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Marla McKenna discusses children's books, Linda Blair Foundation Special

Children's author Marla McKenna chatted with Digital Journal about her children's books and her partnership with Linda Blair's Foundation.

She is the author of several children's books including Mom's Big Catch, which was inspired by an actual event that took place at a major league baseball stadium. "I have the wonderful opportunity to work with baseball teams as this book can be customized to fit any baseball team with their logo, stadium and mascot. Major and minor league team customized versions include: Milwaukee Brewers, Chicago Cubs, Pittsburgh Pirates, Toronto Blue Jays and Tampa Bay Rays with more in production," she said.
What makes this book even more exciting for McKenna is that she has officially worked with the Milwaukee Brewers at their Brewers on Deck Fan Fest. "We did a huge community book drive where fans brought in new or gently used children's books and in turn received the Miller Park version of Mom's Big Catch. We collected over 1,500 books for the Next Door Books for Kids Program in Milwaukee. It was an awesome day. I also teamed up with Chicago Cubs Hall of Fame pitcher Fergie Jenkins for book signings at spring training in Mesa, Arizona and the Chicago area. Fergie is even illustrated as a character in the book. I am extremely grateful for his continued support. Other teams have used Mom's Big Catch as a game day giveaway or they've incorporated it into their reading programs. It's been very exciting and a big hit with baseball fans of all ages," she explained.
McKenna continued, "Sadie's Big Steal is the second book in the Mom's Big Catch series, and it focuses on the important message of anti-bullying, friendship, respect and kindness along with an anti-dog breed discrimination message tucked away inside as well. "
"I'm a Secret Superhero inspires children to find their inner super power and use their special gifts to find their purpose and make a difference. Working hard and believing in themselves is the message shared in this book too. It has every child searching for his or her own super power and ready to take flight," she said.
A Soccer Summer Dream with the Milwaukee Torrent is in production and it will be released on April 21. "It's a fun, action packed soccer story filled with excitement and shares the special bond between a brother and sister (twins) and how they work together to make their dream come true," she said.
Her future plans include writing more children's book and books for adults. "I have coauthored, Our Last Day in Heaven, A Story of Tragedy, Loss and Hope with Angels in the Midst. This book will be released summer of 2018. I also plan to work with more authors as a writing coach and editor on their books. I love sharing my messages with children and visiting schools. More children's books are on the way," she said.
McKenna opened up about her partnership with Linda Blair's Foundation. "Partial proceeds from all of my books benefit the Linda Blair WorldHeart Foundation with special thanks to musician, actor and best-selling author, Rick Springfield for matching my donations. I have always been a huge dog and animal lover, and I think it’s really important to give back. My focus has been on supporting this Foundation and Linda as she rescues and saves as many dogs as she can, finding their forever homes. As I share with children, when something good happens to you, you should do something good for someone else. That's why I've decided to give back to help these animals. Linda is an angel on earth for all she does."
For more information on Linda Blair's Foundation, check out its official homepage.
On her proudest moments, she said, "I love visiting schools across the United States and sharing my message of patience, positivity and perseverance. Teaching children to follow their dreams and never give up is really important to me. Children need to hear positive words of encouragement daily and understand they have the power to choose their own thoughts, the power of positive thinking. Children also need to believe in themselves. Proud moments also include seeing the faces of children light up when I read my books to them, and hearing them shout out, 'I love that book.' Seeing and hearing this just warms my heart."
When asked what inspires her writing process, she said, "The children inspire my writing. They love to hear the stories and they always ask me when my next book is coming out. It inspires me to write more. My daughters, Julia and Ashley and our dog Sadie, also inspire me."
For aspiring children's book authors, she encouraged them to find a publisher who believes in them and their work, as well as to persevere.
Digital transformation of book publishing
On the impact of technology on the book publishing industry, McKenna said, "I think technology has made it easier to find the right publishing fit for today's authors who are exploring the publishing process. Different publishing options have now been made more available. It’s also made it easier and faster to get books in the hands of readers with either hard copies or e-books as well."
On her use of technology in her daily routine, as an author, McKenna said, "I use social media and my website to promote my books. Technology allows me to reach a much larger audience, and it helps me share my positive message as well as all of my books. Technology also gives me the ability to connect with more people in the industry and my niche."
For her readers, she concluded, "I am extremely grateful for their continued support for all of my books. I appreciate their kinds words and belief in me. That's what also inspires me to continue to follow my dreams."
To learn more about children's author Marla McKenna, check out her official website.