Saturday, October 22, 2016

Interview With Author Mary Parry

Sadie McGrady Runs for President

1. What inspired you to write your book?
When she was 10-years-old, my daughter confided in me that she might like to be the President of the United States someday. She had lots of questions about the campaign process and wondered if this was actually a reasonable goal for her to set. I was thrilled at her desire to lead and wanted to encourage her. I explained what I knew about working on presidential campaigns and about the important role elected leaders play.  Then I started looking for books to reinforce our conversations. I discovered that there was nothing out there that did the job, so I decided to write one myself, and that’s how Sadie came to life.

My daughter just graduated from middle school, where she ran three of her own successful campaigns for student government. She continues to enjoy being a leader and still hopes to run for public office someday. She has aged out of picture books, but is over-the-moon excited about Sadie McGrady Runs for President and its potential for empowering today’s girls.

2. What is it about?
Sadie McGrady Runs for President offers a look at life on the campaign trail and in elected office through the eyes and experience of a young girl.  Sadie puts her dreams into motion, launching her own campaign for President.  She shows readers the fun side of campaign life, making buttons and yard signs and marching in parades, and she also overcomes challenges along the way, like facing her opponent in a debate and being interviewed by the media. Written in verse, the book celebrates leadership traits like courage and confidence, perseverance and teamwork. By her example, Sadie encourages girls to be strong and effective leaders.

Included with the story is a list of ways that readers can start building campaign skills, by designing their own button and yard sign designs or delivering a speech in front of friends or family. It’s never too early to start practicing leadership skills. Sadie shows readers that leadership is fun.

3. What do you hope will be the everlasting thoughts for readers who finish your book?
As readers finish Sadie McGrady Runs for President for the first time, I hope their imaginations start to soar with ideas about what their own campaign could look like. I hope they dig into their dress-up bins and art supplies to start giving the campaign trail a try, kid-style. Long term, I hope this book helps kids dream big and set their leadership goals high - and I hope they begin to see their everyday playtime as practice for what their futures hold. It’s exciting!

This picture book is written for ages 4-8, but I think its message will be enjoyed by readers of all ages, including parents and grandparents who believe in the importance of empowering girls and who hope to see more women seek leadership roles, particularly elected office.

4. What advice do you have for writers?
As the saying goes, “You can’t be what you can’t see.” Use your characters to offer role models currently missing or underrepresented in books.

5. Where do you think the book publishing industry is heading?
As an author, I am a newcomer to the publishing industry, and I have found a path to publication that has been encouraging and supportive — different from the tales of obstacle-ridden journeys you so often hear about from aspiring authors.  I credit Inkshares with that—and I think they represent innovation and promising alternatives for authors.  As a book reader and book buyer, I think we are in the midst of a renaissance of reading.  The independent bookstore is alive and well (and so supportive of Sadie!), libraries are thriving community centers, and electronic media have opened new portals for readers of all ages.

6. What challenges did you have in writing your book?
As a parent, I think the most difficult part of writing is finding time. And when you find a few moments to write, the challenge is learning to shift from multi-tasking mom to thoughtful, focused writer. My hat goes off to all parents who write. Our task lists can be intimidating, but our desire to tell stories is strong.

7. If people can only buy one book this month, why should it be yours?
Sadie McGrady Runs for President offers a hat tip during this historic election, in which we’ll see a woman’s name on the ballot at the top of the ticket for the very first time! We’re weeks away from Election Day - a time when our country celebrates Democracy and the right to vote. Kids love learning about the President of the United States. This book helps them understand some of the skills needed to become Commander in Chief, inspiring readers to consider a future run for office themselves. It’s never too early to encourage leadership, and this election season is the perfect time to inspire our next generation of elected officials.

For more information, please see:

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Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog 2016 ©.
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