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12th Feb 2015

How I Make it Work: Children’s book publisher Michelle Melville

Katie Mythen-Lynch

Michelle Melville (37) and her husband Derek (42) run Eire’s Kids, a children’s publishing company, where they write and illustrate their own books. The couple live with their children Mikaela (5) Matthew (2) in Oranmore, Co.Galway. 

Michelle and Mikaela

I wake up anywhere between 6am and 7am, depending on our little alarm clock (my son Matthew). Breakfast is a big bowl of porridge and fruit (blueberries, strawberries, grapes). We vary the toppings to ensure the kids don’t get bored and take a break from porridge at the weekends for  Mikaela’s breakfast of choice, pancakes or French toast.

Mornings fly by when you’re getting a five-year old and a two-year old ready, there isn’t much time left for mummy. I have been using Matis since I was 16 I love their Fundamental Beautifying Cream. Each evening I cleanse with Matis sensitive cleanser, making sure to include my neck. Mornings are a simple cleanse with water and moisturiser.

My greatest weekly indulgence is meeting Derek for a late breakfast or lunch when our schedules allow.

I’m very lucky Derek is a great cook so we tend to share the cooking and household duties. We both work full time and need to find a few hours in the evening to write our books or plan out strategies. It’s enormously important that the housework is shared equally. That way we’re all happy and no one feels overburdened.

I work quite close to home. Each evening I count my blessing I’m home around 5.15pm, straight into hugs with the kids, dinner, homework and of course play time. We get the kids ready for bed around 7.15pm, then it’s my favourite part of the day; up to bed for story time. Mikaela and Matthew always have a giggle and sing songs before bed. We head back downstairs and Derek and myself will either go over story ideas, plan out the month ahead for book readings or my least favourite part, bookkeeping.

Mikaela and Matthew have amazing grandparents and aunties who help with childcare so between Derek, myself and my family we can cover it all.

We love getting on our wellies and heading off for outdoor adventures. The Burren is amazing all year round and each season brings its own beauty. The dolmens were the inspiration for the time machine in our books. When it comes to longer breaks, we love Roundstone in Connemara, followed very closely by Kerry.

The last book I read, if I want to be factual, would be Thomas the Tank Engine! My New Year resolution was to read more. I’m still trying to get time to read Thrive by Arianna Huffington.

The best piece of advice I’ve ever received is to stop worrying. I love to worry so I’m working on letting go. Now when I start to worry I stop and ask myself if this will matter next week, next month or next year. Time has taught me that most things don’t. To a first-time mother I’d say enjoy everything, not just the good stuff… even the early mornings and the late nights! Babies are small for such a short period and this time is so precious. I read a poem last year which reminded me of this fact. So when Matthew calls ‘Mommy’ from his cot at 6am on a Saturday I smile because I know when I go into his room his gorgeous little face will be smiling back at me and I hope that this isn’t the last time. Here’s the poem:


Eire’s Kids currently have two books in the Oisín the Brave series; Oisín the Brave Moon Adventure and Robot Island. Check out and