We had the good fortune of connecting with Phoebe Fox and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Phoebe, is there a quote or affirmation that’s meaningful to you?
The months before and after becoming a mother, I did a lot of reading about attachment parenting and breastfeeding. I studied Early Childhood Development in college and have always been interested in childrearing. In fact, after my husband and I got married, we decided to adopt a cat so I would have something to nurture and not be in too big of a hurry to have kids! When we started a family three years later, I was determined to be a good mother and vowed to be respectful of my child (children) and their needs. While I was nursing my first son, I heard the following quote by Kittie Frantz, RN, CPNP, at a La Leche League meeting, “Remember: You are not managing an inconvenience. You are raising a human being.” My husband and I had made some uncommon parenting choices for the times (co-sleeping, cloth diapering, choosing soft carriers over strollers, breastfeeding exclusively), and her quote really hit home with me. We believed that children deserved to be listened to and should be respected, not controlled, by the adults in their lives. I have often brought this quote to the forefront of my mind, especially when mothering challenges arise. It gives me strength and patience. I also considered it when I wrote Babies Nurse and Babies Bond, my two picture books about nursing animal mothers and babies. My hope is that these books will help mothers on their breastfeeding journey; teach children about mammals and how they take care of their babies; and be a resource for nurses and lactation consultants to share with their patients. Lastly, I was thinking of Kittie Frantz’s quote when I came up with my Mamafox Books’ tagline, which sums up my philosophy as an author: “I adore books, respect children, and believe in the power of reading!”
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
As a teacher, librarian and mother of three, I live a life rich with children’s books. My passion for children’s literature developed in elementary school, where I had the unique opportunity to meet some amazing children’s authors. By explaining how and why they decided to write for children, these authors encouraged me to write my own stories. When I was in third grade, my teacher helped each of her students “publish” a book from start to finish. This experience was not only fun, it was satisfying. I had become an author at the age of nine! When my brother, sister and I were little, our parents read to us every night. I still have my cherished childhood books, each bearing a name and date inscribed inside by my mom. My children’s book collection really began to grow when I was in the College of Education at ASU and began to prepare for a classroom of my own. I could never resist visiting book fairs, used book sales, or independent bookstores, where I searched for written treasures. The more children’s books I gathered to read, the more I wanted to write, and this is still true for me today.! Becoming a children’s author was not an easy journey. It took patience and persistence. I have discovered that this career involves so much more than writing. I have attempted (and not always succeeded in) a variety of roles – book promoter/advertiser, saleswoman, web designer, graphic designer, editor, YouTuber… Yep, when I resigned from my position as a librarian to focus on writing full-time, I started a YouTube channel. Now with just over 300 subscribers, Mamafox Books’ Storytime Saturdays gives me an outlet for supporting other authors and a way to keep reading to children, (even through a pandemic). Although wearing all these hats can be challenging I love that I am continually learning and growing (something I always wanted for my students). Over the past five years, with the support of my family and friends, I have somehow managed to get six picture books out into the world. And I plan to continue writing books for children as long as there are readers of children’s books!
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Arizona has so much to offer! There’s hiking in Flagstaff and the incredible MartAnne’s Burrito Palace. In the Verde Valley, Page Springs Cellars has wine tasting and a wonderful restaurant. There are loads of antique shops in Cottonwood and one of my family’s favorites, Nic’s Italian Restaurant. Jerome, the old ghost town, provides a beautiful view and a tasty gelato shop. And Camp Verde is a cute little town with the world’s best ginger cookies! My favorite spots to take visitors in Phoenix are the Uptown Farmer’s Market, Changing Hands Bookstore, and the top of Camelback Mountain. The tastiest eateries, in my opinion, are Southern Rail, Tarbell’s Tavern, Matt’s Big Breakfast, Lux, and Fáme Caffe – all locally owned and delicious!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Emy Porter is an incredibly supportive friend and champion for following one’s dreams. She is a dedicated wife, business manager, and home-schooling mom of two! Her family’s business is Porter Barn Wood, and her blog, Barnwood Wife, is full of honesty and inspiration. When I was nervous about making a huge life change (resigning from my job and becoming a full-time writer), Emy was there to cheer me on. When I finally decided to quit my job and start writing full-time, she came over with magazines, scissors, and glue, and we put together a vision board. Her encouragement gave me the confidence to go for my dream, and I will always be grateful for her friendship and up-lifting spirit!