Katie Mullaly’s new book empowers with ‘Land of I Am’
Two signing events scheduled
Park City author Katie Mullaly is taking young readers and their families on journeys through life with her “Land Of” children’s books series.
Her first book, “Land of Or” helps children maneuver through the decision-making process and helps them figure out how to make the best choices.
The second book, “Land of And,” gives children advice on how to talk about differences, inclusion and understanding our own uniqueness.
The new one, which was published by Faceted Press a few weeks ago, is called “Land of I Am.”
It deals with self-image and self-esteem, Mullaly told The Park Record.
“I was actually going to write another story and my editor and I realized it was time to do something different,” she said. “The other two were very linear in their journeys, but this one was different, and was actually a personal issue for me.”
To celebrate the book’s release, Mullaly will be at Nuzzles & CO. Pet Rescue and Adoption, 6699 N. Landmark Drive, #103 on Friday, Nov. 25, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
“My books will be the official books for their reading program,” Mullaly said. “The program will help kids improve their reading skills as they read to dogs.”
The next day, Dolly’s Bookstore, 510 Main St., will host a book signing with Mullaly that will go from 6-8 p.m.
Both events are free and open to the public, and each will focus on “Land of I Am.”
“The two most powerful words anyone can use is ‘I am,’ because anything we say that follows those words really shapes how we see ourselves,” Mullaly said “Unfortunately, most of us follow ‘I am’ with something negative, and it’s so easy to do that.”
Unfortunately, people do this so often they don’t recognize it.
“So, we need to know that we have the power to turn it around and find wonderful things about ourselves,” Mullaly said. “It’s even a more important time than ever to have this message out, because the national and global psyche can be disturbed at times. So, it’s important to say, ‘I am good,’ ‘I am caring,’ ‘I am concerned’ or ‘I am able to contribute.’”
That said, the book is not afraid to address personal flaws.
“It’s not a children’s book that glosses over these things,” Mullaly said. “It addresses broken parts and the importance of failing.”
That is symbolized in with a reflection in a cracked mirror.
“I thought that was so important because we’re such a success-driven society and we all have an idea of success is all about winning, but to really succeed is to try,” Mullaly said.
There is also the return of the Yabbut, which appears in all of Mullaly’s books. This time the creature tries to distort the reader’s self-image.
“Yabbuts are the ones that represent that voice that says, ‘You’re so very far from being ideal,’” Mullaly said. “But I don’t see them as evil creatures. They’re just a sad reality of life.
“I remember when the idea of a Yabbut came to me,” the author said. “I was beating myself up years ago and a friend of mine said, ‘If I was saying those same things to to you, would you want to hang around me?’ I said, ‘No, of course not.’ and he said, ‘Then why are you doing this to yourself?’”
Mullaly has plans for a total of 12 books in the “Land of” series, and began writing “Land of I Am”
in January. She and her editor finished its touch ups in August.
“It was only 1,500 words, so it’s not like a novel, but you need to be very specific of the meaning behind those words,” Mullaly said.
One of the hardest things Mullaly faced with writing “Land of I Am” was dealing with her own insecurities.
“While I was writing, I would catch myself facing my own negative issues,” she said. “So, the writing was as transformative for me as it will hopefully be for someone who will read this book.”
As with her other two books, visual artist Toby Allen provided the illustrations.
“This was the most collaborative project we have done,” Mullaly said. “I especially love how he did the distorted mirrors.”
Mullaly hopes adults will learn something while reading the book with their children.
“That’s been the whole intention all along,” she said. “I’m hoping ‘Land of I am’ will have a profound impact on the parents as it does on the kids, because if the parents start using better ‘I ams’ that will eventually trickle down to their children.”
Author Katie Mullaly will be at Nuzzles & CO., 6699 N. Landmark Drive, #103, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 25. She will also be at Dolly’s Bookstore, 510 Main St., at 5 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 26. For more information, visit http://www.landofchildrensbooks.com.
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