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Since publishing her first play at age seventeen, Alex (Lee) Miles has written for stage and screen, for brides, with the book Sixty Secrets for a Happy Bride, and for spys-in-waiting with eight Zac Power books. Using her background in theatre, Alex entertains with interactive workshops on writing and the Imagination Muscle. Her Starring Olive Black children’s series launched in 2017.
St George’s hospital in Melbourne.
Plenty. At school I rode my bike on a chemist round, but then I’ve worked at McDonalds (running birthday parties was where I earned my stripes), at a boarding school in England for a year (the school turned 450 years old the year I was there!), waitressed at a golf-club (I’m terrible at golf), worked in advertising on and off for 12 years (as a copywriter and account manager), did media for the 2008 Melbourne Homeless World Cup and marketing with The Big Issue (met many inspiring people there), and then writing with Neighbours and my books.
Creativity and Relationships – I love characters that can use a wild imagination to make anything fun, or get themselves out of any sort of pickle. And I love exploring relationships, especially with friends and family. I studied a Bachelor of Psychology & Marketing/Management at Monash University, and the social psych subjects were always my favourite.
Getting my first gig in the Story Room at Neighbours was one. After three years of failed applications I was ready to pack it in, only to get a random call six months later saying we’ve seen you’ve been persistent and can you do a 2-week leave replacement for the Script Co-ordinator. Turned up on my first day and with someone being away sick, was thrown in the room to start plotting. Two weeks turned into about two years! And while it was invaluable being able to cut my teeth in established series like Neighbours and Zac Power, nothing tops the feeling of getting my own series published. More specifically, the feedback from readers. A class read an early draft of Mammoth Mistake before it went to print, and make posters with reviews and drawings and star ratings. I smiled for days.
Some of my plays are available through the Australian Script Centre, and I’ve written plays for Explore magazine too. Then my books can be found in stores and online.
I’m passionate about kids (and adults) using their imaginations. I also love spending time outdoors and most importantly with my family.
Maybe? I’ve appeared on the Kids WB show 5 times now, and it’s always fun and unpredictable. You can view some of the past episodes on my website if you like.
I have two young sons, George and Freddy. And I feel like a bit of a goose – it wasn’t until we got home from hospital with Fred that a friend said “you realise you’ve named your boys after the Weasley twins in Harry Potter”!
Our Year 1, 2, & 3 students were highly engaged during Alex’s presentations. She was extremely enthusiastic and energetic, which drew the students in and maintained their attention. Alex shared and modelled a great strategy for generating and organising ideas for writing which teachers took away and immediately began implementing.
Alex was friendly, organised and professional before, during and after her visit. The students particularly enjoyed that she made the writing processes real- that she struggles with ideas just like the rest of us and showed us strategies to overcome them (these strategies were extremely helpful to teachers also).
Alex was absolutely amazing. The teachers were so impressed with her presentation and the pre-visit and follow-up materials. The students loved her talk and many of the kids are really keen to read her new books (Olivia series) which we have now also got in our library as a result.
Alex was lovely and friendly and the children responded really well to her.
Alex’s materials were excellent, and the ‘imagination muscle’ concept was tangible and exciting.
All the authors were amazing and the teachers and students got a lot out of the talks. Alex Miles in particular went above and beyond and was so engaging, including following up with resources for the teachers to use.
“We have been raving about your ‘Imagination Muscle’ workshop – how spot on it was, how you really engaged the children and gave them time, but then moved on from one activity to another to keep them engaged. So awesome, thanks!”
I am so glad we were able to experience Alex’s passion, energy and enthusiasm for her craft. She conveyed this to our girls beautifully and I know they felt inspired to grow as writers and readers themselves as a result of all Alex shared with them.