Today’s guest post is a real treat, with a hilarious look at a day in the life of 10 Things I Hate About Pinky author Sandhya Menon. Thanks to Sandhya for stopping by with this fabulous post.
A Day in the Life of a Romance Author/Mom of Tweens/Dog Servant
by Sandhya Menon
7:30 AM: Wake up because my much more industrious husband has already woken up, got the kids up, made his coffee, and is sitting beside me reading. He smiles and says good morning; I try to say good morning back but it comes out sounding like an orangutan giving birth. I’m thankful he’s still here (in this marriage, I mean).
7:45 AM: Get up out of bed. My golden retriever Ollie, who sleeps in his crate in my husband’s study, sees me. I am his food dispenser and greatest fan, and he knows this. He howls at me (his primary method of communication, as he is also a giant brat) so I let him out and feed him breakfast.
7:46 AM: My children are various stages of happy to see me. It just depends on whether they slept well and also their pre-teen hormone upsurges. I am their food dispenser and greatest fan, and they know this. I make them smoothies for breakfast.
8:30 AM: The children have departed the house, bound for the big yellow bus that puzzles Ollie. He is sad that they are gone, even though they leave five days a week and have for all three years of his life, so I take a moment to cuddle all eighty-five pounds of him. I then grab my mug of tea and head downstairs, to the writing cave.
8:30-9 AM: Check social media, email, and try to respond to reader messages as quickly as I can while still being personal and warm. One of my favorite things is getting messages from readers and I try to be as thorough as I can in my replies back.
9 AM: Now the real work begins. I like to work on whatever deadline is most pressing (aka giving me the most anxiety). Generally, I have fun if I’ve been asked to draft a new novel. If it’s an editing deadline, on the other hand, I’ll be in the corner weeping into my hands, rending my clothes, and cursing the day I ever decided to do this writing thing as a profession. If I were a responsible, normal adult, I would’ve become an accountant. (That reminds me, I should probably respond to that tax email from my accountant sometime, even though I only understand about 3.5% of what she says at any given time.)
12 PM: I emerge from The Zone and I am hungry. I’ve done four Pomodoro sessions (check out Pomodoro sessions if you want to increase your productivity!) and it’s time for a long break, which is perfect.
1 PM: Get back to work in the writing cave, but there’s a strange howling from the other side of my closed door. It sounds like the death groans of a rabid wombat. Turns out it’s just Ollie, who has awoken from his nap upstairs to find me gone. He is staging a protest outside my office door. I let him back in and he continues his nap while I continue my story. Both are important.
3 PM: I realize with a start that, at some unknowable point in the past, I have gotten distracted and have been watching random YouTube videos instead of working. The current one is an instructional video about installing a winch on your Ford F-150. I do not have a Ford F-150, nor do I want one. Nor am I sure what, exactly, the purpose of a winch is.
4 PM: The kids are home! Freedom! I mean, I must be a good mother and welcome them home with hugs and listen to their school stories. Editing will have to wait till tomorrow. Or later tonight, if I am especially desperate. Thankfully, the deadline is still a week away, so I am not desperate yet.
6 PM: We eat dinner together. Either my husband or I cook (we both work from home, which is great—he’s the sexiest officemate I’ve ever had) and my children eat it while also gently complaining about how healthy we eat. Their friends eat ice cream for dinner, they insist, or they eat unlimited quantities of mochi and Nutella on pancakes and mountains of whipped cream. I make a note to find a way to work their dramatic protestations into my book. No one will ever believe preteens can be that dramatic, but truth is stranger than fiction. My kids ask suspiciously why I’m smiling like that and I snap back to reality.
9 PM: The kids are in bed and I decide I will take a bath. I forget about the bath because a story idea comes popping into my head and I have to rush downstairs in my robe to write it down before it’s lost to the ether completely. My husband, upon my return, tells me the bathroom flooded, but that he’s glad I got the idea down. He really is a saint.
10 PM: I am in bed, and it is time to read. I fall asleep with my Kindle on my face. I dream about my characters, and tomorrow, my husband will ask me who Eli is. (The answer is always: He’s the hot new male lead in the adult romance I’m writing. Duh.)
Pinky Kumar wears the social justice warrior badge with pride. From raccoon hospitals to persecuted rock stars, no cause is too esoteric for her to champion. But a teeny-tiny part of her also really enjoys making her conservative, buttoned-up corporate lawyer parents cringe.
Samir Jha might have a few . . . quirks remaining from the time he had to take care of his sick mother, like the endless lists he makes in his planner and the way he schedules every minute of every day, but those are good things. They make life predictable and steady.
Pinky loves lazy summers at her parents’ Cape Cod lake house, but after listening to them harangue her about the poor decisions (aka boyfriends) she’s made, she hatches a plan. Get her sorta-friend-sorta-enemy, Samir—who is a total Harvard-bound Mama’s boy—to pose as her perfect boyfriend for the summer. As they bicker their way through lighthouses and butterfly habitats, sparks fly, and they both realize this will be a summer they’ll never forget.
Sandhya Menon is the New York Times bestselling author of several novels with lots of kissing, girl power, and swoony guys. Her books have been featured in several cool places, including on The Today Show, Cosmopolitan, Teen Vogue, NPR, Seventeen, Entertainment Weekly, and Buzzfeed. Her latest book, Of Curses and Kisses, is Gossip Girl meets Beauty and the Beast set at an elite boarding school in the mountains, and is the first in a brand-new YA series. Her first adult romance, Make Up Break Up, will be out in 2021. A full-time dog servant, Sandhya makes her home in the foggy mountains of Colorado.
Find her online at www.sandhyamenon.com or on Instagram (@sandhyamenonbooks) or Twitter (@smenonbooks).