“I always really laughed at the people who said, ‘Oh, I'm going to use maternity leave to find my new and different second career, or do up the house or have some giant project on the go,’” grins Harriet Walker, when I ask what possessed her to put pen to paper on her first novel while on maternity leave with her daughter Freda, now three.

 

“I was always the person saying, ‘Oh yeah, right.’ And I never really intended to write a book. But I gave myself six months of doing absolutely nothing – no work, no stress about exercise or anything – then I found my brain was just really kind of free and empty and roaming. I kept coming back to themes and scenarios, then eventually I thought, ‘Let's sit down and try and write something.’”

 

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