On the road with the Second Class Boys – Rosie Fiore

Today’s guest blog is from author Rosie Fiore, whose novel Babies in Waiting was chosen by Netmums as one of our Top Ten Summer Reads.  She talks about her journey to becoming a published novelist and inspires others to start writing along the way.  We have 5 signed copies of Rosie’s novel ‘Babies in Waiting’ to give away.  To be in with a chance of winning one, just leave a comment on this blog.


After twenty years as a jobbing writer – scripts, copywriting, university prospectuses, you name it – Quercus Books made my dream come true, and I’m now a published novelist. It wasn’t an amazing X-Factor style story of being discovered and catapulted to the big time, just a common-or-garden years-of-hard-slog-finally-pays-off story. If you’ve ever dreamed of being a writer, I hope these thoughts might be of interest to you.

Not a lot of people know it, but the postmen who work in our neighbourhood are all members of a legendary, but now defunct, eighties rock band. The lead singer, who delivers letters down near the park, has a long and lustrous grey ponytail and a swagger that speaks volumes about his history of smokin’ guitar riffs, stadiums of screaming fans and tequila body shots with herds of willing groupies. Our own postman, who has stringy grey hair, a wise and lined face and a tendency to wear bad-boy vests in the summer, was clearly the drummer. I saw a third postman the other day, who from the back, looked like your average middle-aged chap with short, grey hair and bit of a bald spot, but as I passed him and glanced back, I saw his natty goatee beard and blue glass pebble specs à la Bono. I’d found the bass player!

By now you’ll probably have worked out that this band (I like to call them The Second Class Boys) exists only in my head, and that the assembled postal workers of NW7 would regard me with nervous incomprehension if they ever heard what I thought when I looked at them. You are probably thinking either that I’m a little bit touched and I need to get out more, or that you’ve done something similar – you’ve looked at people and tried to imagine what their story might be. Come on – we all like to sit in a bar when we’ve had a few glasses of wine – my friend Heather calls it Chateau Invisible Juice – and speculate about the people at the next table. Are they on a first date? Are they about to break up? Does he like her much more that she likes him? Does she know he’s gay?

The great joy of my life is that now I get to do it for a living. Writing a novel is the most fun I’ve ever had with my clothes on. I tried writing with them off, but the postman complained. You’d think he’d be more broadminded after all those years on the road with the band. Seriously though, creating a world in your head, inhabiting it with great characters and taking them on a journey is the craziest and most liberating experience. I’ve never written a character who was based entirely on a real person, and I don’t think writers really do, but I do spend an enormous amount of time observing people and listening to them. Real people are wonderfully contradictory creatures, and if you can write characters who are full of foibles and surprising behaviour they seem so much more real. It’s the tiny details about people that make them interesting, in real life and on the page.

I was once on the Tube, sitting opposite an elderly lady, conservatively dressed in a tweed skirt and powder blue blouse. She looked quiet, unassuming, an ex-teacher, perhaps. Someone’s maiden aunt. Then I glanced at her hands, and her fingernails were painted alternately silver and iridescent pink. It was such a fabulous quirk, it made me want to know all about her. Had she painted them for her own amusement? Did she have a granddaughter, and had she done it as part of a game, and then kept the polish on? Was she a secret drinker who had blackouts, and was she looking down at her own nails and wondering how they’d ended up like that? There was something about her – an older woman, so easily dismissed, but who clearly had a rich past and secrets of her own, that informed a character in my new novel Now & Then. You won’t find the crazy fingernails on the page, but the idea of them is woven into the DNA of the character.

If you’ve dreamed of writing, I can’t urge you strongly enough – do it. Chances are, if you’re on Netmums, you’re responsible for one or more tiny little time-thief, and it can seem impossible to imagine that you could ever have the time to write a postcard, let alone a book. But it’s amazing what you can do with the smallest increments of time. In an hour-long toddler nap, you can produce 300 great words. As you feed a baby, you can map out a story in your head. You can scribble a character sketch while you sit by the pool waiting for the swimming lesson to end. Each small bit may seem like nothing, but it adds up faster than you think. Just a hundred words a day for a year gives you more than a third of a good-sized novel. I’ve written five novels now, and through all of them I’ve either worked fulltime or been a fulltime parent to a small child. I’m no Superwoman – come and look at the state of my kitchen floor if you don’t believe me – but I did it.  Just open your eyes, watch people, breathe in the inspiration that’s all around you – and put it on the page. Now if you’ll excuse me, its bin day, and I’m convinced our binmen used to be Cabinet Minsters….



Rosie Fiore’s Babies in Waiting is published by Quercus and is available on Amazon as a paperback and e-book.

We have five signed copies of ‘Babies in Waiting’ to give away.  To be in with a chance of winning a copy please leave a comment at the end of this blog.  We will pick a winner from all comments received by noon on Friday 13th July.

About The Netmums Blog

The Netmums Blog brings you a behind the scenes look at Netmums, as well as some fabulous guest bloggers and an up to date look at what's new on our Parent Bloggers Network.
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51 Responses to On the road with the Second Class Boys – Rosie Fiore

  1. sparklestheelf says:

    Very inspiring, now where is my pen….

  2. Julie says:

    Thanks for your inspirational blog Rosie. I love the way you describe your characters, they are so full of life. I too love people watching, usually in cars. I wonder about their journey, where they’ve been or where they’ve heading. If they have a happy life or if they wish they were going anywhere but home.

  3. helenthehack says:

    What a great piece with simple advice for someone like me wanting to get started but not really knowing where to begin….? I am determined not to put off writing any longer! Thanks Rosie.

  4. Julie McLennan says:

    Glad to hear that you are normal like the rest of us!! It is so hard to fit time for ourselves into our busy days!! But as you say, even an hour a day can produce great results! Well done x

  5. suebell0302@yahoo.co.uk says:

    Oh if only it was that easy, my mind flits from one scenario to another, the stories i can make up about anything and anyone defy belief, the intrigue that goes on inside my head is better than any soap or thriller, but when i sit down to write, all thats in my head is an empty space. i really admire anyone who can sit and write great stories with amazing twists that leave you longing for another chapter after the last page has been read, maybe one day i will, but in the meantime i with keep people and places watching

  6. What a great imagination and enormous fun you must have. I have previously saved these games for when I’m on holiday and have never entertained them closer to home – until now! You’ve changed my life and made my scribblings appear less like a mountain to climb and more like steps to be taken, one at a time, thankyou.

  7. Julie Murray says:

    Rosie, that really made me smile! I have often thought about writing a book. I even started once, but my ‘real’ job got in the way. Nowadays my real job involves catching my 6 month old trying to lick stale carrot off her bib – clearly much more fulfilling than corporate politics, but maybe I’ll get started on the 100 words and see where it goes 🙂

  8. Karen says:

    My novel,when I write it, will be about a window cleaner. Now there is a person who has surely seen more about life than most people! Loved your book, please fit in more writing around your busy life!

  9. Denise C says:

    Great Blog. I follow your work avidly and am a huge fan. Loved Babies in Waiting and have a feeling your next one will be even better!

  10. Deborah Melliard says:

    It’s my belief that if you love something, it works its way into your life in the odd spare 5 minutes; it’s what you would always rather be doing. However, part of that love is borne of self-discipline, and the more you do something the better you get, the more you enjoy it, the better you get…in short, inspiring stuff.

  11. What a fabulous blog – That has now inspired me to get into my studio and do a second session!! Loving your work Madam Fiore!!!!

  12. Melle says:

    Gives new meaning to ‘going postal’ methinks!!!

  13. Rainie Bish says:

    Thanks for sharing such a lovely insight into how you create the characters for your wonderful books. It’s strange to think that you transform what most of us do “people watching” into the basis of a book. I really think older people can be too easily overlooked and thought of as a bit boring but all have such tales to tell of a life well lived, often in very difficult times. I really love reading but have never had the urge to attempt writing myself. What an inspiring piece though. Perhaps a few busy mums from here will follow a hidden dream and give writing a go.

  14. Murray says:

    Thank you Rosie – inspiration to bridge the space between the factual and the fictional, where the difference, I’ve heard it said, is that fiction has to make sense.

  15. Laura says:

    A writer I am not, but a tum tee tum artist daydreaming my way through my days. With two gorgeous boys to inspire me it’s time to pick up my pencils again. Rosie, if you can write novels in those snatched moments then I too can get scribbling! Although first I think I’ll spend those moments reading your book!!

  16. siobhan says:

    very inspiring ive always wanted to have a go at writing but never had the courage to actually take my piece of writing to a publisher . id love to read your book x

  17. Catherine McAlinden says:

    You have inspired me to start the novel I always wanted to write! I am a terrible people watcher, so might put it to good use!

  18. Suzanne says:

    very inspiring would love to have a go at writing my own book but never had the courage to actually show anyone, but this has inspired me to go and have a scribble down while im on maternity leave. i would really love to read your book x

  19. Lisa says:

    After reading this I want to start writing my own book! Very inspiring, always thought of writing my own book and now i really might just give it a go 🙂 Thanks for writing ur blog xx

  20. Marion says:

    So inspirational, love the story about the elderly lady on the tube.

  21. Cathy Porteus says:

    Would love to read this book

  22. Kay says:

    I almost laughed out loud at the last line! I love anything to do with writing, although I could never imagine writing a novel! I spend far too much time reading them! 🙂

  23. Jenna says:

    Very inspiring, I love watching people when on public transport too, My children and I make up lives for them, stories about where they are going, who they are meeting, it’s been a fantastic way of seeing how my children’s mind work as well.

  24. catherine halloran says:

    I LOVE people watching 🙂

  25. Mel says:

    Oh I would love to read this book! I know there’s a novel in me, but it’s figuring how to get it on paper…. I’ll stick to blogging for now. Lovely article thank you. Xx

  26. DUNCAN BROWN says:

    Would love to win a copy

  27. What an inspirational blog…how often is it easier to not act on an idea…fear of failure, talk ourselves out of it, our idea suddenly doesn’t seem a good one etc…but what an encouragement to have a go. thank you.

    • deepthi pakalapati says:

      very inspiring like the one , i feel.
      Seven Secrets of Success found in my Room
      Roof said : Aim high
      Fan said: Be cool
      Clock said: Every minute is precious
      Mirror said : Reflect before you Act
      Window said: See the world
      Calender said: Be up to date
      Door said: Push hard to achieve your goals
      thankz for giving me the oppurtunity to share it.

  28. Jeannette Austen says:

    That’s it I am now inspired to get up and do all the things on my bucket list, sooner rather than later. Thank you so much.

  29. Champaklal Lad says:

    Great prize

  30. Vijay Lad says:

    Hope to win a copy.

  31. Jayesh Lad says:

    Thanks for running the competition, hope to win.

  32. iain says:

    well done

  33. maureen moss says:

    I love reading and I know this book would give me so much pleasure to read

  34. Pingback: From Bump to Baby – Natasha Harding | Netmums Blog

  35. Amanda-Jane Farmer says:

    Can’t wait too read

  36. Melanie Daniels says:

    This sounds fab, just the sort of thing I’d love to read 🙂

  37. Kirsty Jenkins says:

    Sound really exciting, would love to be entered into the competition please 🙂 x

  38. siobhan says:

    cant wait to read this bookx

  39. sarah rees says:

    great prize, just wish i had the imagination and enthusiasm to write things of my own!

  40. S Ripley says:

    very inspiring, i would love to write one day

  41. Lisa Yeo says:

    Sounds great, I would love to read the book!

  42. olivia kirby says:

    What a great achievement. I went to a book launch and meet the author type thing recently and found it very inspiring. I would worry that no one would want to read what i have to say!

  43. Emma Bradshaw says:

    Would love to win a copy!

  44. Kevin Devine says:

    Would love to read this book

  45. joanne says:

    great blog would love to read a copy of the book 🙂

  46. shirley harpley says:

    Not sure I could write but would love to read this.

  47. Dimple S says:

    How did you manage. Tried years ago to write … and I started. Maybe I should make time to finish it …

    I have been a bookworm since school days – rarely get the time to go get myself a book that I can relax with. Would to start reading again.

  48. Kulwinder Lombardelli says:

    An inspirational piece. I would love to read this and share it with friends and family.

  49. Rachel Vickers says:

    This book sounds excellent! A perfect read for my forthcoming holiday! X

  50. Maurice Konarski says:

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