JODIE MILLER - INDIE AUTHOR
CELEBRATING 2020: THE YEAR OF THE NURSE AND MIDWIFE
It's 1999 and Jodie doesn't want children. When her husband threatens, baby or bust, she resists.
But 30 is approaching, and her eggs aren't getting younger.
By chance, Jodie gets access to the only public Birth Centre in South East Queensland; one of two in the entire state. She is profoundly changed by her baby's beautiful birth and becomes an advocate at the hospital while a larger, national campaign for birth reform is growing.
Having babies herself and supporting others in birth, Jodie uncovers the secret women's business that conservative obstetricians deny and resist.
In Australia, one-third of all births are cesarean and one in ten women experience Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. If reproduction is a feminist issue, welcome to the forgotten women's movement.
"Midwives weren't able to force change alone. Jodie's devotion and dedication are commendable. The midwifery world needs more like her." Beth McRae, author of 'Outback Midwife'
Who inspires you?
Humble people who ‘just get on with it.’ I can’t stand fanfare or drama.
How many books have you published?
This is my first.
When did you first realise you wanted to be a writer?
I have kept journals and diaries since my youth. This book emerged out of my various journals and blogs and email records, over many years.
How long does it take you to write a book?
This one took 10 years! The next I hope will only take two.
What is your work schedule like when you're writing?
I write every day, little and often.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I can’t write in cafes or away from home in general. I write best at my own desk. I spend my driving time (for work) in deep thought about writing. The two occupations are compatible.
Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?
I write true stories, from my own life or about people I know. Themes tend to be topical, or nostalgic, or political, in general.
When did you write your first book and how old were you?
This is my first long form book.
What do you like to do when you're not writing?
We have a 5 acre property and we (attempt to) grow food and prepare it as meals for our family, or to serve my business. But 5 acres, 4 kids, 3 dogs, 2 occupations and 1 marriage keeps me busy enough.
What does your family think of your writing?
They are proud of my achievement – a whole book. Now I’m ready for the next one.
What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
In writing memoir, there can be a lot of fear to combat – fear of exposure, vulnerability, also fear of what those I write about will think, particularly in less flattering (however truthful) situations. It can be a very painful process. I didn’t expect to relive all those emotions again.
Do you have any suggestions to help others become a better writer? If so, what are they?
Just write. And don’t be precious about it. You don’t have to share it unless you want to.
Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?
Generally my readers find my stories relatable, evocative, thought provoking, gritty, real.
Do you like to create books for adults/kids/cause? Why?
This book is all about the cause – because the years of activism and parenting at the same time were so intense. The stories were unforgettable. My next book will be a travel memoir and true romance, set in Tokyo – the story of my husband’s career at the dawn of the internet.
What do you think makes a good story?
I like many kinds of story. I think there has to be logic and complete authenticity, even in fiction. I like relatable people/characters, even if they are vastly different to me. I like to feel immersed in a location, with sensory information to help make things real. I do prefer gritty realism, in simple language, though I am also willing to suspend my disbelief. Every story is different and I am open to variety and diversity.
As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
I wanted to be an artist.
What are your plans for your future book/s?
I have some ideas for fiction, but I have several memoirs I need to let out of their hidey holes first.
What tips would you share with other new writers about your learning?
As a beginner, it’s hard to shut your inner critic out of the room while you write. My progress was delayed for years worrying about ‘what other people think.’ NaNoWriMo unlocked my process. So now I can write with abandon, knowing that, for me, the magic happens in the editing process.
What were your inspirations?
This book nagged at me for years. Even while we were living the activism, I recall saying to my colleagues, ‘we are making history here, someone should write a book about it.’ At the time, Bridget Jones’ Diary movie had just come out on the back of the successful book. Chick Lit was ‘a thing’ and we couldn’t understand why birth was always portrayed in such a negative and dis-empowering light. Initially, this was intended as a fairly academic history book. It took years for me to realise that putting myself into the story would make it accessible to a wider audience.
How you decided on the characters in the book would be an interesting concept to describe for us please?
They’re all real, and yes, they’re all characters.
What drew you to the subject matter or the characters?
Years of research and record-keeping. More than twenty-five interviews. Lots of google and wikipedia. I created a dedicated Facebook group for all my colleagues to share their stories and check my facts. Reading clinical journals and government health reports. Re-engaging with Maternity Choices Australia to dip my toe in the modern context and learn where things are now. Not much has changed, unfortunately.
What was the biggest challenge when writing the book?
Oh My God! What Will People Think? I still worry about it actually. Pregnancy and birth is a polarising subject. Did You Really Write About Vaginas And Having Sex?!! Actually, I wrote about MY vagina too.
I know what I’ve written will trigger some unpleasant debate.
Requests welcomed for further information about the author –
Book copies for review and discussion
Full media kit, inc images and Q&A about the book by the author
Interviews can be arranged via Skype, phone or email.
Book is available for purchase upon release at all great Australian book stores and online direct at www.indiebooksaust.com.au
Thank you for supporting new Independent authors in Australia,
and we welcome further communications with you in the future.
Shawline Publishing Group