Winner of the reading libraries book of the year and earned MJ the most promising chick-lit writer of 2007.
The Yorkshire Pudding Club (2007)
Three South Yorkshire friends, all on the cusp of 40, fall pregnant at the same time following a visit to an ancient fertility symbol.
For Helen, it’s a dream come true, although her husband is not as thrilled about it as she had hoped. Not only wrestling with painful ghosts of the past, Helen has to deal with the fact that her outwardly perfect marriage is crumbling before her eyes.
For Janey, it is an unmitigated disaster as she has just been offered the career break of a life-time. And she has no idea either how it could possibly have happened, seeing as she and her ecstatic husband George were always so careful over contraception.
For years I couldn’t find what to write about. I was told my agents that my work was publishable, but my plots were rubbish. Then I got pregnant at the same time as two of my friends at work – we all had babies within six weeks of each other – and pregnancy hit me like a ton of bricks. I was married, but I might well as not have been. It was just really me and my baby that went through the pregnancy and I kept a diary of everything. Between us three, and our Miriam Stoppard bible, we shared stories, fears and ended up having totally different births to the ones we had planned. I loved it so much I couldn’t wait to get pregnant again. Then sitting in my front room showing off our new babies, I had my first thunderbolt moment. ‘Why aren’t you writing about this?’ said my brain. ‘Babies, mothers, friendships, Yorkshire…’ and so I started to write a story about three very different women – as we were – who all got pregnant at the same time, nearing 40 (I was 35 at the time in real life though).
Originally it was called ‘Secrets between Friends’ but then I went to my mum’s house when she was cooking Sunday lunch and I refused to partake as I was trying to lose my baby weight so I had a single Yorkshire pudding to appease her. Then another, then another… I laid on her sofa so bloated that my stomach looked pregnant. And in my brain neurons the words ‘Pudding Club, Yorkshire puddings’ all fused and I had my title. I sent my idea off to the agent and I never looked back.