Multiples Illuminated: A Collection of Stories and Advice from Parents of Twins, Triplets, and More is an anthology of essays from parents of multiples. In an interview with the anthology’s editors, Write on Mama (and mom of twins) Janine Kovac asks Megan Woolsey and Alison Lee about writing and publishing.
Megan Woolsey lives in Northern California with her husband, triplets and their big sister. Her work has appeared in The Huffington Post, Scary Mommy, and elsewhere. Alison Lee lives in Malaysia with her husband and their four children: two boys and boy/girl twins. Alison has written for Mamalode, On Parenting at The Washington Post, and other publications. The two met online when Alison was the blog tour coordinator for a parenting book for which Megan was a contributing author. Frustrated by a dearth of books that covered the experience of carrying, delivering, and raising multiples, Megan was inspired to birth an anthology devoted to the topic. When she asked Alison to co-pilot, Alison jumped at the chance.
Can you describe the book for us?
It’s a collection of stories by parents of multiples, for parents of multiples. It takes the reader on a journey from conception to the first few years. We have stories about infertility and trying to conceive, pregnancy, labor and delivery, and various aspects of the early years. In between the sections, there is practical advice on how to deal with the infertility process, tips on taking care of yourself during pregnancy, how to handle a possible NICU experience, and lists for what to pack for your hospital bag and necessities for your twins/ triplets during the baby years. In the print version of the book, we included pages for journaling each step of the first few years of being a parent of multiples. We want our readers to have the book as a guide and keepsake.
As mothers of multiples, when do you write (or do anything for yourselves)?
Alison: I wake up at 5.00 a.m. and go to bed at 11.00 every day. In between the daily to-dos and chaos, I make a conscious effort to find time to work on Multiples Illuminated (the website, marketing, administrative), and do my editing job at BonBon Break. Writing has taken a backseat of late! I do make an effort to grab a couple of hours during the weekend to be on my own by leaving the house and children in the capable hands of my supportive husband. I think it’s important to be able to do that.
Megan: My writing is very sporadic and unscheduled. Sometimes I feel inspiration and the story pours out of me. I’ll take a few hours while the kids are in school to write. But when the kids are done with school at 3 pm, I am full on until bedtime. I also try to go on a walk or take hot yoga class four times a week.
So far what has been the most rewarding part of the process?
Alison: Two things for me: One, the knowledge gained of what it takes to take a book from an idea to an actual product. The process has been a steep learning curve but I loved every aspect of it. Two, the friendship I have with Megan. We may never have met, but I count her as one of my closest friends.
Megan: There isn’t much about this process of creating Multiples Illuminated that hasn’t been rewarding. I love the friendship with Alison that has been born out of this book — we are friends and compatible publishing partners. I also love taking an idea and turning it into a book that we can really be proud of; that has been one of the most rewarding events of my life. I am proud of the impressive collection of writers who put their trust in us to take their beautiful stories and include them in our book.
What has been the most surprising?
Megan: Alison and I have discussed that it is surprising how much time and work it has been to write, edit, market and ultimately self-publish Multiples Illuminated. There are so many complex elements involved in self-publishing and we have taken a lot of time since August to learn the language.
I was also very surprised that Dr. Drew’s wife Susan Pinsky agreed to write the foreword of our book when she didn’t know who we were or what the finished product would be like. I messaged her on Facebook, asking if she might be interested in writing the foreword and she replied, “Sounds like a great idea! Why not?” As a high-profile person with a famous husband, she really took a chance on us!
Where can we buy the book?
We are planning for a second multiples anthology! And a third! Stay tuned as our Multiples Illuminated community continues to grow.