Megan loves merchandise


IN THE MIDDLE I had a baby. I wrote nights in front of the TV, lit by the glow of the laptop, laughing. I felt calmed by the narratives that played out on screen. We are often quite down on TV as a society but it does have its soothing properties, as well as its cliff— 

In the middle I had a baby. The success of Go the Fuck to Sleep entered a new realm of relevance to me. I used to sell that book to customers. This time it was personal. And I didn’t find it so funny anymore either. 

I wrote in a state of before and after; I was always ‘before’ and if, the laptop was warming my lap, sooner or later I’d be over it. I thought about Hans Christian Andersen differently: Was he a dog owner? The Tinderbox within his fairy tale wasn’t just a witch’s dinky little magical device – that, when struck three times successively, would summon a story.  No, it was simply what you used to make a fire in 1835. Andersen’s Little Match Girl didn’t start pimping her product until ten years later. 

In the middle of writing this tiny book I had a tiny baby. It took me two weeks to watch Francois Truffaut’s Fahrenheit 451 in between episodes of In the Night Garden. I got an arts grant, hired a manny and wrote at a nearby library in long dispatches of afternoon sunlight until – “Go the fuck to sleep,” said Samuel L. Jackson. 

Instead, I wrote a book about the temperature that book-paper burns at – Fahrenheit 451 – and if I was still a sales manager at a large chain bookstore, this how I would merchandise it. 

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  • Megan Dunn's Tinderbox is published by Galley Beggar Press. To buy your own copy of Tinderbox, head here. To read the first chapter, head here