Thursday, March 25, 2010

Author Patti McKenna

A wife, mother, and author, Patti McKenna brings real-life experience to everything she writes. With a background in business, education, and the legal profession, she has a diverse background that lends itself to her writing. International and best-selling authors have contracted with Patti McKenna to write articles and books, from self-help to motivational, and from informational to autobiographical.
Her debut book, Caution: Children Should Come With Warning Labels, weaves parenting advice through McKenna’s true and humorous experiences raising four daughters. Released by Urban Edge Publishing, Atlanta, the book combines humor with the everyday realities of parenting. 
As a ghostwriter and copywriter, Patti has penned memoirs, self-help and personal and professional development books, business articles, and has been a feature writer for magazines. In October, 2007, her story about her mother’s fight with cancer was published in Voices of Breast Cancer (La Chance Publishing), a book of anthologies written by people who have been affected by the disease.

What genre do you consider yourself? 
Usually I write non-fiction books, particularly self help. Caution: Children Should Come With Warning Labels is a parenting book, but could also be cross-referenced as humor.

Give us a synopsis of your most recent book in 3 paragraphs or less:
Rarely do we find a parenting book that is both entertaining and realistic, but the humorous realities of parenthood captured in Caution: Children Should Come With Warning Labels appeals to parents of all ages. Caution: Children Should Come With Warning Labels chronicles Patti McKenna’s funny and touching true experiences of everyday life as an average mom. Weaving parenting lessons with charm and wit, she takes moms and dads from birth through the teenage years, revealing the hilarious and heartwarming moments on the learning curve of parenthood. 
Caution: Children Should Come With Warning Labels also features two bonus sections: Parenting Survival Tips and Tricks, which are realistic, comedic, and on target, and Parenting Group Discussion Topics, which are thought-provoking and invite healthy debate on issues which are important to parents in their journey of raising children.

Titles of all of your books:
Co-Author of Voices of Breast Cancer, LaChance Publishing October 2007
Author of Caution: Children Should Come With Warning Labels, Urban Edge Publishing
Patch, co-authored with Mucheru Njaga, (currently unpublished novel)

What made you decide to become an author?
I’ve always loved to read and write, even as a child. By trade, I am a full-time writer, ghostwriter, and editor. It was only natural that I would write a book under my own name after writing many for clients.

What do you enjoy most about being an author?
I find pleasure in weaving the written word to create an emotion, provide instruction, or to convey a message. In addition, it’s a very creative career—authors are in control of their stories, resulting in literary works that are as unique as the author. It’s also introduced me to some interesting and amazing people across the country.

If you could meet one author, who would it be?
In the genre of Caution: Children Should Come With Warning Labels, the author I’d most like to meet would undeniably be best-selling author Erma Bombeck. Although she is deceased, I still enjoy reading her books. She had a knack for being funny and real, while also being able to be compassionate and touching.

How are you giving back to the literary community?
In an online capacity, I have two blogs, one for parents, the other for writers and my clients. I’ve discussed topics regarding books, publishing, writing, and editing which entice discussion and are intended to provide assistance to new or inexperienced authors. Several people now contact me regularly to receive advice or assistance in their own writing and publishing endeavors.
I also meet online with the Midwest Writers Guild to discuss items of common interest among authors. In addition, I’ve had the pleasure of speaking to high school students about careers in journalism, publishing, and writing.

Give one tip you would give new authors?
Persevere—don’t give up, but also don’t give up your day job.

What is the biggest lesson you've learned since becoming an author?
The biggest lesson I’ve learned is without a doubt that writing a book is easy…marketing a book is not.  It’s a competitive industry and notoriety is paramount to success. In short, an author must sell him or herself, perhaps more so than their book.

What is the one thing that irks you about the literary industry?

The literary industry is a Catch 22 world. For the most part, first-time authors cannot get published because they haven’t made a big enough name for themselves. Yet, they can’t make a name for themselves as an author until they are published. The same goes for selling books—brick and mortar stores won’t accept books unless they are a success, but it is difficult to capture success if books are not in brick and mortar stores.
Who, What, When and Where is your next event?
This year will be an exciting one, and we’re just getting started with a major launch of my book. There are several events in the works for 2010. However, I’m not at liberty to disclose them until they have been confirmed. (Details will be provided as they are confirmed.)
Suggest a preferred literary service.
I am an independent contractor—a writer, ghostwriter, and an editor—who has penned biographies, fiction, non-fiction, and business books for actors, professional athletes, entrepreneurs, keynote speakers, attorneys and professors. I help business owners and celebrities become authors and have helped many people convey their message through books and articles.

Where can readers find your work?
Of course, Amazon carries the titles of books I’ve written, and the individual publishers carry the titles they’ve accepted. Caution: Children Should Come With Warning Labels is available at Amazon and It can also be found on my website,, and further information about my work can be found at my blog:
Voices of Breast Cancer can also be found at

Contact info:
Telephone:  Day and Evening:  815-263-5017

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