So that was how Mother’s Milk Books was born. Of course, publishing Musings on Mothering wasn’t simple – far from it – but I did manage to produce a beautiful-looking book that had over 100 contributions from writers, artists, poets, mothers, fathers and children. It sold more than 300 copies in the first fortnight after publication and has so far raised close to £1000 in royalties for La Leche League Great Britain.
The wonderful thing about Musings on Mothering was that it put me in touch with so many creative mothers. They wrote to me saying that they loved Musings on Mothering and the idea of Mother’s Milk Books and that there really was a need for beautiful books that reflected their own deep and joyful (though sometimes challenging) experience of mothering.
So, now with a second child and a (potentially) new career, I embarked on creating a publication list for Mother’s Milk Books that would fit in around family life.
I started off with publishing poetry, as it is one of my great loves, and was lucky enough to publish Letting Go by Angela Topping in 2013 and Look At All The Women by Cathy Bryant in 2014 and it was also in 2013 that I began the Mother’s Milk Books Writing Prize, which runs annually from September to mid-January and which welcomes poetry and prose from both adults and children. I also allowed myself the joyful project that is The Forgotten and the Fantastical – a series of collections of fairy tales for adults.
Although breastfeeding does feature in Baby X, a high-concept novel about ectogenesis (the process whereby a foetus is grown outside the womb), the other two books don’t. But I just knew I had to publish them. The answer to why I had to publish them was simple. Empathy. Oy, the child hero of Oy Yew, is a wonderful, empathetic character and in Maysun and the Wingfish empathy and a deep respect for nature are key to the story.
Listening to someone with empathy; making a connection with them through empathy is one of the greatest gifts we can give another human being. It is what I longed for when I made a simple request for a glass of water. It is what I will always try to give to readers through the books I publish.
Thank you, Teika, I’m sure many of my readers will applaud your endeavour.
Click on the image to find out more about those books mentioned or go here for more about Mother’s Milk Books in general.
So over to you now, what do you think?