for inviting me to be part of the launch celebrations of The Single Mums’ Mansion by Janet Hoggarth. I’m delighted that Janet has dropped by Linda’s Book Bag to stay in with me and tell me all about the book.
Staying in with Janet Hoggarth
Welcome along to Linda’s Book Bag Janet. Thank you for agreeing to stay in with me. Tell me, which of your books have you brought along to share this evening and why have you chosen it?
Hello! I have brought The Single Mums’ Mansion along tonight because it is my latest book and the first time I have ever written for adults, so it feels like a radical change of direction from children’s books.
(How exciting to change genre.)
What can we expect from an evening in with The Single Mums’ Mansion?
The story is based on my true life experience of living communally in a house with another single mum and our children. I have changed names, introduced completely fictitious characters and added a whole lot of fabricated plotlines, but they’re seamlessly blended with the facts so knowing which is which is tricky. Only I hold the secret.
(Now, of course, we all want to read The Single Mums’ Mansion to try to work out which is which for ourselves!)
Basically it is a ‘faction’ novel singing the praises of solid female friendship that utilises gallows humour to dissipate the potential bleak situation of being a heartbroken single mum. As the women move forward, they find being together is the best medicine for bravely facing the rocky road of divorce. There are laughs, tears, tantrums, crazy parties, totally unsuitable men, and an honest un-sugar coated portrayal of what life is like after a marriage breaks down. The girls can either choose to be victims or fight back and gradually reclaim their lives, bolstered up by each other knowing that at the end of the day there’s someone to share a bottle of wine and help with the hideous bedtime routine.
(I think The Single Mums’ Mansion sounds inspiring as well as entertaining Janet.)
What else have you brought along and why?
I have decided to bring the party to your house! We’ll be eating Marmite Whirls and Rocky Road – staple party food at the Single Mums’ Mansion.
(I like the party idea Janet, but I worry the Marmite Whirls might divide opinion and we’ll have a fracas! Personally I love them!)
I would also have to haul along my record decks, vinyl and sound system so we could dance to all the guilty pleasures everyone secretly loves: eighties cheese, nineties pop, old skool hip hop, disco and some handbag house, just like in the bar where Amanda works in the book. However, the biggest tune of the evening is obviously I Will Survive! You won’t sit down all night!
(Oh! I love a bit of Gloria Gaynor!)
To complement the party food, we have to drink champagne and cocktails (only the best for us!) and rehydration sachets so we don’t have a headache in the morning. The party will be girls only (sorry!) and when everyone goes home, we will slap on a face mask and pass out on the bed in our tracksuit bottoms, waking in the morning magically rejuvenated with some flattering and on-point clothes neatly laid out for us as we face another day bossing the hell out of life! And I grew strong, And I learned how to get along…
(That’s one heck of a party you’ve got organised Janet. Pass me a glass of champagne and let’s get going. I think I can hear guests arriving now…)
Thanks so much for staying in with me to tell me all about The Single Mums’ Mansion Janet. I think I need to pop along there very soon…
Thank you for letting me crash your pad and talk about my book.
The Single Mums’ Mansion
Amanda Wilkie unexpectedly finds herself alone with her three children in a rambling Victorian house in London. Her husband leaves them, claiming he’s just ‘lost the love’, like one might carelessly lose a glove.
A few months later, Amanda’s heavily pregnant friend, Ali, crashes into her kitchen announcing her husband is also leaving. So, after Ali’s baby Grace is born, they both move into Amanda’s attic. And when Jacqui, a long-lost friend and fellow single mum, starts dropping by daily, the household is complete.
Getting divorced is no walk in the park, but the three friends refuse to be defined by it. And, as they slowly emerge out of the wreckage like a trio of sequin-clad Gloria Gaynors singing ‘I Will Survive‘, they realise that anything is possible. Even loving again…
Published by Aria on 1st June 2018, The Single Mums’ Mansion is available for purchase here.
About Janet Hoggarth
Janet Hoggarth has worked as a book-seller, a children’s book editor, and a DJ with her best friend (under the name ‘Britney and Whitney’). She spent her childhood making comics and filling notebooks with stories. In fact, her old boss at Bloomsbury thought she had such a talent for writing, he asked her to write a joke book, which she did with her brother.
Janet lives in London and draws constant inspiration from her three brilliant children.