| Posted by My Super Nanny
Meet Super Mum - Alex Miles. She just might be the next top hit Children’s book Author, currently launching a series called Starring Olive Black. It is by no surprise her son, George is a little book worm at such a young age. We question, Alex, on how she manages her time in writing four books all while reading and chasing a little toddler.
You’re Mum to?
George Albert Miles … otherwise known as Georgie Boy, Gee-Whizz, Special G or Galbert.
What has been the funniest parenting moment thus far?
At the local Rhyme Time with mothers group one time earlier on, I was trying to change G and he started running around and would not come back and get a nappy on. We’re all really close now, so it’s funny in hindsight, but I was so embarrassed at the time.
Is motherhood what you envisioned it to be?
Not really – it’s way better and way harder. Being a Mum had always been at the top of my dream job list. I never really had a strong vision of what that would look like though. I knew it would be a new chapter but I don’t think I was prepared for how much it would change me as a woman – how I viewed myself as well as every other super mum on the planet (seriously. I’m very flattered to be considered a “super-mum” but in my books if you’re a mum who managing to get out of their pyjamas, love their little one and roll with the punches 80% of the time – that a super effort!).
I hadn’t anticipated the way it would make all my relationships evolve too. With my husband definitely, but also with my own parents, and my brothers and friends. It sounds clichéd but I had no idea you could be capable of that much love. I just love him so, so much, and I love the little family Paul and I are creating.
You are about to launch a series of four children’s books. What are they about? And is there a favourite?
Ha ha, that’s like asking if I have a favourite child (which is easy to answer at the moment as there’s only George!). The series is called Starring Olive Black and it’s about a 10-year-old mega movie star. She’s loyal, loud and just a little over the top. Each book sees her star in a different film, and the themes of that movie play out in her real life too. She’s got her head screwed on and is facing the same growing pains as every other young girl, so it’s all about friendships and family and learning to grow up.
I’ve loved all of them so far. The first because it was six years in the making and I learnt a lot while writing it. The second is the ‘who-done-it’ film genre and I am a big old dorky murder mystery fan (seen every single episode of the 19 seasons of Midsomer Murders type of thing) – so writing in that genre was a hoot, and really tough. The logic and red herrings and timelines were so hard, even when you’re writing them for eight year olds. The third has Olive star as a witch, wearing hideous facial prosthetics in the film and facing body image issues in her real life – so I’m really proud of this one and the message it gives. I’m writing the forth at the moment, but I’m sure I’ll fall in love with that one too!
Has writing always been your thing? Who/what inspires you?
At the end of high school I would never had guessed that this would be my career, but I’ve always loved telling stories, whether that be through acting, or directing or writing or just having a good old natter with your pals.
I think the people closest to me inspire me the most. Both of my brothers work in creative fields and have always been so supportive. My hubby Paul is the best editor/head coach/cheerleader anyone could ask for – I love bouncing ideas around with him and he always drives me to make things better. For Olive, her family life stems a lot from my own… without the movie premieres.
How do you manage to sit down and write four books all while having a little toddler run around?
I’ve been asked that a lot this year. Firstly, it was a huge challenge and in hindsight, really naïve of me to think I could do all of that in a year. You’d asked about whether motherhood was what I envisaged, and the fact that you can only get half as much done as you used to, was something I wasn’t prepared for. That said, even though I have way less time, I’ve become SO much more efficient. For me, there are a few things that made it possible.
First and foremost, the support of Paul. I reckon with whatever work you do, if your partner’s not in your corner it’s so hard to get through the hard days. In my mind, we’ve written them together – yes, I’m the one burning the midnight oil in front of the laptop, but in those weeks when I was on deadline, he’d be the one cooking dinner, putting G down, doing night feeds if I had to have a fresh writing brain in the morning – what a legend.
The support of everyone else around me – my family, friends, mothers group kept me going with high fives as well as practical things like meals and babysitting and time out. My editor has a young one too, which made her so understanding and flexible – we found our own way of working as mums, like doing our editorial calls once I was out getting G to sleep in the pram. _
I had to be disciplined. Even if I was writing something that I thought was a bit rubbish, I had to turn up and give it a crack. I learnt that it wasn’t going to perfect first time around, and that’s completely fine.
And I learnt to get much better at focusing on what mattered most and having faith in the fact that the other stuff either wasn’t important or would work itself out in time. Before having G I might have spent an hour searching for the particular joke or description. Now, if it doesn’t come quickly, I just write [insert gag] and get back to it in the next draft. I definitely feel like a better writer since becoming a mum.
What’s your best bribe for George?
“Ball!” which means watching footy or golf on the tele. “Boos!” which means reading books. Or “Pig” good old Peppa Pig on the phone.
What are your favourite activities to do together?
It sounds really clichéd being a writer, but reading is probably the main one. He bloody loves books. Early on I think he just loved turning the pages, but now he’ll bolt around the house finding the particular one he wants to read at that time, and pointing out all the words in can say in the story and pictures. Plus it’s the best excuse for a cuddle. He also LOVES watering the garden with me. And sweeping. And running around a lot. _
If you could teleport anywhere for 24 hours, where would you go?
To an Agatha Christie style dinner party in a 1920s stately home – with amazing dresses and the guys in three-piece suits and great music and a drawing room … and then there’d be a murder and Poirot would turn up!
Ryan Gosling or Chris Hemsworth?
Your go to Melbourne Café for coffee is?
Mr Bond, South Yarra when I’m at work, or Penny House, Richmond when at home.
What is happiness to you?
Hanging out with family. Or being on my own, enjoying the stillness and looking forward to seeing my boys at the end of it.
Describe yourself as a mum in three words…
Learning every day.