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MP Nadine Dorries talks to

December 10, 2015

MP Nadine Dorries talks to

A question I am asked more often than any other is this; ‘how do you manage to write books and be an MP?” I am asked it by everyone from journalists to TV presenters and members of the public. It is a question that brings out my inner Grinch and turns my face green for one very simple reason. There are lots of MPs who write books, in all parties. From Alan Johnson to Boris Johnson and many in-between. MPs are prolific writers, but, and it is a big but, at the present time, I am the only female writer. The remaining combined author MPs are all male and it is a question no one ever, ever asks of them. Not only are they never asked by anyone, how they manage to combine the two roles but they are in fact lauded for their accomplishments and amazing skills in time management in achieving a double career feat.

I didn’t begin to write until my last daughter had left for university. I replaced washing, ironing and chauffeuring for writing. Not least because I had a very severe case of tearful, empty nest syndrome. My youngest was my noisiest, and the deafening silence when she left home was difficult for the Labrador and I to adjust to. My decision to write happened following a visit to Tesco. Instead of the usual trolley piled up with all her favorites from tiger bread to bath foam, I wandered around with a basket and no idea what to put in it. I had never cooked for one and that was when it hit me, I needed to do something to fill in the new and quiet hours at home, or I was in danger of slipping into a melancholy that threatened to verge on depression.

I write in the early mornings and weekends and I am not only incredibly lucky that people want to read what I write, but that it is a creative outlet, which is hugely satisfying. If a day goes by and I don’t write, I am like a smoker who has run out of fags. If my daughter comes home for the weekend, she has to put up with my standard response each time she speaks to me or asks me a question, which is always, ‘yes, yes, when I have finished this chapter. Now, go away.

My output as both an MP and a committee chair on the Speakers panel remain unaltered and the most important thing in the world to me is still my constituency. It is just that as an MP who now has a hobby, I am probably a better MP than I was before.

My new book, Ruby Flynn, which was written over the summer recess, has just been released. No bets are being taken on how long it will be before someone asks, ‘how can you write a book and be an MP?’ Just keep an eye out in Parliament for a grumpy woman who looks remarkably like the Grinch.


I would like to thank MP Nadine Dorries for taking the time to talk to


From → book review

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