Candid, caustic and surprisingly moving, Stephanie Calman is back: read her and know that you are not alone
I've been a writer and broadcaster since I was 17. My Happy Families column appeared in the Daily Telegraph for five years and my TV and radio appearances include the Today Programme and Have I Got News for You - the latter in the days when all female comedians turned the show down. I created the anti perfect parenting website www.badmothersclub.com - something that started as a school gate moment - am I the only one who doesn't 'do it properly' - and became a bit of a phenomenon (due to its members, not me).
I grew up in Bloomsbury, London, above a greengrocer's shop and opposite a pub. My parents were both freelance commercial artists so I always thought drawing at home on the floor was what grown-ups did. I didn't go to university and never came top, or anywhere near top, in English at school though I desperately wanted to. I became a writer, I think, when I discovered that describing events and people on your terms gives you a feeling of greater power in your life.The humorous side of it happened sort of by itself. It evolved somewhat outside my control, and also because when I tried to do tragedy people laughed anyway. My favourite authors include Florence King, David Sedaris and Olivia Manning. The character in literature I most identify with is Jane Austen's Emma.
I am still married to author Peter Grimsdale, with whom I have two children. My interests include cooking, going to the cinema and lying down.