A while back a friend turned me on to Inkshares as a way to help indie authors get their books published. Since then, I've spent way too much time looking at books and buying books and reading book. OK. I haven't actually read all of the books I've ordered. Some of them haven't even come in yet, since I've only pre-ordered them.
Anyway, this isn't about my overwhelmingly huge to-read pile, both physical and virtual. This is about one of the many fantastic children's books I found there: Sadie McGrady, Leading Lady.
I love that this book uses actual photographs, which brings a sense of realness and movement to the story of Sadie McGrady and her quest to become president. And of course, it's quite timely, what with the US elections going on right now. I wanted to know more about the inspiration for this book, so I reached out to its author, Mary Parry, who was gracious enough to answer some of my questions.
SRPS: Can you tell me a little about yourself -- your background, what inspires you, what are your goals in life?
MP: I am a 42-year-old mother of three with a passion for including more women in the world of politics and leadership. I grew up in Missouri, went to college in Texas, and now live in North Carolina, where I have been busy dedicating my career to advocating for women and girls. I served as a local women's vote director during 2008 and 2012 presidential campaigns, educating about women's issues and encouraging women to vote. I later became director of advocacy for a statewide organization, working to engage more women in the political process. Today, I direct communications for a nonprofit serving women and families in my hometown of Chapel Hill, NC. I love that a common thread in my life has been working to help women and girls. Writing Sadie McGrady, Leading Lady is an exciting next step in my work, empowering girls to become women who lead.
I am inspired by people who help others, especially kids with passion and ambition for creating change. I hope that my writing can inspire kids to take their own goals and ideas seriously. I hope that my characters help girls see themselves in leadership roles, whatever path in life they choose.
SRPS: Can you tell me a little about Sadie McGrady, Leading Lady? What's the story about?
MP: Sadie McGrady, Leading Lady offers a fun look at life on the campaign trail and in elected office (the Oval Office). Sadie puts her dreams into motion, launching her own campaign for President of the United States. Sadie shows readers the fun side of campaign life, making buttons and yard signs and marching in parades. Sadie also overcomes challenges along the way, like facing her opponent in a debate and being interviewed by the media. Once elected, Sadie gives readers a glimpse into the day-to-day life of the president. The book celebrates leadership traits like courage and confidence, helping readers imagine what it is like to seek and assume an intimidating leadership role. By offering a girl as the main character, Sadie encourages the fact that girls can most certainly be strong and effective leaders.
Included with the story is a list of ways that readers can start practicing their own campaigns, by designing their own button and yard sign designs or practicing giving 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.
SRPS: What was the inspiration for Sadie McGrady, Leading Lady? Who do you hope reads this book?
I hope that boys and girls alike will read about Sadie's journey on the campaign trail and in elected office, taking away encouragement and excitement about their own involvement in the political process. 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.
SRPS: What message do you hope readers will take from Sadie McGrady, Leading Lady?
I also hope that readers learn the power of persistence from Sadie's ups and downs on the campaign trail. Too often, lack of experience discourages people (adults and kids alike) from trying new things. One of my favorite parts of the story is when Sadie overcomes self-doubt during her first debate, then stands up tall and confident to share her voice. It shows readers that it is normal to experience nervousness and self-doubt, and that being brave and believing in yourself are the keys to tackling new situations.
SRPS: You are promoting the book on InkShares. What has been your experience working with that format?
MP: I chose Inkshares, a crowd funding publisher, because of their ability to turn this book around quickly (with good quality) in time for the 2016 general election. By listing my book through Inkshares, my goal is to reach 1,000 pre-orders, showing Inkshares a sufficient interest in Sadie McGrady, Leading Lady – enough to merit publication. Once 1,000 copies are pre-ordered, Inkshares will step in to help edit, market and promote the book, making it available through Amazon, major bookstores and independent booksellers by late-spring 2016, just as we head into the final push toward the 2016 general election. The book is only $10 during the crowd funding process, an added bonus for those helping Sadie McGrady, Leading Lady get published. The book has seen terrific support so far, and just met its pre-order goal of 1000 books yesterday!
SRPS: Where else can readers find you online?
MP: Readers can go to my website, MaryParry.com, or follow me on Twitter. Sadie McGrady, Leading Lady is also on Facebook and Twitter, and of course on Inkshares.
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