IMAGINE PUTTING a post online, tagging in your two mates and waking up in the morning to 15,000 emails in your inbox and one million likes on your post.

That's exactly what happened to Emily Writes.

"It was bizarre," Emily says. "Two of my friends and I had babies at the same time and we had been exchanging 'mum notes' — but this night mine was more like a mum letter so instead of emailing it to them I put it online and sent them a link.

"The next morning I just couldn't believe it. The emails were from mums from all over the world, including India and Texas. It took me six months but I replied to nearly all of them."


A year after the post Emily was approached by publishers Penguin Random House asking her to write a book.

"At first I thought it was a prank but it wasn't and that's how my first book Rants in the Dark began."

Her second book, Is It Bedtime Yet, is a collection of hilarious and heart warming contributions from Emily and her friends.

Both her books were written on her cellphone "mostly one handed while breastfeeding".
Emily describes herself as a failed journalist.

"I love writing but I didn't realise that I was not really suited to journalism," she laughs.
"I'm a bit oversensitive and became far too involved in the stories. It's also a massive job. I don't think people realise that.

"When I wrote the post online that went crazy I wrote it as if just my friends would read it. It was warts and all and I think mums just really related to it. Back then I was anonymous, now I'm not. But when I write I try not to think I'm writing for a big audience. "

That's one of the reasons Emily is a little hesitant about writing a third book.

"I don't want my children to be characters in a book although the stories in my book could be about any child or parent. My son does say to me can you write about this or that.


"When he was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes he asked me to take a photo of the him being injected with insulin so other kids can see that it's okay.

"It has certainly been a challenge getting through this, especially as he was so unwell as a baby. But we are winning."

Emily has two boys, ages 4 and 7.

"They are such 'jabberers' — they like talking as do I. I feel sorry for my husband sometimes," Emily laughs.

She is looking forward to taking part in the Harcourt's Hawke's Bay Festival Readers and Writers panel along with Karen Nimmo and Gwendoline Smith. The panel is called Busy Brains, Calm Lives and Emily says she is fascinated that she is in the panel.

"Sometime I feel like I don't cope well with stress. I run around like a chicken with no head," she laughs.

"What I have learned to do is use every little pocket of time I get even when I am sleep deprived. I call it active relaxing — writing at 3am when the kid wouldn't sleep and I breastfeed for hours.

"Now writing is my time and I try to do it every day. Lucky for me I have a wonderful husband who told me to 'go live your dream'. I couldn't have done this without him and my mother-in-law."

Emily's favourite part about publishing books has been at the launches when she gets to meet readers and "cuddle babies, then give them back".

She hopes people will come along to the Readers and Writers Festival and have some fun.

■Busy Brains, Calm Lives, today at the Victoria Spiegeltent, Havelock North Village Green, at 2pm. Tickets available at the door.