Wonderful Women Interview with Blogger & Author, Emma Vanstone
Emma is a busy Mum to four children, a blogger and a primary science enthusiast who is passionate about making science accessible to everyone. Emma created Science Sparks, a blog full of science activities and experiments with fellow blogger Kerry Farrow back in 2011 and has built a large and loyal following over the last seven years.
Emma’s book, This Is Rocket Science was released in April 2018 and is available from Amazon. This Is Rocket Science is full of fun and easy space themed science activities showing the reader how to use everyday items like bottles, cardboard, glue and tape to build awesome rocket ships, paper spinners and mobile rocket launch pads, all while learning about the scientific concepts behind space travel.
Describe a typical day for you?
My days mostly revolve around the kids. My 1 year old usually wakes up around 6am and comes into my bed for a doze so if I’m lucky I manage to stay in bed till 7 and then it’s a mad rush to get the bigger three children ready for school. We scoot up to school and then Charlie and I either see friends or just chill out at home for a few hours. Charlie’s naptime is my main time slot to work, but I can often be found working later into the night as well.
My children are very sporty so our evenings are spent driving between gymnastics and swimming. The weeks are completely crazy but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
What do you feel are your biggest achievements?
Apart from my children, finding a job I love which fits around the kids is definitely my biggest achievement. I love that I can be around to do school runs and afterschool activities and work as well. I’ve been very lucky that it’s worked out ( so far ).
I’m also really proud of This Is Rocket Science which I wrote when heavily pregnant and then with a newborn baby. It was a real family effort with my husband and kids all helping me to get it finished on time.
What’s in your handbag/ satchel?
The one thing I’ve noticed about having a fourth child is that I have a lot less time to look after myself, so while my pre children handbag would’ve contained make up, a hair brush and perfume, my current handbag is empty apart from a few old raisins, a toy car and my phone.
What are your ambitions in life?
I would LOVE to write another book and massively increase the audience of Science Sparks. I’m so proud of the resource it’s turned into, but always feel I could/should be doing so much more. It’s taken me 7 years to get it to this level, and I’m hoping to make some huge improvements very soon.
What do you wish you’d known at the start of your career you now know?
I wish I’d started to build my social media audiences sooner. There were a couple of years where I took a small step back from the social side and volunteered a lot in schools, which was an amazing experience, but did set me back a fair bit with the growth of my social channels.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
I hope to have another book under my belt and would love Science Sparks to be the first website people think about when searching for science activities to do with their children. My dream is to open up a creative studio for children to take art and science classes and workshops, but I’m not sure how viable that option is for me right now. Maybe give me 10 years for that one!
What advice would you give a budding blogger and author?
Never give up! I tried and failed to get a book deal for years before This Is Rocket Science. You just need one publisher to share your vision to make an amazing book!
For a blogger, I’d say think very carefully about your blog name! I really dislike the name of my personal blog, but it’s too late to change it now.
What advice would you give a new parent?
Be kind to yourself and take every bit of help offered, especially help around the house so you can spend more time with your new baby.
Finally, happiness is…
Coffee, cake, a good book, and kids playing beautifully together outside.