Saturday 27 June 2020

The Hippo Hands Over . . . . to Sarah Davis

Since the lockdown began it's been a time of first's here on The Hippo and it's time for another one as today's guest author writes poetry, which I think is perfect to pick up when you have a few minutes to spare.

So allow me to introduce you all to Sarah Davis, author of Baby Daze.

Photo courtesy of Sarah Davis

Sarah Davis is the author of ‘Baby Daze,’ recommended in ‘Mother & Baby’ magazine’s ‘3 of the best funny books’ feature. ‘Baby Daze reflects the rollercoaster of parenting a new born – from the first scan to the end of maternity leave.  It’s an easy, relatable read for sleep-deprived new mums to dip into. 

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It's lovely to meet you Sarah and welcome to The Hippo! I've dipped into your book and read several of your poems already and they really are a joy to read! You've been on quite a journey since Baby Daze was published and I'm looking to finding out more about that in your post today. So if you're ready - The Hippo is all yours!

                                          How writing has changed my life

I’ve always loved books and my degree was in English Literature.  As a primary school teacher, I’ve enjoyed teaching creative writing and encouraging reading.  I didn’t set out to become an author, however, that came about quite unexpectedly. 

While I was up for the 3am feeds with my 4- month old son one night, a poem popped into my head.  Before I went back to sleep, I wrote it down. This happened repeatedly over the next 4 months until I had a collection of 40 poems, all about being mum to a baby!  It may have been hormones, the peace and quiet at 3am or maybe that’s when I’m naturally most creative.  I think it was a way of my brain making sense of my new experiences.  Originally, I kept the poems in a folder to show my son when he was older, but friends and family suggested getting them published.

Time passed quickly and my son was at school before I seriously contacted publishers and received offers.  ‘Baby Daze,’ published by the Book Guild, came out in February 2018.  My son (who was 6 at the time) was delighted to have a book inspired by and dedicated to him.  He even asked to take it in for show & tell at school and read out a few of the ‘poo’ related poems!

New parents, grandparents and maternity professionals have found my poems relatable as they are short, light-hearted and written during that new mum bubble.  

From the sentimental, eg.

“The gripping of my finger with your tiny little hand
  The feelings and emotions only parents understand.” 

Image found on MadeForMums

To the humorous, eg.

“You seem to think it’s funny
  Why aren’t we laughing too?
  But we can’t have roly-polies
  With a nappy full of poo!” 

Photo by Polina Tankilevitch on Pexels

Whether about poo explosions, night feeds, having no time for personal care or receiving unhelpful and conflicting advice from well-meaning on-lookers, they resonate with anyone who has ever been a parent.  Often bought as a gift for a new or expectant mum and popular with new dads too.  ‘Baby Daze’ has been described as “like a rhyming new Mummy diary” and “like a portable mum and baby group”

Becoming a published author and promoting ‘Baby Daze’ has opened up a whole range of new experiences for me.  It’s taken me right out of my comfort zone into speaking to large audiences.  I’ve been interviewed live on BBC Radio and on Talk Radio Europe.  I spoke at the launch event of Baby Week Leeds 2019 to an audience of 80 councillors, medical professionals and parents.  I’ve been interviewed at the Ilkley literature Festival Fringe and written a variety of guest posts and articles about parenting and my book. 

Mamas and Papas and Mothercare invited me to talk about some aspect of parenting at their Expectant Parent events.  I spoke about my breastfeeding journey, the positives and getting over the hurdles, but from a mum’s viewpoint, alongside those giving the medical advice.  The feedback I’ve been getting has been overwhelmingly positive – people have found my experiences, my advice and my poems reassuring and helpful.  
Seeing my book on the shelves of Waterstones and independent bookshops still gives me a massive buzz.  The children in my classes love it when I tell them that I’m an author of a real book – it inspires them to be more creative and to aspire to what they want to achieve.  

I’ve met some amazing and inspirational people in the last few years and by having all of these new experiences, I’ve learnt a lot about myself along the way too.

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What an inspiring story Sarah, thank you so much for sharing it. 😀 Let's tell everyone about Baby Daze.

‘Baby Daze’ is a heart-warming debut poetry collection from Sarah Davis, portraying the humorous and sentimental experiences of early motherhood.

Covering a range of topics that parents of all ages can relate to and based upon the author’s personal experiences, the poems are short, accessible and easy to read – even for sleep deprived new mums!

‘Baby Daze’ is available from Amazon, Waterstones and other independent and on-line booksellers.

You can find out more about Sarah, her book and connect with her using the links below:

I'd like to say a big thank you to Sarah for taking the time to stop by today. I've really enjoyed finding out more about you and your book and I wish you lots of success for the future.