Today’s blog entry is on a very special day! “World Book Day!” and also “World Hearing day!” So who better to feature than the lovely Samantha Baines!
Samantha is an Award-winning Author, Actor, Comedian and Broadcaster and has written two incredible books, “Harriet versus the galaxy” and the most recent book “The Night the Moon went out” .
Samantha has very kindly agreed to answer some questions. on all things book related and hearing loss.
I understand you have a hearing loss and you were diagnosed at the age of 30 is that right? What type of hearing loss do you have and how have you found the transition?
I have one-sided hearing loss so I wear a hearing aid in my right ear. It’s interesting because I’ve always had balance problems and now I have my hearing aid I hardly ever fall over (unless it’s run out of battery), so that’s nice. I was diagnosed at 30, although I’ve had tinnitus since a very young age. I actually think I had hearing loss for years before going to the doctor about it. RNID statistics say it takes on average ten years, for someone to notice the signs of hearing loss and do something about it so that was probably me.
Do you have any advice for anyone who may be coming into contact with hearing loss later in life?
You are not alone! I felt very lonely in my diagnosis initially because all the leaflets I was given had people much older or younger than me and I just thought no one my age had hearing loss. There is a brilliant deaf community out there just have a Google, look people up on social media and the RNID website is also a great resource. Also if you get a hearing aid you can apply for a disabled persons railcard which means you get a third off travel so what’s not to love!
So tell me a bit about your latest book The Night the Moon Went Out …
It’s about a little girl called Aneira, who takes her hearing aids out at night and is scared of the dark as at night she can’t see or hear! One night her nightlight doesn’t come on and in her anger, she accidentally turns the moon off. So she goes on an adventure to turn the moon back on with the help of a talking owl.
It’s a shorter chapter book for 8-9yr olds with adventure, magic and a deaf protagonist like me!
I love how you have written two very inclusive books with the main characters having hearing aids. Was this what inspired you to write for children seeing the gap in representation?
When I got my hearing aid, I realised that I had never read a book or seen a tv show with a deaf main character. I felt strongly that I didn’t want that to be the case for young deaf people today so the only option was to do something about it! I’m so glad I’ve been able to write books with deaf protagonists that are being sold in mainstream bookshops and even winning awards. It’s honestly an honour. It’s also amazing to see so many brilliant children’s books by disabled and neurodiverse authors are being published right now. It’s so important that all children see themselves represented in books.
What inspired you to become an author and do you have any advice for those wanting to start writing a book?
I’ve always wanted to write a book and loved creative writing at school. Although, it took me a long time to build up the confidence to believe I could write a whole book that people would want to read. My advice is write, write, write and believe in yourself because if you believe, everyone else will too.
“I love being deaf and I love my hearing aid. I’m even making friends with my tinnitus. Sometimes your life can change in what feels like a scary way but it might actually be the best thing that’s ever happened to you.” Samantha Baines
There are many Lovely small independent book shops that stock “The night the moon went out” and “Harriet versus the galaxy”
Here are a few