What inspired the idea behind this book?
Our Family Pledge was inspired by a poem I wrote for my own family – and subsequently posted to TikTok where it went viral. The poem’s purpose is to regularly remind ourselves on how we want to live our lives and the kind of people we strive to be. But it was also inspired somewhat by the pressure I internally felt to try and raise good little humans. I myself have practiced spoken affirmations since I was a child, so when it came time to start my own family I simply adapted and added to my own affirmations to suit my children. It has evolved over time.
What are you hoping readers will take away from your book?
I hope it prompts families to have discussions on topics such as tolerance, inclusivity, and love, and maybe even inspire some families to create their own Family Pledge (or use ours if it suits them). I also hope that perhaps those who have felt discriminated against can feel a sense of reassurance that despite all the horrible stories of injustice we see around the world, there are still families like my own trying to be and raise kind and compassionate people.
What were your favourite books as a child?
As a young child, my favourite books were Spot, Where the Wild Things Are, Each Peach Pear Plum, and Wacky Wednesday. As a young reader, I loved Helen Keller by Margaret Davidson. I must have read that so many times, I found her story so intriguing, plus it also had braille on the back which I was desperate to try and learn but was very unsuccessful.
What are you reading right now?
I currently have four books on the go (which is somewhat unusual for me). I’m reading The Librarian of Auschwitz by Antonio Iturbe a few chapters ahead of my 10-year-old son, to first make sure it’s appropriate and so I can also discuss any questions he may have. It’s a fantastic book! I’m also still in lockdown so I’m reading Christian Hull’s book Leave Me Alone for a good laugh! I’m also feverishly trying to finish Nine Perfect Strangers (Liane Moriarty) so I can get around to watching the TV series on Amazon, and lastly, I was recently sent the book Dear Son by Thomas Mayor, a collection of letters written by First Nations men to their sons – it’s pretty insightful and moving.
What’s next? Do you have any new spectacular stories you’re working on/hope to work on?
Hmmm, what’s next? I have no idea. This last year has really delivered surprise after surprise, so as odd as it is for me to say I’m kind of just going with the flow at the moment (not a phrase those close to me would ever expect I’d be associated with). I’ve always been a creative being so as long as I continue being creative in some shape or form I’ll be at my most content. I of course would love the opportunity to publish another book (and I do have a few ideas) but for now, I’m just enjoying this one.
Did you always plan to be an author? What led you to where you are today?
For most of my life, I actually wanted to be an actor, but by 30 I began to make peace with the fact that perhaps acting wouldn’t be part of my plan. It was a very difficult realisation to confront and accept but I trusted in the fact that ‘my’ thing was still out there. I knew whatever I potentially ended up doing would have to be creative, I just didn’t know in what form, or how, or when. I still can’t believe a pandemic, months and months of lockdowns, and a video sharing app have all collided to give me one of the greatest experiences in my entire life. I will eternally be grateful and appreciative for this opportunity!
Emmaline’s love of the arts began the moment she was born. As a baby she slept backstage whilst her mother taught ballroom dancing, at age two she saw her first musical (Cats), and at five, she went to her first live concert (Tina Turner).
Years of dance, drama, and singing lessons followed suit, and five years of formal training as an actor at USQ and VCA.
During the 2020 lockdown, Emmaline (like so many others) downloaded TikTok to help pass the time and keep her creativity flowing. Emmaline and her children used the platform to reveal their Family’s Mission Statement – a poem, which in turn resulted in a viral video and a book deal to become Our Family Pledge.