In our ongoing exploration of influential educators, we had an insightful conversation with Kylie Mort. This author, teacher, app creator, mother, and lifelong learner has dedicated her life to empowering children through education, focusing on mental health and well-being whilst catering to children with learning disabilities.
## Focus on Emotional Intelligence and Resilience
Kylie’s book, “Little People, Big Emotions,” focuses on developing emotional intelligence and resilience in young people, reminding them that they are important, unique, and special. The book comes with a study guide that parents and educators can use as a resource to open channels of communication and nurture understanding in children.
Kylie’s passion for sharing these messages stems from her past, a childhood filled with trauma and abuse. Using these experiences, she crafted an instrument to help children understand they are unique, important, and special, offering a powerful resource against any adversary who tells them otherwise.
## The Power of Education and Technology
The challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic pushed Kylie to her creative limits. Knowing parents were thrust into unfamiliar roles as teachers during lockdowns, she developed an app, “How to Write with Kylie Mort,” to aid in the teaching process.
The easy-to-use app facilitates essay writing. It’s a question and answer-based system that takes the knowledge in a child’s head and structures it into an essay format, a real lifesaver for parents navigating homeschool education.
## Overcoming Imposter Syndrome
Kylie admits to her ongoing battle with imposter syndrome and wants children and adults to understand their integral role in society. She staunchly believes that passion, dedication, and an insatiable drive to learn are what it takes to make a difference, irrespective of the learning difficulties one might face.
## Building Strong Connections Through Literature
Kylie insists on the importance of parents creating strong connections with their children and fostering a safe environment. One of the ways she suggests doing this is by reading to children, focusing on the importance of tangible books and the magic they can unfold.
## The Path Forward
Kylie continues to expand her reach in the world of education, adding more resources to her app, writing articles on mental health, and striving to make her materials more accessible. While her app includes an expanding library of different texts and structures for various essay topics, she wants to present these as free resources, ensuring they can aid as many children and parents as possible
As Kylie powerfully puts it, her goal is to help everyone be their best self. She stands as an inspiring figure, committed to equipping children, parents, and educators with resources that nourish the mind, bolster confidence, and herald a brighter future.
The conversation features Kylie Mort, an author, educator, and app creator from Australia, who discusses her passion for helping children cope with learning disabilities and emotional traumas. Reaffirming the importance of emotional intelligence in child development, Mort discusses her book, 'Little People, Big Emotions' and her app, 'How to Write With Kylie Mort', stating how these resources can facilitate the process of learning and personal expression. She also shares her personal experiences dealing with childhood abuse and trauma and emphasizes the importance of providing children with safe spaces and supportive relationships. The discussion further covers topics such as the value of tangible books, the impact of COVID-19 on education, and her approach to designing her app.
00:00 Understanding Learning Disabilities
01:12 The Importance of Education and Conversation
02:03 Interview with Kylie Mort
03:11 Kylie's Journey into Writing
04:29 The Message Behind 'Little People, Big Emotions'
04:35 The Importance of Resilience and Mental Health
05:36 The Role of Supportive Adults in a Child's Life
06:54 Encouraging Open Communication with Children
08:19 The Importance of Emotional Intelligence
11:03 The Role of Education in Healing Families
25:36 The 'How to Write With Kylie Mort' App
33:43 The Importance of Tangible Books and Reading to Children
38:56 Conclusion and Contact Information
[00:00:00] Kylie Mort: So many children, they, um, and it goes back to learning disabilities as well, because I'm big on that kind of stuff, so many children, they learn about a text at school. They know it if you talk to them, but they don't understand how to get it down on paper. So this is very much drawing on all of the knowledge that they have in their head about the characters, the theme, the, you know, the plot line, all of that kind of thing, and giving them a voice for how to get it into the essay format that the teacher wants.
[00:00:34] Um, so, so much of what I'm doing is, you know, trying to circumvent those issues that you find with dyslexia, dysgraphia, um, these kind of, you know, um, ADHD, all of those kind of learning difficulties that stop a child from being able to sit down and smash out an essay. And I'm trying to
[00:00:54] Ed Watters: That's cool.
[00:00:54] Kylie Mort: break it down to an easier kind of format where it doesn't matter if it takes you, you know, three weeks to do it, it doesn't matter if you answer one question a day, because the essay template is waiting for you when you get back.
[00:01:12] Ed Watters: To overcome, you must educate. Educate not only yourself, but educate anyone seeking to learn. We are all Dead America, we can all learn something. To learn, we must challenge what we already understand. The way we do that is through conversation. Sometimes we have conversations with others, however, some of the best conversations happen with ourself. Reach out and challenge yourself; let's dive in and learn something right now.
[00:02:03] Today we are speaking with Kylie Mort. Kylie is an author, a teacher, an app creator. Her book, Little People, Big Emotions and her app is called, How to Write With Kylie Mort. Kylie, could you please introduce yourself? Let people know just a little more about you, please?
[00:02:27] Kylie Mort: Hi, Ed. Thanks so much for having me on the program. I am coming live from Warrenbayne in Victoria, Australia, which is a very small little town, um, that I do most of my stuff online now, nowadays, after the pandemic. It's, uh, it all moved online and it was good that way. So I, I stayed with it because I live on a farm and, um, yeah, it's a perfect place to work from home.
[00:02:54] Ed Watters: Yeah, it sounds wonderful. I, I have a little tiny farm here, couple acres is all, and it's, it's a good life. It helps you breathe fresh air and it makes you grounded. It makes you think a little bit clearer, I believe. What got you started in writing?
[00:03:13] Kylie Mort: Okay. Well, the start of writing, I mean, books have always been a bit of a lifeline for me, um, because I had a, um, a childhood that had trauma and abuse and that kind of thing in it. Um, and I used to escape into books. I used it into a, sort of a portal into another world. I, I used to escape to the library to, to escape from school. Um, and I always knew that I wanted to write because I was good with words and I loved trying to draw pictures with words. So I've actually, um, there's a few different collaborations I was involved in before this children's book, Little People, Big Emotions.
[00:03:48] Um, and it's just sort of showing the progression from looking at, you know, childhood abuse and trauma and the effects of that into like business success and, and how you can overcome these kinds of adversities. And then Little People, Big Emotions is really the, um, the passion project now focusing on, you know, finding purpose and, and really honing in on exactly what I want to give to the world.
[00:04:13] Ed Watters: I like that. You know, when we hone in on our true passion, we can really move mountains. So I love the book. It's colorful and it has a message. Could you tell people the direct message that you're trying to convey with this book?
[00:04:35] Kylie Mort: Yeah. Yeah. Oh, well, mostly it's about, uh, resilience and mental health with our young people. I mean, we definitely want young people to realize that they can be anything they want to be and they can, you know, that they can, they are important and special and unique just as they are. And, you know, something that really resonates with me, um, is a, is a memory I have of a father figure who, he was so, so frustrated and adamant and, and, you know, aggressively saying, You are not important,
[00:05:05] you are not special. You know, your story is not worth telling. And, and he puts so much energy into trying to make sure I believed that I was worthless that I now use, you know, that there's that saying, um, you know, You collect all the stones that people throw at you and use them to build the path. Um, and, and I really, it resonates with me that I need to make sure that young people, um, they can understand that they are unique, they are important, they are special, just as they are. And that there's always an adult out there that's going to help them remember that.
[00:05:45] Ed Watters: I think that's pretty important to understand, coming from a background of abusive behavior, alcoholism, drugs, it took a lot out of my parents attention that they paid to their children. But there was always somebody around in the background that had their eyes on us. And even though they were not even a relative, connected in any way other than the neighbor, there was always somebody that cared. And
[00:06:22] Kylie Mort: Yeah.
[00:06:23] Ed Watters: I found going to that source of caring, it really helped me get through some of that, it's hard to even explain what it was in my life and
[00:06:37] Kylie Mort: Yeah.
[00:06:37] Ed Watters: my childhood, but having those caring individuals was very important and knowing it's okay to discuss certain things with them. It might really have better outcomes for you in the long run. How do we, how do we give the reinforcement that it's okay to these kids to talk to people that they know care?
[00:07:07] Kylie Mort: Yeah. You know, Ed, what you just said is just so, so aligned with what I'm doing with this, you know, trying to, to express to the young people that there's always someone. And as you say, it could be a neighbor, it could be a teacher, it could be the librarian, it could be
[00:07:20] Ed Watters: Yeah.
[00:07:20] Kylie Mort: anyone who they can go to. Um, and I think that so much of the time when you've got young people who are, um, oppressed and, and in, in unsafe environment, they feel like their parents are what they perceive adults are supposed to be. I mean, because it doesn't matter, you know, what you do, that's their first port of call. That's what they see adults are.
[00:07:45] So, and it takes so much for some young people to realize that not everyone's like your parents. Um, you know, and it's obviously not everybody has bad parents, that sounds terrible. But it's just that the fact that every adult is different. And that they need the strength in themselves to, to understand that I am worth it, I am, I am important, and if somebody is there to connect with them, um, then they need to know that it's okay to, to show their emotions. And, and so much that, so much of what I put into this book was reinforcing to the young people that it's okay to be scared, it's okay to have monsters, it's okay to, to be exactly who you are. Um, and for them to find that, that big person is important, very difficult for some, but important.
[00:08:41] Ed Watters: Yes. Yeah, it's, it's hard to find a bonding, like you just said, to find an individual that has authority or perceived authority. They're bigger, they have more time in the world. They, they have the ability to possibly clearly think about the actions and the course of action that should be taken. Like you said, it is very hard to find that individual because I know from experience, a lot of kids feel like they don't want to be a snitch. So
[00:09:21] Kylie Mort: Yeah.
[00:09:22] Ed Watters: they really bottle up inside and they don't want to reach out because the perception from inside, what people think of you inside, is really your focus. And the mentality behind being stuck on that, sometimes it feels like you have no place to go. And if you do go there, you could really face some consequences.
[00:09:53] Kylie Mort: Yeah, yeah, for sure. And it's also important to remember that we're all, we're all products of our [00:10:00] filters and, and experiences.
[00:10:02] Ed Watters: Yes.
[00:10:02] Kylie Mort: And everything that we perceive is about what has led us to that point. So if, and every human is, um, programmed by the environment around them. Then as you say, you know, some, some children have the programming that, that there isn't a safe place, or that, that they don't have the, the power to connect with somebody else, that they are stuck in this world. Um, and what I wanted to achieve with writing this book also, um, is the fact that little people, there's that saying, you know, It takes a village to raise a child. And little people need a network around them that's going to help them grow and develop into everything that they should be, could be, um, would like to be. Uh, and, and this is important so their, their experiences help them to see just how worthy they are.
[00:11:03] Ed Watters: Yeah, you know, that's interesting you brought up the, It takes a village to raise a child. I, I would like to challenge that. And I, I would like to say, It takes a village to raise a family. Because if we don't have individuals ready and able to stand up against the status quo, I really think we're, we're defeating a cause here. So I think education is really key here. And we must have individuals within our community, able to, in a compassionate, empathetic way, approach these broken families and give hope. And, you know, some sort of assistance towards healing the family because if the family's broke, the children are broke. And if we don't heal the family, I don't think it'll heal the children because it's that repetitive eat you up cycle we're
[00:12:16] Kylie Mort: Yeah.
[00:12:16] Ed Watters: stuck in. What do you think about that?
[00:12:20] Kylie Mort: So I think that's a very valid point, Ed. I think it's really important that we work on mindset of groups and mindset of networks of people who can share the, the mindset that's going to be positive and nurturing, that's going to empower everybody in the group. I think that's really important. And that's why we, this particular book, coming from an educational background, um, coming from somebody who, you know, I majored in literature, and I teach essay writing, and I, and I teach text response and that kind of thing. So obviously the first thing I did with my own text was write the study guide to go with it.
[00:12:56] And I've got that freely available online for anybody who wants to download it. So, you know, if they pick up a copy of the book, um, I want the, the parents, the carers, the community around the little people who are reading the book to understand exactly how much educational value it can have as a resource.
[00:13:16] And I've gone through and analyzed, you know, themes and motifs and that kind of thing, but also looked at different activities that the network, these groups of people around the young people, can do to, to really open the communication channels and talk about, you know, it might not even be just talking about the little people,
[00:13:38] it could be talking about everybody's experience. I mean, one of the, the really important parts of the book is the monster. That's the, the main antagonist in the whole book is the monster. And you know, everybody's monster looks different. Everybody has a monster, everybody works on it in their own way. Um, but me particularly, my monster is, um, imposter syndrome.
[00:13:59] And I have to challenge that monster every day and say, No, what I'm doing is important, what I'm doing is making a difference for people. And we all need to face up to our monster and know that we can overcome it. And I think that if we use this book as an educational resource in families, in groups, in cohorts of people who are working for a common goal, um, everybody can take value from that.
[00:14:27] Ed Watters: Yeah, I'm so glad you said, you know, even you feel that imposter syndrome. Because a lot of people that can really truly help our society, they feel they don't have what it takes. They don't have the training. But life's experience and the ability to come forward with a story, that can truly change, not only lives, but the world.
[00:14:55] And it's so important to fight that because if, if we don't tell ourselves we are worth this and we are able to produce something of value to our society, we're already lost. So understanding we all face that. I was just thinking that way before I got on here, again, because of some things that went on.
[00:15:22] It's like, well, do I really? But no, my input is valuable. The way I tell it, the way I bring it, well, that I work on every day, you know, my presentation should be just as important as my message. And if you have the passion, you've got the ability to maneuver the channels, the options, these things you need to get it done. And I think
[00:15:56] Kylie Mort: Yes.
[00:15:57] Ed Watters: that's vital that people really hone their skills. And don't let people tell, and that's part of the problem you're trying to address with what you're doing, don't let people tell you that you're not good enough. You, you have an ability, find it, find
[00:16:17] Kylie Mort: Yep. Yep.
[00:16:17] Ed Watters: that passion and go with it. And we, as, we, as creators and we, as family members, we, as individuals in society, we really need to learn to lift people up instead of tear them down, put them down.
[00:16:33] Kylie Mort: So important. Yeah. Yeah. So important. I mean, one of the, um, the collaborations I've worked on, um, Back Yourself, it's a, it's a, it's a compilation of, um, twenty-seven, I think it is, uh, business women from here in Australia. Uh, we went into a, um, you know, a competition, Ausmumpreneur. Um, and the, and the people, the finalists from the competition then all pulled their knowledge and experience about business, um, and, and wrote this book together.
[00:17:01] And in chapter one, um, I, I literally labeled it, um, you know, Niche, Knowing Your Niche, um, How to Turn Your Passion into Your Business. Because as you say, If you've got passion about something, that's all you need to make sure you've got the drive, the determination, the, you know, the motivation to do your best you possibly can in it.
[00:17:23] And if your passion is also what you're really good at, then you can move mountains with that, as you say. And with, um, I found that I wrote this book during the pandemic, uh, when we in Australia, we had some incredible lockdowns. But particularly here in
[00:17:40] Ed Watters: Yeah.
[00:17:40] Kylie Mort: Victoria, um, Victoria was, you know, one of the most locked down places in the world. Um, and I was contacted by so many parents who, as you say, they found themselves, they are now teachers, and they're just like, No, I can't do this. This is too much for me. Um, and you had, imposter syndrome was just running rampant across the whole world. Um, and, and what I wanted to share with these parents, um, and what I continually spoke about, but then also what the book grew from is, if your passion is your child, then you are 100 percent going to make a good experience, a good impact, a positive impact on that child. Because you've got everything it takes to make sure that you help that child be positive, be, you know, the best that they can be.
[00:18:29] And if you're struggling for resources, there are so many resources out there that you can, that you can use. And I wanted this resource to be another go to that parents can grab. And you know, if a child comes home from school and, and they're confronted by something that they really don't know how to deal with, if they pick up this book, it's, it's like a communication line getting opened.
[00:18:53] It's like, Oh, okay, let's talk about that some more. Let's, let's investigate how you're feeling about that, how your emotions are, are going to then, you know, um, make a difference to either reacting or responding to this. And if they're
[00:19:06] Ed Watters: Ahh, big.
[00:19:07] Kylie Mort: still, you know, overwhelmed, then there's
[00:19:09] Ed Watters: Yes.
[00:19:09] Kylie Mort: a study guide that has all of these activities that they can use to, to try to tease out the problem and look at how they can work together to explore it.
[00:19:19] Ed Watters: So it's really helping you find an emotional intelligence to
[00:19:24] Kylie Mort: Yes.
[00:19:24] Ed Watters: help you through and cope with situations.
[00:19:29] Kylie Mort: Yeah, for sure. And it's won a couple of awards already, it came out in January. In May, the children's book award that it won was for emotional intelligence. It was for
[00:19:39] Ed Watters: Awesome.
[00:19:39] Kylie Mort: being that resource that was helping parents and young people connect and say, Okay, this is what I'm feeling, this is what it's doing to my environment. How can we work as a team to make sure that it's going to lead to a positive outcome?
[00:19:56] Ed Watters: Yeah. I think that's important that connection that you just mentioned, [00:20:00] having the ability to connect with the ones that you care about. It's important. So, you know, building bonds and learning to tell your story without fear, harassment, I think we're seeing a shift in the tide there. There's many more people and I think that's the beauty of COVID is, many people found that they have more to offer, more to give. And they were kind of forced to figure that out, forced to figure out how to get their message out a little easier, a little better. Now that everybody was forced online with their message, you couldn't go to a hall and have speaking events.
[00:20:52] So, you know, there was many people that never really experienced Zoom until Covid and the lockdown. So even though it was, you know, terrible in many ways, there was a lot of growth initiated out of it. And I think a lot of people found their passion because of Covid.
[00:21:18] Kylie Mort: Yes. Yeah, for sure. And like, I was one of these, because I resigned from state education back in 2009, um, because I just saw so many, so many children falling through the cracks. Um, so many children whose, the system was failing. So I, back then, um, decided that I was going to tutor. Um, and then I was one of these tutors who was so, so dedicated to face to face tutoring. Because with me, it's all about holistically helping an individual. So I need to be with them, I need to be reading their body language, I need to be reading their expressions,
[00:21:51] I needed to be, you know, that tangible connection you can have with people. But as you say, COVID forced everyone online and I was one of these tutors that were just like, No, it won't work online. So I actually, being the lifelong learner I am, I'm just like, Right, how do I qualify myself to be an online tutor?
[00:22:09] So I went and I studied body language, I studied facial, um, recognition stuff, I studied everything that could possibly put me in a position where I could look at someone on a flat screen and read as much as possible behind the words. Um, and that was really, I didn't realize just how much you could explore just by looking at someone on a flat screen.
[00:22:35] Like there's so much more that you can get. And, and then again, one of my other soapbox things is that, you know, teachers need to be taught to do this. Teachers need to know more than, how to, you know, break down words and, and teach the multiplication table. They need to be able to read children, they need to be able to holistically coach young people.
[00:22:57] I mean, I'm one of these people who fully believe that psychology should be, it should be, um, in mainstream media. It should be absolutely paramount to, every year. I mean, any, any topic you can take and break it down for a younger audience to understand. So it should be taught all the way through because imagine our world if everybody understood how their brain worked. If everybody understood
[00:23:21] Ed Watters: That's right.
[00:23:21] Kylie Mort: when they were responding, when they were reacting, how their emotions are forcing them to take, make decisions that they're not aware of. Like if everybody was so aware of what it is that's going on in their brain that is telling them what to do, it would just be phenomenal.
[00:23:40] Ed Watters: Yeah, and I think, I agree 100%. The quicker you start implementing that into the child's learning habits, the better the next generation is going to be. What is it, twenty-five years? Something like that? For a generation. So, you know, every, every twenty, twenty-five years, there's this new generational curve and it's fed by our technologies. So,
[00:24:10] Kylie Mort: A person's brain isn't fully developed until they're 25.
[00:24:13] Ed Watters: That's right, you know, and, and if we are not on top of that development, and, you know, really understanding there is good developmental features, and then there's very bad developmental features, and I see some of this bad techniques in schools and I, I think you're so right. We need to have the teachers kind of educated with the philosophy of knowing how psychology works and
[00:24:50] Kylie Mort: Yes.
[00:24:51] Ed Watters: implementing it in the classroom and their teaching whenever possible.
[00:24:57] Kylie Mort: Yeah, definitely. And I think that if we, if we made learning to learn a, a, a stronger feature in schools, then children will be able to learn easier because they understand how learning is happening. Not just the content that they're learning. Yeah. But I could
[00:25:16] Ed Watters: Yeah.
[00:25:16] Kylie Mort: jump on that soapbox all day. I mean,
[00:25:22] Ed Watters: Yeah. Uh, well, you know, it's a very important subject when we start talking about, you know, the, the ability to get your message out. Your app, I want to spin to that because I think it's fascinating that you're creating an app to help people write. Tell us about this and why did you create this app in the first place?
[00:25:52] Kylie Mort: Yeah. Um, Ed, well, that really, I wanted to find a way that I could download my brain and give it to people, um, basically. Because being a tutor for so many years, I found that, um, I was, obviously, teaching the same thing over and over again. And I'm, I'm not like a mainstream tutor that's like a classroom kind of thing.
[00:26:16] I use my, you know, holistic coaching and mentoring. So each student has, you know, forty-five minutes with me. Then I write an analysis with strengths and challenges. And then, then I put through, here are some goals for this week, here are some things to work on. And it's, it's a really, you know, it's a package deal. And
[00:26:35] I found that I was teaching the same things in the front, face to face. I was writing the same things in the reports after each session. And I was just like, How, how do I get this to more people? And I was actually sitting at a cafe with a friend just saying, I just, I just need to be able to get my, my brain and just download it.
[00:26:53] And this, this particular friend was talking about apps and, and I said, But where to begin, like, where would I start? You know, I've got all of these qualifications in all of these different things and, and she goes, Well, why don't you just start with what you're best at, start with what they ask for the most? And, and that's where it comes, came from the writing. Um, because I'm, I'm very much a, uh, a person,
[00:27:15] I love literature. I'm all about that kind of creative space, but I'm very mathematical in how I think too. So I have formulas and structures for essays. And, and so I started the app with, the whole thing is based on what I do, if it was face to face. So this, if this was Ed and Kylie in a session, and Ed had an essay topic, we would systematically break it down into, I ask a question, Ed answers.
[00:27:43] I ask another question, Ed answers. And that's how we build essays. So I thought, Okay, well, with the template, I'll do the samething, question and answer. So I get an essay, um, an essay prompt. I write the essay myself, and then I tear the whole thing down and put it into question and answer format. And when the student has answered all of the questions, and then they press go, they suddenly have their essay.
[00:28:08] Ed Watters: Wow. So, so basically it helps you write an essay and then you can print this thing out?
[00:28:16] Kylie Mort: Yeah, it's got all the usual, you know, share options, um, that comes up at the end. Um, it's a, a rich text format that can go to email or, or text message or, you know, any of those kind of things. Um, and the way it works is, so many children, they, um, and it goes back to learning disabilities as well, because I'm big on that kind of stuff, so many children, they learn about a text at school. They know it if you talk to them, but they don't understand how to get it down on paper. So this is very much drawing on all of the knowledge that they have in their head about the characters, the themes, the, you know, the plot line, all of that kind of thing, and giving them a voice for how to get this into the essay format that the teacher wants.
[00:29:05] Um, so, so much of what I'm doing is, you know, trying to circumvent those issues that you find with dyslexia, dysgraphia, um, these kind of, you know, um, ADHD, all of those kind of learning difficulties that stop a child from being able to sit down and smash out an essay. And I'm trying to
[00:29:24] Ed Watters: That's cool.
[00:29:25] Kylie Mort: break it down to an easier kind of format where it doesn't matter if it takes you, you know, three weeks to do it, it doesn't matter if you answer one question a day, because the essay template is waiting for you when you get back.
[00:29:39] Ed Watters: Well, that's, that's kind of neat that you thought all of that out and provide that for people. So it's, it's just another way of learning. And, and does it actually help them achieve the ability to understand what they wrote?
[00:29:59] Kylie Mort: [00:30:00] Yeah, because what I'm doing is, and it's still, it's very new, so I'm putting in as much time as I can in a very busy life to add more resources to it. I mean, the goal is that it's going to be an expansive library of different texts that have been explored. Um, but at the moment it, you know, there's a persuasive essay structure that has a particular, um, persuasive, element that is attached. Like, there's one that, um, should we be a cashless society?
[00:30:31] And I've done it all with that example in the background. But if they follow that process, they don't have to be answering that particular prompt. Um, the process of going through it is, you know, um, do you agree with the prompt? Do you not agree with the prompt? What's your main reason for agreeing with the prompt?
[00:30:48] You know, they, they can rinse, repeat, rinse, repeat on a lot of different subjects. And it gives them that idea of, this is what's needed at each step. It doesn't matter if I'm answering these particular questions or a similar question, this is what I need to do along the way. Um, and it's also really cool that it's got the talk to text feature on, on smartphones and iPads and that kind of thing.
[00:31:12] Because a lot of the time children, um, young people, um, they don't know, they don't have the motivation to write the sentence. But if they just talk the sentence, they can be giving so much more to it. So we talk to text, they can actually just answer questions verbally, press go and there's an essay.
[00:31:35] Ed Watters: And they might expand on their answer verbally also. So that, that's a plus. So it's interesting. What, what else do you have coming down the pike for people?
[00:31:51] Kylie Mort: I mean, it's, it's a very busy lifestyle I lead with this, um, this constant thirst for knowledge. Like, at the moment, I'm currently, as I said, I've got the farm. Um, I'm also doing my diesel mechanic apprenticeship in one of our companies. I'm also doing a psychology degree at university. I've also got two kids, so I'm really thinking I probably shouldn't add too much in. Um,
[00:32:16] Ed Watters: Come on, now.
[00:32:20] Kylie Mort: so hectic. But I think that with where I've got to with the writing at the moment between the children's book for the younger age group and the app for the older age group, I'm sort of at a point where it's all about promoting free resources now.
[00:32:36] Whether it's the, the study guide to help them understand the, the children's book as an emotional intelligence resource, as an educational resource, or whether it's, you know, the different, um, you know, different, um, requests I get for particular books to be covered on the app. Like I've got, I've got these backlog of essays that people have said, Oh, can you make one about Macbeth and can you make one about, you know, the hate race and, and that kind of thing.
[00:33:02] So I've got these writing things going in such a way that they're, they're going to keep running on their own. I mean, especially app, I just, it's got this idea of just building this library. So I'm not really looking at expanding into new areas, just dedicating more time to making these areas as accessible and, and, and helpful as they could possibly be.
[00:33:25] Ed Watters: A lot of outreach going on. So, yeah.
[00:33:28] Kylie Mort: Yeah, yeah.
[00:33:30] Ed Watters: That's, you know, uh, Is it only in print format that you get the book or can you get it in audio format?
[00:33:41] Kylie Mort: I haven't gone that way yet. Um, I think that, I've talked about it with the publisher, um, but I think there's something really valuable to a family with young people sitting down with a book, tangibly with a book. I
[00:33:56] Ed Watters: Yeah.
[00:33:56] Kylie Mort: think that, you know, it's been talked about so much of reading to children is just so pivotal. Not only for the children looking at the words, but for that time of connection. You know, for the little people to say, You know what? Mom's sitting down with us because we're really important because this is our time of night, you know, before we go to bed or whatever. Where everything else stops, the world stops, she's focused on us. And I think
[00:34:23] Ed Watters: I like that.
[00:34:23] Kylie Mort: that the tangible book is so important to that sharing and building of a strong enough connection that if something's going on in that little person's world, they'll be able to say, Hey, I think I need to talk to you about something. I think this is bringing something up.
[00:34:40] Ed Watters: Yeah. I like that. You know, the book also has great artwork. Would you talk to people about the artwork and who actually illustrated this for you?
[00:34:52] Kylie Mort: Yeah, Tina Morton. She's from over in Perth. Um, and I'm not sure how much your listeners know about Australia, but Perth and me are a long distance apart. We're on opposite sides of Australia. Um, so
[00:35:05] Ed Watters: Oh, wow.
[00:35:06] Kylie Mort: I've never actually met Tina in person. But there was so much back and forth during the process because she was really great in trying to capture everything that I wanted to do with the, the writing and try to encapsulate that in the pictures. You know, so the playful puppy, it's just such a gorgeous example of the puppy and the, and the mind being like a butterfly. And she's just got this way of taking what I was doing and just, just, as you say, making it into a beautiful illustration.
[00:35:38] I think that the, the most challenging part was the monster. Uh, we had very different interpretations. Um, Tina was envisioning, you know, the kind of paper dragon kind of, um, monsters that children get. You know, the, the, the fact that, paper tiger, sorry, that, that it's a monster that can be easily explained. Whereas my monster was literally monsters, like, you know, from my kind of background, from my childhood. The monsters that do literally scare you because they are scary.
[00:36:17] They're real, they're going to get you. Um, and so, we, we came to a, she had her monster, I had my monster, and now we have our monster. The one in the book is sort of a go between because, you know, Tina was aware of not wanting to, to make it a dark place in the book. But I wanted to make sure that children recognize that if there is a dark place in your life, this is what we're talking about.
[00:36:45] And it's okay. You know, like the, the, the, the dark places that happened in my childhood. No one ever said it was okay. And even right till today, um, I've, I've never, ever been able to share it because it's not okay for, for my programming. And this is what I mean from coming from, um, you know, where, where all our perspectives, uh, the experiences and filters that we've been ingrained into our, into our person, and I
[00:37:15] can't reconcile myself with those dark places. And I've got to work on that. And I want the children to, to understand that, you know, even if you can't reconcile yourself with it, even if it's a, it's something that, that you don't think is going to be accepted, it's okay that, that happened to you.
[00:37:36] Ed Watters: Yeah, I think that's important to understand. You know, it takes time sometimes to dig and open up those dark secrets, those wounds, and peeling the layers of that onion back. Let it take the time because you need the time to understand fully and really dig into what occurred before we really can let it go. And
[00:38:05] Kylie Mort: Yeah. And I think
[00:38:05] Ed Watters: sometimes it takes years.
[00:38:08] Kylie Mort: Yeah. And looking back as an adult, if, you know, if this kind of book was around, if I had the safe person who was reading me the book, maybe me as a child would have gone, Hey, I think we need to talk about something. But at that time, I didn't have that. So, you know, I can't reconcile myself with who that child would have been because, you know, the moment is gone. And I don't want children who are using this resource to lose that opportunity. I want children to be able to go to their special, magical adults that are going to solve everything and fix the world for them and say, you know, Help me.
[00:38:52] Ed Watters: Yeah, that's very important. I like what you're doing. Uh, Where can people find you and do you have a call to action for our listeners today?
[00:39:06] Kylie Mort: I've got a website, um, kyliemort.com.au. The au is important, I've forgotten that on some phones. Um, but I've got a website that sort of just explores everything that I do. Um, and obviously if you, if you click on the book in the website, it takes you to where you can purchase the book. If you, if you click on the picture of the study guide, it takes you to where you can download the free study guide. Um, I've done a lot of, um, during the pandemic, I did a lot of magazine articles, writing about different mental health, um, uh, areas. Um, yeah, it's got links to everything that I, that I do there.
[00:39:44] Um, I have found that the whole buying the book online thing has been glitchy for some people. So I've literally just been saying to people, email me, just, if you'd like a copy of the book, email me directly at [00:40:00] email@example.com and I will personalize it, I will gift wrap it. I will send it straight to your door because I, um, yeah, when I found out there was, there was four different books that we tried to purchase last week and they couldn't get through, and I was like, No, just email me.
[00:40:15] So I've, I've kind of, um, I've got this thing now is just, people just contact me, you know, if you need anything, if it's not working, just contact me direct firstname.lastname@example.org. Uh, or obviously through the website, kyliemort.com.au. And, um, and I, and I want to help you be your best self. That's, that's my thing.
[00:40:37] Ed Watters: Kylie, you're doing very important things. Don't suffer from imposter syndrome. It's wonderful, it's needed and yeah, you've got what it takes for sure. Thank you for sharing it here on the Dead America podcast today with us.
[00:40:54] Kylie Mort: Thank you so much for having me here, Ed. I hope, um, that your listeners got a little bit out of it.
[00:41:03] Ed Watters: Thank you for joining us today. If you found this podcast enlightening, entertaining, educational in any way, please share, like, subscribe, and join us right back here next week for another great episode of Dead America Podcast. I'm Ed Watters, your host, enjoy your afternoon wherever you may be.