Guest Post by You’re Not the Boss of Me author Catherine Wilkins - Nosy Crow Skip to content
Posted by Lisa, March 14, 2022

Guest Post by You’re Not the Boss of Me author Catherine Wilkins

This month we’re absolutely delighted to have published You’re Not The Boss of Me – a laugh-out-loud story about fighting for your right to steal the show. And today we’re very excited to be sharing a piece from author Catherine Wilkins on her reasons for writing the book.

I’m very excited to see You’re Not The Boss of Me being published and to share my latest character, Amy Miller with the world. This book is about trying to be the master of your own destiny, even when facing adversity.

Amy Miller is an enthusiastic, ambitious, clever and funny Year Nine girl who loves comedy and wants to write and perform comedy sketches for her school comedy show. But unfortunately for Amy, some of the boys decide they are in charge of comedy, and they make it impossible for her to be a part of the fun. Eventually Amy realises that some of what is happening is sexism, and she has to take a stand.

I felt very strongly that I wanted to write about a teenage girl character who was confident. Actually properly, audaciously confident. Someone who really didn’t care what other people thought, or about being ‘cool’ at school. And not because she was too cool to care, but because she had nerdily done the maths and decided it was better to be a bit naff and have fun being her authentic self. It can be hard to accept that not everyone will like you and be at peace with that. I wanted to see what that would look like in a story. There are already so many books about feeling insecure (which is great, because lots of people feel insecure and under peer pressure). But I wanted this to be a story about a girl who knows she has a right to exist, and a right to join in and speak up.

I wanted to make it funny as well because for me (as a reader) I think it’s important for books to be entertaining and surprising. I have always tried to write the kinds of books that I would have liked to read when I was younger. And (like Amy) comedy is a huge passion of mine.

I have quite a lot of things in common with Amy. I was an avid comedy fan growing up, and often trying to be funny and write funny things. There is a fine line between being funny and being quite annoying which Amy and I both had to learn to tread with care. And I have worked in the comedy and creative industries now, and encountered bizarre proclamations and gatekeeping around anything considered artistic, which doesn’t make sense under investigation. Amy is more confident than I was at her age. There is probably some wish-fulfilment in her moxie.

Amy has to encounter some difficult things in the story, and she finds help in unexpected places. At one point she gets some advice from her older sister about identifying and dealing with sexism, and it felt important to show the wider background of that struggle, so that each new person doesn’t think they’re the first person to encounter sexism and they’ve somehow done something wrong.

Sexism is a serious problem in the real world, but it is also ridiculous. Anything ridiculous can be joked about, it just has to be done carefully. There is a thin end of the wedge as well as the much worse thick end. This book is age appropriate for its readers, so mainly focused on the ‘lighter’ side of sexism, which of course still has far reaching effects and needs to be addressed. Sexism needs to be examined, scrutinised, exposed, logged, talked about, mocked, educated and legislated against, and to have that legislature followed on through on. But I can’t do all those things, so I have settled mainly on scrutinising and mocking in this book.

I think that comedy can be a good way to approach difficult subjects. That’s one of the reasons I really like writing funny books. I think lots of things in life are quite silly, and finding the joke can often make the scary things less upsetting.

I hope I have created a very funny and entertaining book. I hope that the adventures of Amy will make readers laugh, as well as roll their eyes, feel cross, and feel empowered to make choices that work for them. But mainly I hope they laugh.

Thank you, Catherine! You can order a copy of You’re Not the Boss of Me from Waterstones here, here, or Amazon here.

Read the first few chapters below:



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