Social Commentary, the beta mum book

The Beta Mum, Adventures in Alpha Land is Out Now!

NottinghillBookshopwindow

The day has finally come! After two and a half long years, The Beta Mum, Adventures in Alpha Land is finally available to purchase on Amazon, The Notting Hill Bookshop, and Daunt Books. (It may take a few days for Daunt to have the books in-store but you should be able to order from them. The Notting Hill Bookshop has books in-store from today).

Just a reminder, this book is fiction! ALL the characters are fiction so if you see any similarities, I promise it is a coincidence! The only character who was influenced by someone is David, who is loosely based on David, the lawyer in The Good Wife (who is just a great character and I was watching a lot of Good Wife when I was writing it). What I did endeavour to do, is create relatable characters. Many of my reviewers felt that they related to my main character Sophie and my one male reviewer related to Michael. Please remember, it is a fun, light, summer read and should not be taken very seriously! No one should feel offended by it!

The setting may be in glitzy west London for entertainment purposes, but the themes are universal. The book is really about Sophie and the challenges of motherhood: loneliness, feeling like an outsider, trying to find your identity (and sanity) as a stay at home mum, battling mum guilt as a working mum, relationship issues and trying to balance being a mother and an individual. It is also about being kinder to one another and not judging others too quickly. I hope that this is a message to all mums: be nicer to each other. At least, I will try my best.

If you buy the book and enjoy it, please, please, please leave some reviews on Amazon! That’s really important to support me. After three years of writing for the joy of writing, now it is my turn to ask for some support!

Thanks everyone!

‘The Beta Mum is the perfect holiday read!’ Tall Mum in Manchester

I came away from The Beta Mum feeling like I’d been through it all myself and not quite ready for it to end. From the marvellous to the mundane, I wanted to read more.’ Me, Annie Bee

Best summer read? Yes…If you read, follow or write…then you need to get your hands on The Beta Mum, Adventures in Alpha Land as soon as it comes out…The reason I enjoyed the book so much was because of the mix of feelings it brought out in me. I felt like a friend to the main character…Conversations and situations are fantastically written…A great read when you have those minutes alone on a warm evening, sipping on something tasty and melting off into a world of uber Yummy Mummies.’ Mama Chic

I really enjoyed this book and read through it in one day…descriptive and well written, I’ll look forward to more from this author.’ Mrs. Blogg’s Books

xx

NHYM

http://www.nottinghillyummymummy.com

@NHyummymummy

Instagram: Notting Hill Yummy Mummy

**In honour of the Grenfell Tower Tragedy, The Notting Hill Bookshop and I will have a fundraising bucket today at the bookshop raising funds.**

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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

SatTimesMagazineCover

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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Photos, Social Commentary, the beta mum book

Brilliant Book Review of The Beta Mum by The Book Bag!

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My books have just arrived! NHYM 2017.

The Book Bag Book Review of The Beta Mum, Adventures in Alpha Land:

‘Intelligent, thought-provoking fiction that you want to keep reading.’

‘To say that Sophie Bennett didn’t want to move to London is something of an understatement. She’s a shy person who doesn’t make friends easily and the thought of losing all her support systems and having to start again fills her with dread. But, husband Michael has been offered a big job on London’s RailLink project and it’s not a chance he can turn down – even if he wanted to, and he doesn’t. So before long their three-year old daughter, Kaya, has been left with Sophie’s parents and Michael and Sophie have found a flat in west London and they’ve even, against all the odds, managed to secure a place for Kaya at London’s most exclusive nursery school. Well, when I say that they managed to secure the place, I actually mean that they required the services of a nursery consultant, who has a double-barrelled name and a friendship with the headmistress.

Sophie’s willing to try to make a go of it (it’s only for three years, after all) but the first morning’s drop off at Cherry Blossoms shows what she’s up against. It’s all celebrities, supermodels bodyguards, top end cars and power dressing. Sophie has never felt so out of place and can barely get a word of acknowledgement out of any of the mothers and all thoughts of the friendships she’d been hoping for drained away. She’s definitely a beta mum in a herd of alphas. To make matters worse, Michael has turned into a workaholic, coming home late each night and often working at weekends. Kaya’s not settling that well at nursery and getting playdates for her with the children of the rich and famous is difficult, particularly when the staff there assume that you’ve come to apply for a housekeeper’s job. Desperate for an outlet, Sophie starts a blog.

I knew I was in for a treat as soon as I started reading: this is fiction for the thinking woman. Don’t be misled by the presence of celebrities and the super-rich: they have to live somewhere: why not near you? Isabella Davidson takes a sensitive and sympathetic look at issues facing us in the 21st century. In an age when everyoneseems to have hundreds of best friends and a wonderful life, how do you cope when you feel like a fish out of water? When you’re lonely? When you’re looking after a young child, but there seems to be no one to give you any support? When the only other adult you can talk to thinks you shouldn’t disturb him when he’s at work?

There’s a thought-provoking look at wealth. Sophie and Michael are well off. Michael’s job is well paid and the company is covering some of their expenses. Sophie would like to work, but doesn’t need to. By most people’s standards that’s rich, but by Cherry Blossom standards the Bennets are at the bottom of the scale. They’re never obviously judged on the basis of their net worth: they’re just judged. But when you dig deeper there are divisions within the super-rich: some hedge funds have never quite recovered from the financial crash, but the wives don’t moderate their spending to compensate.Then there’s the fact that money can’t guarantee safety. And even at Michael’s level there’s the problem of trying to get some work/life balance that might actually allow you to see your family every now and then. OK, they’re first world problems, but that doesn’t make them any less real.

As a blogger myself the most intriguing thread was about Sophie’s blog. Isabella Davidson (she blogs as Notting Hill Yummy Mummy) catches the feeling completely. There’s the obsession with followers and page views and that sense of being anonymous and being able to say what you like without there being any redress. At one point I think I stopped breathing because I was so worried for Sophie, particularly as she learned the valuable lesson that you should never press ‘send’ when you’ve had too much to drink.

You’ll have realised that 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. It would have been one, but work was particularly demanding! I’d like to thank the author for sending a copy to the Bookbag.’

Buy The Beta Mum: Adventures in Alpha Land by Isabella Davidson at Amazon You can pre-order The Beta Mum: Adventures in Alpha Land by Isabella Davidson at Amazon.co.uk.
Buy The Beta Mum: Adventures in Alpha Land by Isabella Davidson at Amazon You can pre-order The Beta Mum: Adventures in Alpha Land by Isabella Davidson at Amazon.com.

http://www.thebookbag.co.uk/reviews/index.php?title=The_Beta_Mum:_Adventures_in_Alpha_Land_by_Isabella_Davidson

For other reviews, check out Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34030549-the-beta-mum-adventures-in-alpha-land

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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

The Beta Mum_300CMYK

 

 

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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Quote of the day, Reviews, Social Commentary

My Book Is Coming Out This Summer!

thebetamumimagenhym

A few days ago, I submitted my final manuscript to my publisher and she sent me back a timeline of the publishing schedule. It has been a long, hard road full of sweat and lots of tears, but I have now finished a novel that I started two years ago, The Beta Mum, Adventures in Alpha-Land. It hasn’t been easy, but this summer, I will finally be able to hold the paperback copy of my book in my hands.

10 Things You Need to Know About My Book: 

  1. It is fiction. No, I am not the main character. And the evil, mean mum does not exist. This is purely a product of my imagination. Of course, experiences and stories overheard may have influenced my book, but it is a work of fiction. Everything else is coincidence.
  2. It is about fulfilling a dream. I’ve always wanted to write a book and for those who know that feeling, it remains a dream until you sit on that chair and write those 70,000+ words. It may not become a bestseller, but it is finished and it has a beginning, a middle and an end, and it makes sense. To me, that is a great achievement.
  3. It is a silent achievement. As a writer, no one is around when you get to the finish line. No one cheers you on or tells you how great you are. It is purely a personal achievement that I always hoped I would fulfil and I am so proud to have finished it.
  4. It is so bloody hard to write a novel. I can’t tell you the times I’ve wanted to give up, when I wanted to throw it all away and never look at it again, and the times I wanted to quit. The plot holes, the unrelatable characters, the writing, the negative criticism etc… Even my pen name, Isabella Davidson, took hours of discussion and debate in my head. With writing, it is 99% about perseverance and determination. All writers will tell you, it’s about sitting on that chair and starting to write.
  5. It is not perfect. And the moral of the story is that none of us are perfect and that we should try to be understanding and tolerant and kind to each other. Ultimately, it is about kindness, although you may not see it that way when you read the book!! This is my first novel and I have learned so much through this process. I wish I knew all of what I know now before I started.
  6. It is not Dickens, Dostoevsky, or Dumas. It is a light, summer read which is more like a gossip-session with a friend than a life-altering book. So this summer, put it on your ‘Summer Read’ list! It is not meant to be taken seriously but does deal with issues of modern motherhood.
  7. They say to write about what you know. So, I’ve written about what I know best right now: the struggles of motherhood in London. It is about loneliness, relationships, losing your identity after becoming a mother, competitive mothering, trying to be the perfect mother, and trying to find the balance between being a parent and being an individual.
  8. All West London mums are not horrible. Although, reading this book you may be led to believe so. Most London mums are absolutely lovely and wonderful (I am one and most of my friends are!), but no one wants to read a book about mothers all being lovely and nice to each other! There would be no story to tell and that would just be very boring and no one would read it. So, I’ve piled on the bitchiness and horridness on a few of my characters (And we’ve all come across one or two ‘Mean-Mums’ or super-competitive mums…) Hopefully my next book will be more positive!
  9. I have mixed emotions about it. I am full of excitement but am also full of self-doubt (Will anyone buy it? Will anyone read it? Will they hate it? Will they hate me?)
  10. Please be kind. An author’s ego is so fragile and vulnerable, so please tread gently.

 

It won’t be ready until this summer, but I will post the book blurb soon so you get a better idea of the book. I hope you read it and laugh with it! A few quotes from my readers so far:

Thanks for a cracking read!’ 

I didn’t want to stop reading!’

I really enjoyed it and it did make me laugh. Great characters and setting.’

xx

NHYM

http://www.nottinghillyummymummy.com

@NHyummymummy

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