Storytelling For A Purpose With Alicia Antonio

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AL Alicia Antonio | Storytelling For A Purpose

 

Storytelling is a powerful way of delivering and expounding even the simplest message. Today, Alicia Dunams talks to Alicia Antonio, the author of Sometimes I Drift Away, the The Land Of Nod, and Sh*t I Wish Someone Had Told Me When I Was A Teenager. Alicia talks about her first book which is a picture book for adults and young adults who struggle with feeling “abnormal” due to their highly sensitive nature. She also breaks down some of the concepts from her other books which focuses on results, from putting children to sleep to helping adults make it through life unscathed. Delivering great stories for a greater purpose, Alicia shows us how she has transitioned from being an actor, a mom, a storyteller, and a writer.

Listen to the podcast here:

Storytelling For A Purpose With Alicia Antonio

Welcome, Alicia Antonio

Thank you. I’m excited to be here.

We had your husband on the show, Shawn Antonio. He was amazing. It’s different perspectives. Family is a different perspective than stranger love or networking love. I saw him as a fantastic interview. Welcome to the show. We’re going to talk about your book. You have two books and you have a third one coming out. 

I have a third one. I released it, but it’s new. I don’t have a copy.

Is it on Amazon?

Yeah.

The ones we have here, Sometimes I Drift Away: A Blue Noir Fairytale For Sensitive Souls and The Land of Nod. Tell me your third book that came up?

The third one is called Sh*t I Wish Someone Had Told Me When I Was A Teenager. It’s tongue-in-cheek, satirical advice for teens, but underneath the funny, there are some gems.

Let’s get started. Why are you writing all these books?

I’ve always been a storyteller. It’s in my blood. I moved to LA. I’m an actor as well. I came here from Australia. I came here in ’01. I came here to be in film and television, which I’ve done plenty of that, but I’ve always been a writer. My fourth-grade teacher wrote in my Christmas card, “Please send me a signed copy of your first book.” This is something she had seen that I probably had. Once I’ve started doing this, friends had reached out and like, “You wrote me a book for my seventeenth birthday?” I’m like, “I don’t remember doing that.” It’s always been a calling for me, but it wasn’t until The Land of Nod, the first one. This was published on my daughter’s birthday. I published this for her. She is the most amazing but also the most annoying child when it comes to going to sleep, which she inherited from me. Bedtime for her is a battle.

Storytelling is all about affecting positive change. Click To Tweet

I had come up with this idea of The Land of Nod, and when I say I came up with the idea, it’s a riff on Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Land of Nod. The idea was, “With this mystical land and what’s going on here.” I talked her through this world and she knocked out. She went to sleep and I’m like, “I have to write this. I have to put it in a book.” I turned it around in five days and I published it for her birthday. I pulled all-nighters to get it out. Even though this is technically my first published book, I’ve published four books for other people. I was putting everyone else first and I’m like, “I’ve got to stop doing this and put my stories out there.” I’ve been on a roll since then. I’ve published three and I’m working on at least two more.

Tell us about this book, Sometimes I Drift Away

The inspiration for this one, I had discovered again trying to deal with my daughter. We are what I consider highly sensitive people. I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of the term.

Like empaths?

Yes, that’s a big part of it. There’s a psychologist, Dr. Elaine Aron. She coined the phrase and she had researched and looked, and not just at human populations but animals too. She had figured out that 15% to 20% of any given population is considered highly sensitive. If you’re talking about pack animal mentality, the analogy she uses is deer, which is great. She’s like, “The majority of the deer, 85% of them is bound into that field. They’re like, ‘I’m in a field.’” The lion pounces on them and kills them. Highly sensitive people, the ones who hang back and they go, “Let me sniff the wind. Can I hear anything? Is there a lion? I don’t feel good about this,” and watches the other deer get eaten. These are the people in society that she talked about that are usually the storytellers. Typically, they’re lawyers, journalists, people who are driven to real causes. There’s a real strong justice streak, which both my daughter and I have. I had read this book and it changed my life. Not only how do I identify with myself and who I am in the world, but also how to parent her and guide her on her journey. I had come across this illustrator when I was working on The Land of Nod.

I used one of his illustrations in a dedication because it fit what I wanted and I’m like, “I know I’ve got to work with this guy. I want to use this stuff.” After I read about being highly sensitive, I’m like, “I’m going to do a visual fairytale for young adults and adults to help them understand and identify with being highly sensitive and what that feels like.” It’s an empathic book. My idea, if you’ve flicked through it, is that there are beautiful illustrations that are captivating. My idea too is like, “This could be a great coffee table book or something that a teenager could bring home and give to their parents and go, ‘I know you don’t understand me and you feel like I’m sensitive about bright lights or I don’t like tastes of thing or textures. This is why and this is who I am. Some people understand me.’” That’s what that’s about.

You and your daughter are both sensitive in terms of justice. 

“Justice monster,” Shawn calls it.

Tell me about the justice monster. 

I have a keen sense of right and wrong. I know that my daughter does as well. Things seem black and white to me, which is not strict because I’m a creative type too. I see all the colors of gray. Everything seems obvious to me. It seems obvious to me that you should help people who are homeless on the street. It seems obvious that governments should provide healthcare that doesn’t put people into bankruptcy. I’m like, “Does no one else see this?” It’s that heightened sense of awareness and that ability to process data on a deeper level than maybe the rest of the population does. Even for me, I will walk in a room and I know where the exits are. I know where I have to go if I have to leave. It’s an awareness and particularly with that empathic ability too and that feeling because I feel people and it will put me off. I’ll have a terrible day if someone close to me is having a terrible day or even someone that I meet. Saturday is my writing day. I get one day a week where I’m not mom and Shawn’s not coaching. That’s my writing day.

AL Alicia Antonio | Storytelling For A Purpose

The Land Of Nod

I stopped at a Dunkin’ Donuts and there was a homeless man. He wanted to use the restroom and I’d seen that they had put up this sign going, “You have to be a customer.” I get it, the homeless population has blown out of control in LA. It’s disheartening. This man, he was not causing a scene. He was charging his phone. He hadn’t bought anything. He was polite and he said, “Can I please use the restroom?” She said, “No, it’s policy. You can’t do it unless you’re a customer.” He’s like, “I have a quarter. I’ll give you money.” She’s like, “No.” She was hard line with him and I called him over. I’m like, “Don’t make a big deal about it, but here’s the code. Go and use the restroom.” Be human. It’s that thing when I’m talking about justice. For me, it’s like, “Be a human.” You don’t have to be horrible about it. He is someone who’s like us. Help a guy out.

You mentioned the words “hard line.” There is black and white where that particular employee said, “I’m told not to let you in.” There’s that and then there’s compassion.

I had a great conversation though with this guy too afterward because I was like, “You don’t know what she’s dealing with. She doesn’t want to lose her job. She was a teenager.” That franchisee or whoever it is might be like, “You can’t do this and these are the rules.” I was like, “She’s trying to do the right thing too, but there’s a way to go about it.” Sometimes there’s a human essence that went missing. For me, that’s what storytelling is about and has always been about. I knew at seven that I wanted to be an actor. I didn’t realize until later that acting, writing books or whatever it is, is all storytelling but it’s about affecting positive change through storytelling. That’s my passion. I remember when I was seven, how I got to that place is I saw a theater show for the first time in Australia where I’m from at the State Theater Company. The big beautiful professional company. A woman was leading the show from Ghana. She was a refugee. She’s an amazing storyteller and has some crazy stories.

Her name is Dorinda Hafner and she’s a celebrity chef in Australia. She’s quite well-known. She was acting in this particular show. I remember the essence of the show and it was about racism. It wasn’t overt, but it was about people who were rainbow-colored and people who would gray in villages that was reminiscent of Africa. That story, that through-line always stuck with me like, “The gray people want to be rainbow people too. Let’s all accept each other,” and they all became rainbow people. It was such a beautiful story. I remember at seven how that made me feel even though I didn’t understand the context of what that was. I hadn’t been exposed to racism at that point in my life. I remember how it felt and I’m like, “Through the power of storytelling.”

Let’s hear a little bit about the third book. 

The third one is tongue-in-cheek. Sh*t I Wish Someone Had Told Me When I Was a Teenager, I have a dry, wicked sense of humor, which a lot of that’s quite cultural. I don’t even know, honestly. I get these weird inspirations and then I go on a tear and I pushed through and I publish a book. I’m like, “Let me do one of those almost a motivational where there’s one sentence or phrase per page and that’s it.” One of the things I’d say is, “Everybody poops. It’s still funny.” It’s advice for teens because I look back on my teenage years, I’m like, “It wasn’t serious.” We are telling people that they need to achieve this and do this and get married and a house and the car and put yourself into a $250,000 of debt to get a degree that is irrelevant in less than seven years. Why are we doing that? These kids are putting themselves in so much pressure. I’m like, “It’s not going to matter. None of it matters.” The cliques don’t matter. What people thought of you is not going to matter. You are not going to remember any of that stuff. Keep on trucking.

It’s a guide for teens.

It’s a funny one. I’m like, “I’m going to do something lighthearted.” I’m all over the place. I wouldn’t even say that I’m genre-specific. The book I’m writing, I’m a third of the way through my first draft. It’s Why I Dystopian trilogy. It’s a good old apocalyptic novel.

Have you handed the baton from the actor Alicia to the book writing Alicia? 

It was a conscious decision. Yes and no, because I will always be an actor. The great thing about that craft is I believe you get better as you get older. Look at Brad Pitt, for example. There has been a lot of articles written about him and his Oscar win finally and all this stuff. He talks about being a good-looking character actor. He’s quite talented but he was underestimated for a lot of years and pigeonholed, which is what the industry does. As you get older and you understand and have experienced life, you can be a better actor. You can be better at your craft. You can be a better storyteller. That’s true of authors too. I can go back to it anytime. I can be 90 years old and they can call me up and go, “You booked a thing.”

I made a conscious decision when I got pregnant with my daughter to step back from that, especially in this city, in LA. You’ll be running from Santa Monica over to Glendale. If you have 3 or 4 auditions in a day, you would be crisscrossing and then you’re on hold. If you book something, you still try to audition. It’s a stressful life. I didn’t want to do that having a young child and dragging her everywhere and then trying to figure that out. I can’t do it. I made a decision. I started a blog at that time. When I became pregnant, I started a blog. I ran a mommy blog for under three years. I shut that because it wasn’t fulfilling me anymore. I transitioned more to be like, “I should finally sit down and write these stories that had been rattling around.”

Let’s talk about transitions. I love how we transitioned into that because it’s interesting from being an actor to being a mom to being a storyteller, a writer. It’s when things are no longer in alignment with where you are. When you were single without a child, it was acting. It’s no longer aligned with your value system. I’m in a transition with an eighteen-year-old. With an eighteen-year-old, I’m like, “What do I do?” I’ve been doing something on automatic, being the breadwinner and the primary caregiver of my daughter. What do I do when you pull that away from me? My transition is I feel that I need a fresh set of eyes because I’ve seen everything that I’ve done and everything I’m thinking about is stuff I’ve done before. I’m thinking, “What is a fresh pair of eyes look like to do something completely different?” I almost don’t know what that is because I’m used to doing what I’ve done automatically like a hamster wheel. It’s all exciting and fun. It becomes innate. I’m on automatic. I’m like, “How do I even get a fresh pair of eyes at this point?” 

Follow your intuition because that's what's going to lead you. Click To Tweet

It’s tough. My two cents on that would be to follow your intuition because that’s what’s going to lead you and you have to listen for it. That’s why I’m in this crazy period of my life where I’m pumping out a lot of books quickly because I’m listening and I’m not resisting anymore. Realistically, this trilogy I’m writing, this is a story I started in 2004 when I lived in Australia when I bought my first house. I was on an old PC desktop, sitting there in my office in the dark typing away. I’m revisiting it years later but the story is ready. It’s crazy because all these ideas that I had about it, I started researching because there’s a lot of stuff. It’s science fiction, but it could be real. A lot of this stuff that I’m bringing in, there’s an element of truth to it. In a lot of ways, it’s speculative fiction. Once I started going with these ideas, I looked into it and I started researching. I’m like, “All these ideas that I have to exist in reality. There’s a space for that.” It’s timing. The best thing that I would say is to remove all that clutter. Once there’s negative space, then the stuff that’s meant to fill up will show up.

That negative space, we talked about that on another show where it’s like, “I wanted to get it out of my head onto paper so I can have that negative space.” In the transition, I’m doing a lot of physical purging and getting rid of things because when you get rid of things, there’s space for new. It’s almost counterintuitive. It’s like we want the next thing. You have to stop. You almost have to clean up, clean out and purge to move forward.

Good luck with that. It can’t happen until it happens. You can’t even force it. It’s like birthing a child.

Going back to storytelling, there are particular arcs around storytelling like the hero’s journey and the giant and the beanstalk, these types of going against the giant and what have you. What type of storytelling do you look to if there’s a particular paradigm or arc-type that you draw from?

I wouldn’t say in general there is. Once I stopped resisting and have given in, I follow wherever the story goes. Certainly, more of a quest novel. What gave me a lot of freedom was stepping away from those parameters. What had stopped me for a long time from owning my ability as a writer was this idea that, “I have to write to an outline. I have to give myself these parameters.”

It loses the creative juices at that point.

I don’t write that way at all and I never have. That’s why I have a USB full of probably hundreds of scripts, everything from screenplays to actual books. Once I permitted myself to write the way that is natural for me, which I do as an actor. It’s interesting because it’s a similar thing. Once you say, “I don’t have to subscribe to Meisner or Stanislavski. I know that my craft is my craft.” When you trust that instinct, it’s pure magic. It’s the same as a writer. Whilst I respect that and I can acknowledge it and recognize it for what it is once it starts to materialize, but I try not to put a label on it. It was Stephen King that gave me that permission. That was right before this book came out. I had seen an old interview and it was perfect because he was talking about his writing process. He was like, “I don’t plot out my books. What are you talking about? I have an idea. I start somewhere and I sit down and start writing. The characters do dictate.”

Quite often, they take the story and journeys that I’m not expecting. Listening to that, I’m like, “I write. I didn’t know that he wrote like that.” I figured he was all these professionals who make all this money who were like, “We sit down and we plot it out and we know where this is going.” I’m like, “I can’t do it.” Hearing him say that gave me permission to write in the way that I know how. Not it’s bursting forth. He was laughing about the fact that he has some famous author friends and he’s like, “I have a friend with someone super famous.” I can’t remember. He sits down and he writes the last page. That changed me to a resolution. That means I’m going to a predefined ending and I don’t know that’s where that’s going to go. Why would I write like that?

It’s the journey of life. We don’t know how it’s going to end. Take each step at a time. I love the creative process being that we’re a conduit to something greater. 

I feel like, in that way, who are many parallels between writing and acting because whether I’m creating a character that jumps off a page or whether I’m creating one that I inhabit and then I step into and wear a costume. It’s the same thing. They do their thing. I remember I had done a theater performance that was widely panned but I got quite a good review. It was fun. It was a technical piece where we were doing commedia dell’arte from Italian theater. We were able to do more of a Michel-Lévy method where we created a character around our commedia. It was actors who we’re putting on a show. We had to do the technical Italian theater but then outside of that, we created the characters that were playing the actors.

AL Alicia Antonio | Storytelling For A Purpose

Storytelling For A Purpose: Cliques don’t matter. What people thought of you is not going to matter. Keep on trucking.

 

We were essentially doing two characters in this show. We had this amazing freedom to create the character around it. I remember she loved to chain smoke, this girl that I created, and I hate smoke. When I was in character, I was chain-smoking my ass off and enjoying the crap out of it because she had this world that didn’t belong to me. You look at someone like Heath Ledger who went a little bit too deep on with the Joker, which he struggled to come back from and didn’t. That’s a real thing because these people who are not real until you breathe life into them have their stories and their journeys. You have to step aside and make space for that. It’s the same thing.

Going back to what we were talking about that being empathetic and highly sensitive that taking on another character. I pride in myself that I can’t act. I’m the worst actress out there. Anytime someone tells me, and people told me this, I’m like, “When someone gives me a script, I feel like I’m supposed to be someone else.” That screws me up because there’s this feeling of being inauthentic. I have to be someone else at that particular time. I didn’t realize that I will be myself. 

I would say that for me, the opposite is true. I feel inauthentic trying to be myself and that I’m older, I don’t have much trouble with it. You’d put me on camera previously in my twenties and I would be terrible if I were being me. If someone’s interviewing me, I’d be stiff because I didn’t feel maybe myself as worthy or interesting. For me, getting on stage was always about permission. Suddenly I had freedom with these characters to try things and do things that Alicia could never do. Alicia couldn’t be that person. I found the opposite to be true. I found myself being more authentic on stage than perhaps in real life.

I love how we’re talking about storytelling. In particular, I did this thing called Sacred Theater in a leadership training I was doing, emotional intelligence training. It’s called Sacred Theater. They’re like, “Alicia, you’d be a mom in the Sacred Theater.” I’m like, “I don’t want to read someone else’s words and pretend that it’s me saying it.” It was triggering for me. It led to this huge breakthrough and that was cathartic. I’ve always thought it was difficult for me to act. I’m glad that you do that. I’m glad there are plenty of people in Los Angeles who can act. I’m not out there trying to get their work because that’s not me. 

It’s confronting though, that’s the thing. In some ways, that’s what some of us are addicted to. For me, I’ve always said that theater is therapy because I get to work on my stuff out and it’s a lot cheaper.

A lot of people say that their acting classes have been therapy for them.

To be fair, I feel like acting coaches and teachers probably abused that a little bit for fun. You start a lot of classes doing these being with exercises and staring in your partner’s eyes and they’re like, “Be with the emotion that comes up. You know what emotions come up?” Everyone’s always crying. As a human, there are many layers of stuff, like an onion. Once you sit in it, it bubbles up and they know that and they love it. I’m sure they do. They’re like, “I’ve got another one.”

I do a lot of leadership professional corporate training and I do the eye contact, staring in someone’s eye and to PC people squirm and to be able to look into someone’s eyes for two minutes, it’s quite intense. Some people don’t even do it their whole life. A lot of theater is taken into the leadership world, is taken in the emotional intelligence world. 

I worked in COBRA Management for a long time, the world in some ways is similar.

To get out of your shell and at the end of the day, professional development is about getting people creative and innovative. To get people creative and innovative, they get to go in, go deep and pull up compassion, empathy, being able to connect with people on a different level. It requires getting out. I talked about fresh eyes. How do I get fresh eyes? It’s like, “Writing it down, I’m going to do these goals, Alicia.” I’m good at that stuff. It’s counterintuitive, it’s going more into nature and dance. One thing I do not like and everyone’s encouraged me is to start digging salsa dancing and there’s something about it that’s confrontational for me. Even being a woman, it’s being connected to my body because trauma is only released to the body. You can’t think your way out of trauma.

Theater is therapy where you get to work on your stuff, and it's a lot cheaper. Click To Tweet

I’ve tried. One of my books that I’m going to be writing is How to Survive The Worst Day of Your Life because I’ve had many of them. There’s some stuff there.

The funny thing about dancing with me, to wrap up the story, is to say I went to an all-girl Catholic high school and I remember when we would ask boys to our dances and I would lead in the dance. With the father-daughter dances, I try to lead my dad and then he was like, “Alicia, you follow me.” It’s interesting.

I have real trouble following in dancing too. Part of that is being an alpha woman. These are innate traits. This is who you were born into the world is right but then also too, you’re a leader, you’re in leadership, you’re talking about professional development. You’re in these roles that are like, “Come follow me.” That’s your life path. You can’t change that. It doesn’t dissipate for that. I agree and Shawn is a phenomenal dancer. He was a professional dancer. I don’t know if you’ve shared that. It sucks because he’s great, but it’s a real struggle for me to let him lead. The same thing in school. I went to coed schools, but I learned ballroom dancing from one of my teachers in the fifth-grade and that wasn’t enough. The ratio was off. I was one of the girls who had to partner up with another girl and she’s like, “You lead.” I was taught to dance leading too.

It’s constantly doing that for years, for decades. To shift out of that role, it’s almost like you can’t think your way into that shift. It requires something.

It’s taking yourself out of the mind because the only time that I can dance with my husband is at weddings. After all, I’m usually tipsy. Once I’ve drunk alcohol, the control slips away. I don’t think it’s taking the thinking out of it.

How do you do that without substances? Meditation perhaps? 

Yeah, but I don’t know that I’m going to do a big meditation before I learn this alphabet. That’s the problem but it’s getting rid of the mind.

People go to smoking, drugs, and alcohol when they decide. It feels like I need to create that shift. Not saying anything, people have the choice to do whatever. How can this shift take place in a way that doesn’t require something outside? 

It is difficult. You’re right, it is mindfulness. The closest thing to that is meditation.

Would it be meditation?

AL Alicia Antonio | Storytelling For A Purpose

Storytelling For A Purpose: Trust yourself. That idea you have is wonderful and that story you have is great, whatever it is.

 

Yeah, it’s a big practice. It’s interesting because I understand what highly sensitive persons are, I can tell who they are in my life. A lot of them had abused substances. I understand it. To read some of this, I’m often scared for me, for you, for future generations. We’re the people who are constantly thinking about all the outcomes, about all the bad things, loud noises, bright lights, strong smells, strange textures, changes in temperature, big emotions. These things are too much for me. These are the people who feel deeply. Quite often at least to substance abuse, which is unfortunate, but they don’t know how to get out of their way. It’s similar to what you’re talking about with the dancing thing. That’s my take on it. I’m not a psychologist.

What would you want to share with the audience out there? You talked about why you wrote a book and why you wrote these books. What are some words of wisdom from all of these stories you’ve written and the power of storytelling? What wisdom do you want to share?

Trust yourself. You know that idea you have is wonderful. You know that story you have is great, whatever it is. Trust wherever it comes from and whatever you believe in, whether you’re religious or spiritual, whether you feel like you have angels or guides or someone who’s feeding you, it comes from somewhere or yourself or the collective unconscious, whatever it is. Trust that. If it’s coming to you and you’re the outlet, you’re the mouthpiece for that. That’s your particular message to share, honor it. It’s only after years of resistance that I’ve even got to this place. It will come out, it builds up.

What’s next for Alicia? 

Doubling down and stepping into this. I’m writing this trilogy. I’m excited about it. It’s a phenomenal story. I’m also inventing too. I’m getting out of my way and I have an idea for the creation and I’m like, “I’m inventing it or I’m doing this.” That’s it. I’m leaning into my purpose. At 37 years of age, I’m finally like, “I’m going to do that thing that I’m good at and stop running around doing all this other stuff because this is what’s important.”

How can people find more about you? 

You can connect with me on Goodreads. I’m an author there. You can find me on Amazon. My Instagram is @MamaPopsBottles because that was my blog. I was Bottle Papa Mama for a long time and I haven’t changed it. I have a Patreon community. I give sneak peeks to my book and cover reveals and the stuff over there.

Alicia, it’s great talking to you about creativity and storytelling. Thank you for being here. 

Thank you for having me.

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About Alicia Antonio

AL Alicia Antonio | Storytelling For A PurposeHey there, friends!

My 2nd cousin, 17 times removed was the first woman in England to publish a book in her own name, in the English language in 1545. BOSS.
She was also the Queen Of England or whatever.

*This is an actual true story. Catherine Parr, the last Queen Consort of the House of Tudor and the 6th of Henry VIII’s wives was my 2nd cousin (17 times removed). What a small world, hey?!

I’m Alicia – an Aussie expat living in Los Angeles with a terribly dry and wicked sense of humor. And apparently, a royal bloodline that explains my desire to pretty much do as I please.
I’ve seen and done a lot in my travels around the sun…

You may remember me as:
‘Concerned Vampire’ on True Blood
‘Sad woman behind Ted Danson at Nancy Brass’s funeral’ on CSI and
‘That chick in those web-series’…

But the only thing I ever got fan mail for was being the ‘Badass Woman’ in cult indie short ‘Summer Of The Zombies’.

You should watch it – it’s actually hilarious. *Not Biased*

Oh, look! Here’s the link: https://youtu.be/K8FmS5cN6zE.

…*probably biased*

Oh yeah… I’m an actor or whatever. It’s why they let me migrate to America – yay!

If you also happened to live in Adelaide in the 2000’s, you may have caught me in a number of critically-acclaimed theatre productions. The stage is where my heart lies.

Shoutout to the unstoppable icon Dorinda Hafner for inspiring my passion for the arts at the ripe old age of 7.

But – I’m also a writer. In case you haven’t figured that out by now. It’s in my genes.

I’m a wild creative at heart (with a marketing and business management degree) who used to work for a lot of fancy international corporations.

But mostly – I just love to tell stories.

When my daughter was born 4 years ago, I took a step back from sharing my unique talents to care for my daughter, who was born with a number of health challenges. Now that she is older, and becoming more self-sufficient, I am starting to emerge from my dark cave. I’m squinting in the bright light – but I’m here.

My brain is currently at capacity with all the characters and stories that are trying to escape and be seen in the real world… it’s giving me a headache.
Help me breathe life into them and let me sleep again!
(Just kidding – I’m a narcoleptic, sleep is not a problem for me.)

I used to write the popular Mommy Blog, Bottle Poppin Mama (RIP). I had to shut it down because being a mommy blogger pretty much made me want to tear my eyes out… Mad love to all the other mommy bloggers out there. 🙂

I also freelance for a major women’s media network in Australia, Mamamia.

My published titles are:

THE LAND OF NOD
SOMETIMES I DRIFT AWAY: A BLUE NOIR FAIRYTALE FOR SENSITIVE SOULS
SH*T I WISH SOMEONE HAD TOLD ME WHEN I WAS A TEENAGER

I have an online school called “Alicia Knows Stuff”. In case you were wondering, I do actually know a lot of random stuff.

WHY AM I HERE ON PATREON, YOU ASK?

I’m so glad you asked!

I’m writing a new YA Dystopian trilogy. I’m currently working on “Zap” – which is the first of three in my upcoming Polarity book series. While I am running my husband’s back-office, I am not writing. And sadly, these lights don’t turn on by themselves.

Your patronage helps me to:

A) Stop spending my time trying to pay the bills and writing instead
B) Build a positive and powerful community of book lovers to help me pitch these new stories to a major publishing house.

I could self-publish again – but frankly, these stories deserve a bigger platform and a wider audience.

Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.

“The ascendants believed that all of the known universe started with a bang. I cannot say whether or not it did – but I know for sure how mankind ended. With a zap. Quickly. Simply. Without consideration or care or afterthought.”

Emily Grace should be graduating in the spring, but instead, she finds herself alone, running through the empty streets of Los Angeles with her father’s beloved baseball bat for protection after a mysterious deep pulse wipes out more than 90% of earth’s population. And as if that wasn’t bad enough, the airships soon appear on the horizon.

Who are the mysterious Sentinel?
What do they want?
Why is Emily one of the few who survived the Zap?

Everything Emily thinks she knows about herself and humanity is about to be flipped upside down, as she is forced to make a decision that will seal the fate of those who remain.

Anyhoo, I seriously have a lot of amazing stories that deserve telling. Getting immersed in a great story that sweeps you away is life’s greatest joy IMO. Especially if it involves a wingback chair in a private library with a fireplace or a steaming hot bathtub in the countryside. Frankly, a comfy bed will do (a hot chocolate or glass of wine is optional).

So, here I am. Cap in hand, vulnerable AF saying “Please help me, voracious readers.”
O’ lovers of the written word – help me write epic tales that take you out of the every day and let you hope again.

Actually – I hope you haven’t lost hope. But if you have – I’m here for you.

As one-third of a single income family, my day is usually devoted to making sure my husband’s business runs sort of smoothly enough so that he can go and do what he does like the BOSS he is, and basically spending the other 75% of the day on the phone with some kind of medical provider or insurance company. The rest of the time is spent arguing with my 4-year-old about the fact that SHE DID IN FACT LIKE MACARONI YESTERDAY.
Which means I don’t have much time to tell these stories that are begging to be told before I collapse in a weeping pile on the floor at the end of each day.

So, your patronage means the world to these characters who have yet to be born.

It means that I can dedicate the time necessary to start writing the first of thousands of books you are going to want to read.

First up on deck?

The Polarity Trilogy

A YA Dystopian series set after a geomagnetic apocalypse decimates the earth to a population of around 1 million survivors.

I am already well underway with the first draft of Book 1 – Zap.

Thanks for reading this far. I know I talk a lot.

Wait until you see all the cool things I have to share with you in my private community.
xx

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