Now, here’s a thing. When I wrote Geekhood: Close Encounters of the Girl Kind, one of the most important characters was Mum. Although she’s not as major a player as Archie and the gang, she is very much part of Archie’s backbone, wether he’s aware of it or not. In his world, she’s like a background noise that occasionally comes through with a Very Important Tune, like when you’ve got the radio on, but you’re not really paying attention until That Song shows up.
Primarily, the book is about Archie’s interactions with his mates and, of course, Sarah. But it’s also about Archie and his Mum and their relationship, especially as that’s changed in light of her divorce from his father. My folks split up when I was in my teens and my relationship definitely changed; rather than being just mother and son, we were thrown together as friends and forced to learn about each other as people, rather than relatives. I’m proud to say that my relationship with my mum evolved fantastically and I know her more as my Best Friend than just the woman who occasionally still does my washing.
With Archie and his mum, I didn’t want to look at the forging of their friendship as it happened, but to see how it fared with another person in the equation: Tony. It’s difficult for a parent to be all things to everyone in a situation like that; they’re parents, friends and lovers and human beings. On top of that, as a teenager, you’re changing – and pretty uncompromisingly, so the relationship can get a little blurry at times. While I’ve had some lovely feedback from teens, I’ve been waiting for a mum to let me know how Geekhood reads from their point of view. And then this turned up: