I had a lovely surprise this week. My short story The Real Maisey Day appears in The People’s Friend Easter Special (Edition No. 224).
I love writing for The People’s Friend as it’s been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. It was delivered to our house every week when I was little, and most of the recipes and a lot of the knitting patterns were tried out.
More recently, the magazine has been a welcome distraction on trips to hospital with my son. He’s been visiting consultants for multiple health concerns since he was eight years old. As he’s now taller than me (!), you’ll realise it’s been a long road.
While my son would get a comic from the hospital shop, I’d pick up a Friend. The tone of the magazine is optimistic and the stories, whether contemporary or historical, are always thoroughly enjoyable.
I like to think that reading my stories gives people an escape from their worries for a few minutes. It was what I needed during all those hospital visits, so it’s great to be able to give something back.
The Real Maisey Day is a story about friendship, and the very different truth that can lurk behind a public image. I’ve always been a sucker for self-help manuals, and I’ve tried many improving techniques over the years. They’ve all helped me to some extent. My favourite self-help guru is Jack Canfield. He looks so serene, and has a motivating quip for every situation.
I thought it would be fun to invent a self-help genius who is anything but perfect—someone who can inspire others, but behind the scenes is as lacking in confidence as everyone she helps to succeed.
Several kind people have contacted me to say they enjoyed The Real Maisey Day, and would like to read more stories about what happened next to the central characters.
I’d love to know what you think might happen to Emma, Daisy, Maisey Day, and of course Pablo, next!