New Idea - - Official Magazine / Home and Away - By Jackie Brygel Pho­tog­ra­phy: Lawrence Furzey

She’s called Sum­mer Bay home for al­most two decades – and her fans the world over wouldn’t have it any other way.

But while Ada Ni­code­mou loves play­ing Home and Away’s golden-hearted Leah as much as ever, she rel­ished the op­por­tu­nity to try her hand at some­thing en­tirely dif­fer­ent – pen­ning a book. And she cer­tainly didn’t suf­fer from a case of writer’s block when it came to ex­press­ing her­self.

For Ada, 41, al­ways knew her first book would be about the love of her life – her gor­geous six-year-old son Johnas.

“Hear­ing Johnas gig­gle just makes my day, and he’s for­ever gig­gling,” she says. “He’s al­ways the ne­go­tia­tor too – and he gets that from me! Ev­ery­thing is a ne­go­ti­a­tion, but he’s just a re­ally easy and happy child.

“Most of all, I wanted to write a gift for Johnas to read, as he loves read­ing so much. He loves books, as well as tech­nol­ogy, and this book just came to me re­ally eas­ily.”

In­deed, Ada is thrilled to launch her cre­ation Johnas, The In­ter­na­tional Soc­cer Star, an in­spi­ra­tional pic­ture book about a boy who dreams big and wants more than any­thing else to be­come a sport­ing leg­end.

“Johnas has al­ways had a love for soc­cer and tells me at least once a day, ev­ery sin­gle day, that he’s go­ing to grow up and be a big soc­cer star,” says Ada.

“If Johnas could spend ev­ery hour of the day out­side in the back­yard, he would be there. I love it be­cause it means he is out­doors so much, rather than just sitting in­side.”

Cer­tainly, it seems Johnas al­ready has his fu­ture mapped out...

“He’s very spe­cific about it,” says Ada with a laugh. “He wants to play for the Liver­pool Soc­cer Club in Eng­land. He tells me that when he’s 19 years old he’ll be play­ing pro­fes­sion­ally and he’ll fly me over to watch him. He says he’ll be on TV as well. It’s adorable be­cause he has a real pas­sion, and I love that.”

Hear­ing Ada talk about Johnas, it’s clear the ac­tress couldn’t be more proud of her lit­tle boy.

“Johnas has nearly fin­ished his first year of school and he loves it,” she says. “I’m re­ally lucky be­cause Johnas loves to learn and so far, so good. He’s do­ing re­ally well at school and loves read­ing and maths – he has just blos­somed at school.”

Does Johnas ever watch his mum on the small screen?

“It’s not a big deal to him, it’s just what Mum does,” Ada says, smil­ing.

“But I can’t be­lieve that, at the end of this year, I’ll have been with Home and Away for 19 years. It’s still such a joy com­ing to work ev­ery day. I’m still chal­lenged – it feels like fam­ily and it’s just a beau­ti­ful place to work. It’s been such a big part of my life.”

And both Ada and Johnas are thrilled with the book.

“Johnas loves it – he ac­tu­ally took it to Book Week at school and wanted to dress up as him­self,” smiles Ada.

“The book is all about hav­ing a dream, tak­ing steps to try and achieve that dream and fol­low­ing through with some­thing you’re pas­sion­ate about. It shows how you have to work at some­thing, and that’s what I’m try­ing to teach Johnas as well.”

Johnas the In­ter­na­tional Soc­cer Star is avail­able through chil­dren’s read­ing app, Kin­dergo, as part of its new play­ful dig­i­tal book li­brary, Mums We Ad­mire, or visit kinder­gokids.com to pur­chase your very own print copy of the book.

Ada and Johnas play soc­cer in the back­yard ev­ery chance they get.

Ada’s son was the in­spi­ra­tion for her first chil­dren’s book.

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