I’ve been writing since before I could hold a pen properly, dictating stories to my endlessly patient mother, a writer herself. I’ve known I wanted kids nearly as long, even if I declared that I would “sell them away” if they got dirty. It wasn’t until I was an adult that I encountered people who told me that I had to choose one or the other: that having kids would gut my productivity, and that I should give up on getting any writing done at least for the first year. Or the first three years. Or until they were in school. And if you have a second, better start the clock over…
Luckily, I’ve always been a bit oblivious to good sense. Starting with a panicked email to Erin, I started gathering all the practical advice, philosophical musings, and cheerleading I could from dads, moms, and parentfolk who have balanced writing and childrearing. My son was born in April of 2016, and over the next year I saw my second novel published, wrote two more, sold my debut YA, and maintained two freelancing careers, most of it with a baby within arm’s reach.
From the time I first propped my napping newborn on a pillow next to my laptop and started typing, I’ve wanted to gather together the wisdom my friends shared with me and the lessons I’ve learned along the way. Book vs Baby is the result: a collection of tips, triumphs, failures, and struggles, drawn from my own experience and those of fellow writers and parents. It’s the resource I wish I could have sent to my five-months-pregnant self. And it’s a resource that I hope will help writer parents both new and experienced.
Kate Marshall lives outside Seattle with her son, husband, cantankerous cat, and doofy dog. She’s the author of I AM STILL ALIVE (Viking Children’s) and, as Kathleen Kimmel, the Birch Hall series of historical romances. She works as an editor, designer, and game writer. One time, a bald eagle tried to land on her, mistaking her for a tree. It’s hard to say which of them was more surprised.
Erin M. Evans
My second book and the first title of my series, Brimstone Angels, came out a week after my first son was born. The sixth and final book, The Devil You Know, came out two months before my second son’s first birthday. I am well acquainted with writing while caring for small children. You could argue I’m an expert at it by now, at least for certain books and certain small children.
I’ve done story summits while nursing. I’ve done revisions with a sleeping baby strapped to my chest. I’ve debuted my first hardcover at a convention where my nine-month-old was very determined to never ever sleep, and finished a series beside my two-month-old in a hospital bed, having tests run. I have seen some shit, literally and figuratively, and this is what I know: You can totally do this.
When Kate came to me with the idea for this series, I was excited. Books about writing exist in the hundreds, but to my knowledge there aren’t a whole lot gathering advice about parenting and writing together. We ask our friends, we advise our friends. We pass on what we know to people who ask, but still so many folks are left with the impression that this can’t be done.
This can totally be done.
So I didn’t need to be asked twice to join Kate in this project. (I mean, I did, but only because my oldest interrupted and I missed the question. You know how it goes.)
ERIN M. EVANS got a degree in Anthropology from Washington University in St. Louis—and promptly stuck it in a box. Nowadays she uses that knowledge of bones, mythology, and social constructions to flesh out fantasy worlds. She is the author of the best-selling Brimstone Angels Saga, beginning with the Scribe Award winning Brimstone Angels and concluding with The Devil You Know. She lives in Washington State with her husband and sons.