We had the good fortune of connecting with Lindsay Kellar-Madsen and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Lindsay, why did you pursue a creative career?
While I’ve always loved to write, I decided to publish my first children’s book (The Lovely Haze of Baby Days) after the birth of my identical twin girls. Like many new moms, I was overwhelmed. I was juggling the round-the-clock demands of 4 kids born within 5 years. Amid that chaos, a fire was lit and I started writing about what early motherhood looked like. It was always as sugar-coated as is often depicted in the books we read our children. I envisioned a baby book that would serve as a playful and honest symbol of solidarity for new parents and a reminder that we aren’t alone.
I pursued this venture because it felt like this message was important, and supporting maternal mental health is incredibly important to me. When the global pandemic emerged in early 2020 and the negative impact of isolation on young families became clear, I was resolved to publish this book.
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.
Outside of publishing, I’m a Business Developer in the Health-tech space. After many years committed to commercializing innovations that improve human health, it has been an exciting opportunity for me to apply my business knowhow to launch an independent publishing company, Little Otter Press, to publish this book.
I’m really proud I’ve been able to utilize my entrepreneurial skills to venture into children’s literature and hopefully help young families thrive. While it wasn’t necessarily something I envisioned while studying biotech start-ups at the University of Cambridge, it’s been a powerful experience to serve families and way for me to combine my professional and creative passions.
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?
I’m living abroad in the Danish countryside, but since it’s such a small country I’d split the itinerary in different cities for a cross section of the culture in Denmark.
Day 1 – Beach day in Skagen, a port town at the north end of Denmark’s Jutland peninsula, for swimming, catching crabs, and returning starfish to the sea.
Day 2 – Day trip to Aarhus, visiting the cozy shopping streets and exploring the ARoS Art Museaum or Dokk1, a beautiful public library).
Day 3 – A day in Legoland, Denmark’s most famous and popular amusement park! A must see for anyone visiting the founding country of LEGO.
Day 4 – Overnight in a Danish summerhouse, experiencing what ‘hygge’ really means. Hygge is a Scandinavian word/concept that’s become really popular in recent years. It means creating a warm atmosphere and enjoying the good things in life with good people, like spending time with friends at a summerhouse in the dunes!
Day 5 – Exploring playgrounds: Assuming guests have kids, the nature playgrounds in Denmark are unlike anywhere else I’ve been. The focus on creative design and commitment to nature play really makes these amazing spaces for families to explore.
Day 6 – Day trip in Odense Zoo and discovering the hometown + history of famous author Hans Christian Andersen.
Day 7 – A day trip to the city of Copenhagen, lunch at Nyhavn harbor, and exploring Den Blå Planet, an incredible aquarium in the capital. If there was time, Tivoli gardens is a lovely amusement park to add on!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Other writers and artists redefining the vision of motherhood have been enormously inspiring for me throughout this journey. I would dedicate this shoutout to Author-Illustrator Paula Kuka (Mumlife, 2020).
She published an illustration I connected with deeply during my postpartum struggles, and was one of the earliest beacons for me that we can work through our struggles through artwork. The image depicts a mother alone in the middle of the night attending to her baby, and then zooms out to show the reality that there are many moms navigating the same exhausting circumstances at the exact same moment in our city, and in the world.
Her candid illustrations about momlife have challenged the picture-perfect visuals we see on social media, and have given many of us the strength to speak openly about our own struggles and experiences. I’m grateful she was brave enough to depict motherhood the way she has, and I’m grateful for the encouragement she gave me early on during my project.
Other: Amazon Book Link: https://bit.ly/lovelyhaze
Illustrations: Mie Frey Damgaard, @miefreydamgaard Photos: Helene Roest, @byroest