In the Press, Photos, Press, Spotlight On..., the beta mum book

The Beta Mum Book Launch Party!

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Book Launch Party June 20th 2017. NHYM. Photos copyright NHYM and Walter C. 

If you measure the success of a book launch party by the number of people waiting to get their book signed by the author – my book launch was a huge success. I didn’t even have time to sign all the books that were sold that night!

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Balloon Sculpture hanging from the ceiling at the Notting Hill Bookshop by my incredibly talented friend Vanessa. NHYM 2017. 

The Notting Hill Bookshop, where the party was held, has been so incredibly supportive and it was the perfect place to host my book launch party. It is an iconic bookstore that literally everyone in the world knows and still photographs on a daily basis.

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My day started at the bookshop, where I found a beautiful window display of my books.

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Next came my hair appointment. RUSH Westbourne Grove offered to do my hair – how could I say no? And they did a wonderful job! Thank you RUSH for my hair!

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I was wearing this super cool leather jumpsuit designed by Patricia Gomez Gracia, a super talented designer, who dressed me that night. Here I am with her manager Zara Ward!

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Beautiful mum reading my book. 

The crowd was so supportive and wonderful, from all my beautiful yummy mummy friends to my writing class to Instagram stars, mummy bloggers and magazine founders, and fantastic film makers and writers.

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Wonderful Mummy friends who came out to support me! Thank you!!!

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I spent the night signing books – it was a shame that I didn’t even get a chance to sign everyone’s book.

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It was a wonderfully warm – literally and figuratively – evening, which included my writing class friends who came to support me. Champagne and Chika’s nuts – made famous by Dragon’s Den – were the drinks and nibbles of the night. Thank you Chika!

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Super mums! And super nice ones too… 😉

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Friends from all over the world came to support me – all the way from New York!

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I even got a new, little fan!

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Instagram star, The Smart Fashionistas, and my cousin graced us with their presence.

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Superstar film makers, writers, producers Vanessa and Andrew Porteus, and Melissa and David Koepp.

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Gorgeous Swedish friends/models who also happen to be just the nicest people ever… 🙂

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My very emotional speech!

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Fellow novelist Midge Blake and my editor Donna Hillyer.

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The crowd spilled onto the streets on a beautiful, warm night.

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My super talented friend Vanessa created this amazing balloon/cloud sculpture! Thank you!

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And thanks to Walter C., my amazing photographer, who is seriously brilliant. Amazing job! For all his photos of the night look here: http://www.bywalterc.com/the-beta-mum/

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But the work didn’t stop after the launch party when I had my first live TV interview with London Live News this past weekend…

 

And finally…my photo was also chosen as one of the ‘Pictures of The Week’ in The Bookseller Magazine, which is the biggest publishing magazine in the UK:

http://www.thebookseller.com/insight/pictures-week-573996

(Yes, me and Twiggy)

It has been quite an adventure, with its ups and downs, and I now can’t wait to go on holiday day next week for some well deserved down time!!

Have a great summer everyone! And don’t forget to get your summer read on Amazon!! https://www.amazon.co.uk/Beta-Mum-Adventures-Alpha-Land/dp/1781326525

xx

NHYM

http://www.nottinghillyummymummy.com

@NHyummymummy

Instagram: Notting Hill Yummy Mummy

 

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Family resemblance…

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In the Press, Reviews, the beta mum book

Thank you to all my reviewers!

As the last week until my book launch approaches, I wanted to share some of the wonderful reviews that have started coming in from book reviewers, mum bloggers and also Goodreads Advance Copy readers. I am humbled by the words that people have used to describe my book, The Beta Mum, Adventures in Alpha Land. I couldn’t hope for more wonderful words, and as a writer, this makes the hours of hard work, solitude and perseverance all worth it. So a very BIG thank you to all of you who have taken the time out of your busy days and lives to read my book and write down your thoughts on it. Without readers there would be no writers. xx

‘Intelligent, thought-provoking fiction that you want to keep reading…I completely bought into Sophie. I wanted to give her a hug. It’s a couple of days since I finished the book, but I keep wondering how she’s getting on. She’s not alone though – all the characters come off the page and into your life. It’s a great story too: I read it in a couple of sittings…’ The Book Bag.

‘Beta Mum is a brilliantly written, engaging novel, I literally can’t put it down. I hope it’s adapted into a TV series or film asap.’ Vicki Psarias, Honest Mum. 

‘This is a must-read…It is brilliant, witty, fun, sad and thought provoking. I couldn’t put it down. There were also plenty of things I could relate to and recognise… I wish there were a sequel.’ Karin Thyselius-Schumacher, NW8-Mums.com

‘What can I say? I absolutely LOVED this book!…It made laugh out loud, cringe and hold my breath. It’s so relatable… I think there’s scope for this to become a series and I for one cannot to wait to see if it does!’ Purple Book Stand

‘Keep an eye out for blogger and new author Isabella Davidson. Her debut novel, The Beta Mum, Adventures in Alpha Land is funny, relevant, entertaining, a bit suspenseful and very reminiscent of Sophie Kinsella and Liane Moriarty’s love child…if they were to ever have one…you know in chick-lit land.’ Jennifer Castro, Goodreads

‘Forget politics…this is a world that’s more dog-eat-dog! The Beta Mum is the hilarious fish-out-of-water tale of Sophie, a Canadian, who ends up pitted against the rich, socialite mums of west London. Isabella Davidson’s debut novel really astutely follows her escapades as she tries to settle in and make friends, while finding her own place in this new, glossy world. Highly recommend!’ Ex – Harlequin Editor

‘What a great book!…A great debut book from Isabella Davidson, and I hope it will be the first of many.’ Heather Lou, Goodreads

‘I loved this fictional story that has a gallery of fascinating super rich mums…Book loving friends, you have to read this book with ‘rich’ characters you will want to read about.’ Suzanne Marsh, IReadNovels

‘I really enjoyed this book. It was funny and observant, and I really empathised with Sophie and her plight…Davidson has some really good insights into marriage after children and the effect that virtual life has on one’s real life. Hopefully this is the first of many books for her.’ Kaci Loves Books

 

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In the Press, Press, the beta mum book

Interview with The Book Bag

Here’s a great interview with the Book Bag:

Sue was grabbed by The Beta Mum: Adventures in Alpha Land as soon as she started reading. She decided to tackle author Isabella Davidson about what it means to be an alpha or a beta mummy when she popped into Bookbag Towers to chat to us.

  • Bookbag: When you close your eyes and imagine your readers, who do you see?

Isabella Davidson: I see a normal mum, who has sometimes felt lonely, or felt like an outsider, or who has struggled with the many shapes and forms of motherhood. I wanted her to feel less alone as a mother when she read my book, or at least felt that she wasn’t the only one experiencing those feelings that you can have as a mum. I think motherhood today has many challenges and struggles, whether from loneliness or trying to find the right work-life balance or feeling guilty from not being the perfect mum. I wanted my reader to feel that it’s OK to be just who she is.

  • BB: What inspired you to write The Beta Mum: Adventures in Alpha Land?

ID: Well, firstly, I live in a very entertaining part of London. It is quite over the top at times and I just thought there should be a book or film about it. So, I decided to write a book! I get inspiration from everyday moments and from stories I hear from my friends. I will listen to conversations and think ‘Oh, that would be great in a book.’ I also felt that sometimes we aren’t nice enough to each other as mothers and I felt a need to write about that. I think that’s one thing I try to do with my book. I feel like we, as mothers, should just be nicer to each other. I’ve also had moments of frustrations, like something simple like trying to organise a playdate, and wondered why it had to be so hard!

  • BB: My qualifications as a beta mummy are well established. I once went to collect my daughter from a party and the staff had a list of the mummies who were to be asked to stay for a sherry and another list of those who were not to be asked. I was on the second list, the maid explained, without being asked. But which are you? I had a look at your blog: Notting Hill, the Maldives, Antigua… That looks pretty alpha to me!

ID: First of all, I can’t believe someone would do that! That’s just awful. I would rather not throw a party than start excluding people from the party. It’s just how I was brought up and I just don’t understand it. About the Alpha part? Well, yes, I am actually quite Alpha in that I am quite driven and motivated and I make things happen, like this book. But I am not competitive with other people, I just don’t find the need. I try to be supportive and happy for other people’s successes, but not everyone is like that. I try to only be competitive with myself. I also have a softer side to me and am incredibly sensitive and empathetic, which is how I was able to write the book from the point of view of a Beta Mum, which I thought was really important. It was the only way to make it relatable to most people. But even as an Alpha, I have had experiences like Sophie, like the time she is interviewed for a housekeeping interview. That actually happened to me!

  • BB: There’s a wide range of wealthy people in your book, from the well-to-do through to the super-rich. How do you define ‘rich’?

ID: To me, rich, is when you don’t have to worry about your financial situation and have a surplus to do whatever you want whether it is traveling or buying material goods, so it will really depend on the individual and how much they need to live and be happy.

  • BB: I see that you’ve lived in seven countries on four continents. How much of you is there in Sophie? Do you ever have a longing for a settled life?

ID: When I was growing up, I moved so many times, so I know all about moving to new places and being the outsider because as soon as you move to a new school, you are immediately an ‘outsider.’ I had to prove myself time and time again and make friends over and over again, so I know how Sophie was feeling when she was told they were moving to a new country. It’s also why I settled in London 15 years ago and haven’t moved. My husband would love for us to travel the world and move to different countries, but I don’t have that need, because I’ve already done it.

  • BB: What made you start blogging? And how important is it to you?

ID: Blogging really started out as a bit of fun. I thought it would be fun to chronicle some of the funny things I heard or saw in my every day life. I thought it would be entertaining and some people liked it so I continued. I also always dreamed of being a travel writer or restaurant critic, so that was one way to fulfil that dream! But blogging was always going to be a hobby for me, I never intended to become a professional blogger. My real dream was always to write a book so that’s where I put my energy and focus, but the blog has been incredibly useful as a platform to get my book to readers and has helped me get featured in The Saturday Times Magazine!

  • BB: Sophie’s blog gets her into lots of difficulties. Do you think there is less accountability on the internet than in traditional publications? Should writers be held to the same standards?

ID: Yes, I think there is less accountability because it can be anonymous. Trolling can be done anonymously so people say things that they wouldn’t normally say if they were standing in front of that person. Writers and bloggers should be accountable in the same way.

  • BB: How did you learn to write so well? And how long did it take you to write The Beta Mum: Adventures in Alpha Land?

ID: Thank you for the compliment! That’s really kind of you, especially since writers are always so self-critical and doubtful of their own work. I always wanted to write a book, ever since I was a child, so I was always working on something during the holidays. So, in a sense, I’ve been writing and practicing forever. It was when I started writing the blog and when I received a lot of compliments that I thought that perhaps I had enough talent to write a book. It’s taken two years to write The Beta Mum. The first year, I had lots of ideas and various drafts, but it was the second year when I was in the Faber Academy Novel writing course that I really wrote my book. It was a great place for support, feedback and motivation, because writing is a solitary craft. There is an application process to get on the course and everyone else on the course is really brilliant and they are all incredibly talented writers.

  • BB: You’ve got one wish. What’s it to be?

ID: Well, if it is related to writing, to have a best-seller! But that’s in my dreams, so my real wish is that people enjoy my book! That would be enough to make me happy.

  • BB: What’s next for Isabella Davidson?

ID: If people enjoy this book and want more, then I will definitely write a sequel!

  • BB: Then we really hope that lots of people enjoy the book, Isabella. Thanks for taking the time to chat to us.
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In the Press, Photos, Press, the beta mum book

A Response To The Saturday Times Magazine Article

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If  you were in the UK last weekend, you may have come across my interview with the Saturday Times Magazine. When the Times first emailed me asking if I wanted to do an interview with them, I jumped for joy. Who wouldn’t want that kind of exposure for their debut novel? During the interview, I decided to be so saccharinely sweet with the journalist, thinking that if I was nice to her, she was going to be nice to me, right? Well, when I read the article this past weekend, that’s when I realised that I was a complete novice at this ‘press’ game.

It appears that she was ‘disappointed’ when she met me. Well, I want to clarify my disappointments with the article.

Firstly, I was disappointed that the points I wanted to discuss during our interview were not mentioned at all:

  1. The point that pushy mums need to be careful about pushing their children into anxiety and other mental health issues.
  2. The point that we should all be nicer to each other and that there is no need for female bitchiness. Women and mothers should support each other and stop with the bitching. We are all mostly trying out best. #womensupportingwomen
  3.  The point that women still haven’t figured out the right balance after becoming mothers. The working mums still feel guilty about not being home with their kids and the stay-at-home mums still have to figure out how to keep their identity. And their sanity.
  4. Motherhood is challenging today, whether from isolation, loneliness, feeling lost or from all the competitiveness. We should give each other a break.  #strongwomen

I was also disappointed that they mentioned that I had ‘Asian’ features. I am not sure how it is relevant that I have Asian features or how I look, and I am sure that the gorgeous woman on the cover of the Saturday Times Magazine (above) was not described as having ‘Caucasian’ or ‘very white’ features in her interview. And if we are going to mention racial backgrounds, then perhaps it would have been more appropriate to write about the fact that there are so few minority, female authors, especially in the UK. Or we could have had a comparative discussion on the Syrian Refugee Crisis versus the Vietnamese Refugee Crisis.

Was she disappointed that I wasn’t tall, skinny and blonde? (the journo was skinny and blonde) Because a few lines later, I am described as ‘certainly no Elle McPherson.’ Well, I was disappointed in the article which decided that that this was their ultimate standard of beauty. I am not tall, I have brown hair and brown eyes and everyone knows that I am NOT a supermodel! And well, there is only one Elle McPherson. Elle McPherson. No one is asking Elle McPherson to assist in a liver transplant in a third world country, or to diagnose an 18 year old with a lymphoma or to write a book. And so they shouldn’t.

I was also disappointed by my make-up. They put way too much make up on me! And I didn’t like the stylist’s choices of outfits. But I was such a novice that I let them do my make-up and style me anyway they wanted and I was stupid enough not to put my foot down and speak out. A friend remarked of the second picture of me in black, ‘I know it’s you but it doesn’t look like you,’ because I ended up looking like a scary dominatrix. (Now I get how divas become divas). Again, when the Times says jump, you just jump.

I was disappointed with the fact checking. There was none. I do not have a medical degree from an Ivy League university. I have one degree from an ivy league university AND another medical degree from a UK medical school AND I spent almost 10 years of my life in the NHS, so would like some recognition for my hard work. Let’s not start with house prices and household-name billionaires.

Finally, I was disappointed in myself for being so naïve. I knew there was going to be a high likelihood that the article was going to be controversial. And perhaps I was just given a dose of my own medicine.

But, still, I received so many kind and congratulatory emails, texts and messages, that perhaps it was all worth it in the end. And now, since the interview, I can see on Amazon that ‘Customers who bought this item (on pre-order) also bought Tommee Tippee Sangenic Refills.’ Hilarious.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Beta-Mum-Adventures-Alpha-Land/dp/1781326525/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1496351559&sr=8-1&keywords=the+beta+mum

 

 

 

 

 

 

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In the Press, Photos, Social Commentary, Spotlight On...

The Beta Mum, Adventures in Alpha Land is available to Pre-Order on Amazon!

 

You can now pre-order my book, The Beta Mum, Adventures in Alpha Land on Amazon!

Pre-Order On Amazon

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My Book Cover Revealed!

It is a strange thing to come up with a book cover, given that I am not the one who actually drew those pictures or designed that cover, yet it is the one thing that is supposed to sell my book. I did give the designers some ideas of what I thought the cover should look like, but they are the ones who came up with it.

The book, which is really like a baby to me, was conceived by me from the first word to the last (well, with some editorial help!), so when I received the book cover, it was hard to feel like it was mine. But I am now thrilled with it, and can’t wait to see the physical copy in a few weeks! The official publication date is June 20th 2017!

And here is the back cover blurb:

When Sophie Bennett moves from a quiet, sleepy suburb of Toronto to glitzy west London, she doesn’t know where she has landed: Venus or Mars. Her three-year-old daughter Kaya attends Cherry Blossoms, the most exclusive nursery in London, where Sophie finds herself adrift in a sea of Alpha mums. These mothers are glamorous, gorgeous, competitive and super rich, especially Kelly, the blonde, beautiful and bitchy class rep.

Struggling to fit in and feeling increasingly isolated, Sophie starts The Beta Mum, an anonymous blog describing her struggles with the Alpha mums. But when her blog goes viral, she risks ruining everything for herself and her daughter. How long will it be until they discover her true identity? Is her marriage strong enough to survive one of her follower’s advances? And will she ever fit in with the Alpha mums?

You will soon be able to purchase The Beta Mum, Adventures in Alpha Land locally on June 20th from The Notting Hill Bookshop or you can get it straight to your door with the ever so reliable Amazon from June 20th!

You can also enter the Goodreads Giveaway for a chance to win a free copy on May 10th. The Goodreads Giveaway will run from May 10th to June 10th.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Beta Mum, Adventures in Alpha-Land by Isabella Davidson

The Beta Mum, Adventures in Alpha-Land

by Isabella Davidson

Giveaway ends June 10, 2017.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

Let me know what you think!

xx

NHYM

http://www.nottinghillyummymummy.com

@NHyummymummy

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In the Press, Social Commentary

Spectator Life Magazine Interview With NHYM

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I was recently interviewed by the Spectator Life Magazine about private gardens in West London. My words were slightly twisted and re-arranged to fit in the article’s theme, but that’s how journalism works. Journalists find an angle and they write according to it, and top it off with some sensationalism. I really didn’t paint the Americans or the financiers in such a negative light and the ‘jealousies’ and ‘shagging’ described in the article were embellished and exaggerated. But who wants to believe that harmony lives behind closed gates? And journalists don’t want boring, they want extremes.

For those who don’t know, the Spectator is a conservative political newspaper, slanted in a conservative way. In any case, this shows that elitism envy and private gardens are still relevant and that we all still seek that patch of green in the middle of London chaos: http://life.spectator.co.uk/2015/12/notting-hell-how-fierce-rivalry-and-oneupmanship-defines-life-in-the-garden-squares-of-west-london/

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So, please note that my original title from my post ‘The Garden Wars’ has ended up in the article: https://nottinghillmummy.com/2014/11/06/notting-hill-private-gardens-the-garden-wars/

Perhaps I should just feel flattered that others like to re-write my articles and print them.

xx

NHYM

http://www.nottinghillyummymummy.com

@NHyummymummy

 

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In the Press, Social Commentary

Bloggerrant & Why I am Blacklisting Tatler: NHYM Interview with Tatler on Children’s Birthday Parties

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Tatler September 2015 Issue. Interview with NHYM on ‘How to Throw the Ultimate Children’s Party’

I was recently extensively interviewed on the SuperRich’s children’s birthday parties for the September Issue 2015 of Tatler. I spent an hour speaking to the writer and gave her lots of juicy morsels of gossip like where the SuperRich throw their children’s birthday parties (5*hotels), which celebrities rent out all of Bramley’s (Beyonce for Blue Ivy) or which stars rent out suites at the Dorchester for their children’s birthdays. In exchange, I always expect some kind of credit in the article. Below is the article. Now, I wasn’t credit once, whereas I really did write half of that article. Well, 75% of the content in that article is mine. Half from my Blogpost: https://nottinghillmummy.com/2014/06/05/kids-birthday-parties-these-days-nobu-or-the-dorchester-darling/ and half from the interview.

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  • The story about Charlie and the Chocolate Factory-themed party at the Mandarin? It doesn’t actually exist, it was a story that I changed to keep the privacy of the family throwing it. This was purely a ‘copy-and-paste’ from my post.
  • The mention of the 5 star hotels as a current favourite? That was from my numerous invites to the various hotels, also included from my post.
  • Party planners Les Enfants and Quintessentially? Another of my tips & hints from my post.
  • The quote ‘no one wants their child become famous for throwing the worst parties in the class‘ was my actual quote, word for word.
  • The save the dates sent in September? Also a phenomenon in my daughter’s class.
  • The 7 years olds Netjetted to the Alps? The actual story was that they were jetted to Africa for a Safari, so another blatant journalistic error.
  • Renting out the whole of the Electric Cinema for a birthday party? Yes, indeed, another of my comments.

Sadly, the self-serving, self-absorbed writers and editors of this magazine truly do not improve their reputation by rubbing bloggers the wrong way. The Devil Wears Prada was a hit for a good reason. So, this is why I am blacklisting Tatler, their editors and writers. It is basic plagiarism, and really shows their lack of originality by copying a blog post. I don’t get paid to write my blog, neither do I for any interviews. The least I can do is try to get credit for my work. In this case, this media outlet has failed to do that, which is unprofessional and downright offensive.

Next time I get called by a magazine writer for an interview, I will think twice about working with them. Perhaps this is an indication of what some magazines are today: irrelevant and a dying breed, trying to hold onto their circulation numbers by plagiarising other people’s work.

xx

NHYM

http://www.nottinghillyummymummy.com

@NHyummymummy

 

 

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