Upstairs, Downstairs and Downton Abbey, we loved those shows, but what goes on behind the scenes with nannies? Sandra Gumbrell, who lives in the UK, spills the secrets in her book, What the Nanny Saw: A memoir of an English nanny.
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How many years were you a nanny, and about how many clients did you have?
I have been a nanny for thirty years and had over twenty-five clients. I lived in with two families, the other positions were working as a daily nanny
Why did you decide to write the book?
The book shows you what really goes on behind closed doors. Some parts are funny especially with the children, but some parts are very sad, leaving the children and I in a very difficult situation.
How did you handle the privacy issue to avoid any problems with clients who recognize themselves?
I had to be very careful, like changing names for everyone, also the descriptions of the houses, etc., so nobody would recognize themselves if they were ever to read my book.
I like your opening line, which manages a tingle of foreboding to hook in readers. Do you have any background in writing?
I have written for magazines before, but this was my very first experience of writing a book. I really enjoyed it.
What was the most difficult part of writing?
The most difficult part in writing the memoir was trying to remember everything, also being careful to change names. But, I enjoyed trying to remember everything that happened through the years. When I sat down in a quiet room I would imagine my time with the families and it all came flooding back to me.
As the book is pretty short, you went straight to e-book. What was your e-publishing journey like?
E-publishing wasn’t too difficult. My book appeared on Amazon within a few hours. I had an editor for my book. She was lovely and very helpful. She changed my wording on the odd occasion, but the story stayed as I wanted it. She also formatted my book for Kindle.
Is there anything else you’d like to tell us about the book or about writing and publishing?
This is my first book, but I have recently finished writing another book, this time fiction. I enjoyed exploring my mind. My second book is called Silchester Manor and it’s on Amazon already and selling. I really didn’t think it would be possible for me to do anything like this. I absolutely love writing now—I’m addicted!
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Sandra Gumbrell lives in Southampton, UK, with her husband and Maine Coon cat. She has two grown children who live nearby and she loves spending time with them and her new granddaughter. What the Nanny Saw is available on Amazon US and Amazon UK. Her second e-book, Silchester Manor, is a novelette—about the adventures of a nanny, of course! If you read either of Sandra’s books, please write an Amazon review. Reviews are important to new authors and often hard to come by.