I always imagined myself writing a book at some point in my life. At one point I had 10,000 words of a novel written, but then doubted myself so much I deleted the whole thing. When I was very young I pictured myself writing in front of a beautiful view with endless cups of coffee next to me, rather like Colin Firth’s character in Love Actually, but without the typewriter. I never thought I’d write a space science book and definitely not with 4 children buzzing around, but that’s what happened!
This time last year when I was massively pregnant with baby Charlie, I started to write. I knew that once he was born I would really struggle for time, so set myself a target of writing one activity each day. Of course babies and life put a quick halt to that and before I knew it we were in July and my half written book and been left unopened for months. Somehow I managed to kick my poor sleep deprived brain back into action and get back into the swing of writing. Luckily the planning had been done before Charlie was born and once I got back in the habit of working again the activities flew out and I think ( hope ) created something very special.
The kids and I have been doing science experiments at home since they were tiny and a couple of years ago I worked with their school to get two grants from the UK Space Agency which is where my passion and enthusiasm for designing experiments for kids to learn about space travel and our solar system started. What child doesn’t dream of going in to space at some point in their life? I know being an astronaut was at the top of my dream career list for a long time.
I checked and double checked the manuscript before sending it off, and was VERY nervous about what my publisher would think. Luckily they loved it and this is the end result!!
My copies arrived yesterday, earlier than I expected and I didn’t stop smiling all day. I’m so completely thrilled with how the book looks and feels. It’s the thing I am most proud of in my working life so far.
I couldn’t have written it without the support of my lovely husband who put the kids to bed and looked after them on weekends so I could write in relative peace and quiet. Writing a book is quite a lengthly process I endlessly read and re-read activities, constantly thinking of ways to improve them. It’s been a real labour of love.
My children patiently tested experiments and posed for endless photos. They were complete rockstars during our photoshoot with Charlotte Dart Photography who did the most amazing job bringing my experiments to life.
I wanted to share a few snaps of the photoshoot so you get an idea of the fun and people behind the book! Photographing science experiments is very different to just doing them. I lost count of how many film canisters rockets and bottle rockets we set off trying to get the perfect shot. We had an incredible, intense, hilarious, exhausting and most importantly fun few days on the shoot with lots of giggles and snack stops. I love that the children feel like they were part of the process and were just as excited to see the book as me!
Lots of people have said that they can’t believe I wrote a book with a baby, but it was all planned and half written before he was born. I took a few months off after giving birth, but planned and thought about it a lot during night feeds and naps, so it wasn’t quite as hard as you might imagine.
Luckily Charlie has been the world’s happiest baby and let me get on with editing around him. Don’t look too closely at the photo below, he’s covered in baby sick ( he was sick a lot back then ) and it was starting to rain. The other kids were just behind the photo throwing gliders around while Charlotte expertly directed them.
The photoshoot was a real family affair, with everyone helping. We made a pretty good team, and even managed to get a good family shot, although you wouldn’t believe how many photos it took to get everyone looking at the camera.
You can pre-order This Is Rocket Science from Amazon now!!
I’d love it if you popped over to have a look.
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