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Sara Madden talks about her bestselling children’s book ‘Lucy’s Umbrella’

Bestselling author Sara Madden chatted about her critically-acclaimed book “Lucy’s Umbrella.”

Sara Madden
Bestselling author Sara Madden. Photo Courtesy of Sara Madden.
Bestselling author Sara Madden. Photo Courtesy of Sara Madden.

Bestselling author Sara Madden chatted about her critically-acclaimed children’s book “Lucy’s Umbrella.”

Madden grew up on California’s Central Coast, raised on donuts and cookies from her grandparents’ Tan Top Bakery. At age six, she wrote her first story, titled “I Love My Family,” and she’s been busy writing ever since that moment.

Presently, she has a collection of wonderful children’s books, including Lucy’s Umbrella, which has won a Global Book Award and recently hit the bestseller list. She lives in Utah with her family and dogs. In her spare time, she enjoys painting and roller skating.

Talk to us about your childhood. Did you always love to read books? When did you know you wanted to become an author?

Growing up poor and dyslexic, books were my refuge. I spent mounds of time at the school libraries and public libraries, reading everything I could get my hands on. It was difficult for me with dyslexia, but when the hand-me-down TV rarely worked, I spent most of my time climbing trees and reading to my younger siblings to occupy our time.

I knew I wanted to write when I was six years old. I had exhausting anxiety as a child, and school was difficult for me to sit and pay attention, so I would write stories in class to keep me focused so I wouldn’t panic. When we couldn’t reach the library, I would make up stories for my siblings.

Your newest book, ‘Lucy’s Umbrella,’ is a Global Book Award Winner. How did this story come about?

This book was published in 2017. My first grandchild, a granddaughter named Lucy, was born in 2016. I knew I wanted to write a book about positive body issues for her to read so she could grow up without comparing herself to others and loving her body for its uniqueness.

I have melasma all over my body, especially my face, which has caused severe body dysmorphia in my adulthood. However, melasma is treatable and can easily be covered up. I wanted to show a young girl who loved her body and chose a black girl with vitiligo.

At the time, I was so impressed with the model, Winnie Harlow, and wanted other little black girls to be empowered by her, so that is how the book came about.

What is the best thing about writing children’s books?

I love it when an idea pops into my head, and I immediately know I must write it down. Then, creating a character that a child will relate to is an essential part of my writing, and secondly, empowering that character.

How does it feel to be an author in the digital age now with technology being so prevalent?

I love it. Stories can reach more readers through digital books.

Do you see yourself continuing to author children’s books or venturing into other genres? Perhaps Young Adult?

With six picture books published, and two nearing publication this year, I hope to focus on other genres. However, I have three board books, an early chapter reader book series that I hope to continue to expand (two out of the five written so far), one middle school book, and I am finishing a young adult novel.

Eventually, I want to branch out into every genre, but children’s picture books are essential to me while my grandkids grow into beautiful little human beings.

Do you have any other projects in the works you can let your fans know a little bit about?

In June, I will publish another children’s picture book titled “The Prince’s Dress Dilemma.” It is about a prince who cannot decide which dress to wear to the ball. I wrote it when my grandson started wearing dresses, and there were no books for him to read about positive reinforcement and breaking the stigma for boys to wear dresses.

Another book I am working on will launch on November 20th for Transgender Remembrance Day. It is a children’s picture book about a transgender boy and a transgender girl and their first day of kindergarten.

It is titled “The Kind Kindergarten Class.” Throughout the story and book, you never discover which boy is the transgender boy or girl in the class because it does not matter. It is about being a child, not a transgender child.

“Lucy’s Umbrella” is available on Amazon by clicking here.

Markos Papadatos
Written By

Markos Papadatos is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for Music News. Papadatos is a Greek-American journalist and educator that has authored over 21,000 original articles over the past 18 years. He has interviewed some of the biggest names in music, entertainment, lifestyle, magic, and sports. He is a 16-time "Best of Long Island" winner, where for three consecutive years (2020, 2021, and 2022), he was honored as the "Best Long Island Personality" in Arts & Entertainment, an honor that has gone to Billy Joel six times.

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