Stephanie Hazeltine is a contemporary fiction author who writes about fearless females as they fall in love, navigate motherhood or tackle mysteries. She lives in Melbourne, Australia with her husband, two kids and two cavoodles. Stephanie stopped by to chat about the inspiration behind her new book, upcoming projects and more.
Q & A with Stephanie Hazeltime
What inspired you to write this book?
My inspiration for this book came from my own mothers’ group. None of the characters are based on the women I met but I found the concept of a mothers’ group interesting. We live in the same area and had babies in the same month, so we’re put together and then become friends – it’s strange. The women I met are all so different and come from all over Australia and have different backgrounds and jobs, etc. I wanted to write unique female characters and give them each a distinct voice so I thought basing it around a mothers’ group would be a great way to do it.
What can we expect from you in the future?
There is a sequel to ‘While the Baby Sleeps’ coming in 2023.
Can you tell us a little bit about the characters in While the Baby Sleeps?
Amalia, Marnie, Peyton and Fleur are the four main characters from ‘While the Baby Sleeps’. They are all complete works of fiction.
Marnie is a first-time mum in a new town, paralysed by anxiety and pushing away her police-officer husband. She suffers from post-natal depression and is really struggling with her new identity as a mother.
Peyton is a teen mum, living with her parents and longing to behave like other teenagers her age. She has a constant internal battle because she loves her son so much but she also wants to go out drinking and meet people.
Fleur looks like the perfect picture of a mum who is coping and loving motherhood, but no one knows that under her beautiful dress, her body is covered in bruises caused by her husband. She puts so much effort into hiding her demons and comes across bubbly and happy to others.
Amalia, a single mum, lost her parents in tragic circumstances and will do anything to honour her mother’s dying wish and protect the family she has. She is recently single and has a hard time trusting others.
What did you enjoy most about writing this book?
I really enjoyed writing as different people. Getting myself totally into the mindset of a character and trying to speak and behave in the way they would so that it’d come across authentic. It was fun to write the different women.
How did you come up with the title of the book?
One of the most annoying sayings that new parents hear is ‘Sleep while the baby sleeps’ because it just rarely happens. This is a bit of a play on that because so much happens while the babies sleep in this story.
Who designed your book covers?
Elle Maxwell Design
Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
I learnt so much about the writing process, character development, editing, the publishing process, marketing, everything! It’s been a whirlwind and I’ve gained so much from it.
What is your favorite part of this book and why?
Without giving anything away, I love the bond that develops between these mothers. They are there for one another during this new stage in their lives.
Convince us why you feel your book is a must read.
This book isn’t just a thriller with a murder mystery, it’s so much more. It gives a real insight into motherhood – the highs and lows, the joy and fear. It’s relatable and will make you laugh, leave you shocked, make you want to shake some sense into these characters and hopefully fall in love with the them too – well some of them, some are entirely unlovable.
Have you written any other books that are not published?
I have finished the first draft of the sequel to ‘While the Baby Sleeps’ and written an unrelated YA dystopian book.
Fun Facts/Behind the Scenes/Did You Know?’-type tidbits about the author, the book or the writing process of the book.
‘While the Baby Sleeps’ was mostly written while my babies were asleep.
There is a reference to Top Gun in my book because a friend dared me to include it when we were talking about the new Top Gun movie.
The café in the book is named after the Australian rules football team I follow.
While the Baby Sleeps
by Stephanie Hazeltine
Marnie is a first-time mum in a new town, paralysed by anxiety and pushing away her police-officer husband.
Peyton is a teen mum, living with her parents and longing to behave like other teenagers her age.
Fleur looks like the perfect picture of a mum who is coping and loving motherhood, but no one knows that under her beautiful dress, her body is covered in bruises caused by her husband.
Amalia, a single mum, lost her parents in tragic circumstances and will do anything to honour her mother’s dying wish and protect the family she has.
When these women meet at mothers’ group, they bond over feeding schedules and baby products, but when a local is found murdered, they discover it’s not their babies who will tie them to one another forever.
Each woman has a motive to kill and secrets to hide, but do they know who the real enemy is?
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