For all the kids and for all the adults who are kids at heart --
Hello! I'm Emily. I'm a storyteller. For many years, I told other peoples stories through live performances, working as an actor in London's West End. That was a whole lot of fun, but then one day I realised that I had all these other words and stories floating around in my head - So I decided, that maybe it was time to tell my own stories instead. Thus, here I am :)
I've spent the last 14 years living in far away different corners of the world with my husband and three curious-minded, wild-hearted kids. It's been quite the ride! As I go, I gather the bits and bobs of people and places. I observe. I listen. I let it boil and bubble... Then I write it down. It never comes out right at first but then somehow, word by word, it weaves itself into a story.
Right now I live in NYC where I am working hard in the fierce pursuit of a childhood dream. To see the words and stories I write become published into books. Mostly I love writing for kids, but I have one or two adult projects in the pot too.
Some things you might not guess about me...
I always dreamed of being an author, but I didn't love reading as a kid. However I did like daydreaming a lot. And watching nonsense on TV, a lot.
Now, I read all the books I can get my hands on. It's like I'm trying to catch up on all the stories I missed out on as a kid. I do still daydream a lot. And very occasionally, watch nonsense on TV.
When I worked in the West End I was a musical theatre actor. So I can even sing my stories if you ask me to...
Once, while camping on a beach in Malawi, I woke up to find a large crocodile skulking past our tent. For real.
When I lived in the Zambian Bush, I helped my then 3-year-old son kill a big poisonous snake. Also for real.
I do not like crocodiles and I do not like snakes. Unless they are the leading characters in one of my stories, of course...
I have two mildly dyslexic children who are both commited bibliophiles. I suspect I am undiagnosed dyslexic myself as I dislike spelling tricky words almost as much as I dislike those crocodiles and snakes.
I am quintessentially (big tricky word) English. I love tea with milk, bunting, and people with nice manners. Thank you very much.
I also dabble in screenplays. Those are stories which then become films. But not the kind of nonsense films I used to watch as a kid.
When I'm not writing or reading, you might find me hanging out and laughing raucously with my three big kids, strolling through central park or practicing yoga. Occasionally I knit.
Emily M. Bailey - Full Bio
Emily's passion for storytelling began at an early age. Many a marvellous afternoon was spent up a tree or lying in wispy grass; cloud gazing, twiddling daisies into chains and building stories in her head. Whilst at school she decided to pursue a career in theatre and much to the bewilderment of her maths teacher, who had told her she was unlikely to achieve anything in life by following such a flighty dream, she succesfully auditioned for her first job in the West End at 19 years old and spent many happy years working as a professional theatre actor. She performed both ensemble and leading roles in shows such as Bloodbrothers, Miss Saigon, Joseph, Antigone, Copacabana, Cats, A Chorus Line and more. She was also cast alongside Gary Wilmot in the BBC's much acclaimed series, Showstoppers! In 2000 Emily and her husband founded the NGO, The Safe Place. Emily gathered a team of her fellow West End collegues and produced a series of concerts across Europe to raise money and awareness for orphaned and abandoned Roma children. In 2001 she and her husband moved to Transylvannia where they established the very first Safe Place. In the past eighteen years, they have supported more than twenty children through the Safe Place foster program. In 2006, with two very young sons in tow, Emily moved to Zambia. There, she spent a year living amongst a local community of Zambian farmers, building a pre-school and the infrastructure to provide clean drinking water, and establishing a community led social enterprise and micro finance facility. The farm was 100km north of Livingston and 10km off the main road, right in the heart of the bush. Emily describes this time as one of the richest, most defining and extraordinary times of her life. Emily and her family have also spent seasons living in Burkina faso, Malawi and Romania. She was part of the founding team for the first ever TEDx conference in Malawi where, in addition to MC-ing the event, she coached the speakers in both their storytelling and public speaking skills. Whilst in Malawi, she also connected with Iranian film maker, May Tahezadeh, and together they collaborated on the short film Mercy's Blessing - a story of a Malawian brother's sacrifice for his sister's education. The film has won fourteen international film awards to date and has been used by the United Nations, to spearhead their national campaign advocating for girls in education. Mercy's Blessing has now been translated into nineteen different languages and is being used globally as a tool for creating awareness for the issues surrounding education and girls. Emily is now based in NYC where she mothers her kids and works part-time for Inked Voices, as the Middle-Grade Community Lead and assistant to the organisations founder, Brooke McIntyre. She also sometimes teaches Middle-school students through theatre and story-telling workshops. She is an active member of SCBWI and is currently working on a middle-grade novel, several picture-book biography's and a screenplay collaboration. For further information please contact Emily at Emilym.firstname.lastname@example.org