Linda J. Cronin is the brand new author of Positopia World: The Hidden Portal. Dedicated to helping children develop emotional intelligence and coping skills for everyday life, Linda has written her first children’s book about exactly that. To celebrate the launch, we sat down to chat about the book.
MIRIAM LAUNDRY: Hi Linda! Congratulations on your new book. Can you tell us a bit about it?
LINDA CRONIN: Positopia World: The Hidden Portal is for children aged three to eight years old. I started writing it a little over a year and a half ago. When I had an “aha” moment and had an idea for an interactive therapeutic toy to help kids learn to self-regulate, I decided that it should have a cute story, in kids’ language, to go with it to add fun and imagination into the learning.
ML: What inspired you to become an author?
LC: I have always thought I would write a children’s book when I was growing up but I think I let it go when I began my engineering career after college. When the idea for the toy came up and I needed a book to go with it I thought “Well, here we are, finally going to write children’s books!”
ML: Where did the inspiration for this book come from?
LC: From my children. They were adopted from Guatemala when they were 1 ½ and 2 ½ respectively. They have serious mental health challenges, one is called Reactive Attachment Disorder. It is very difficult to parent kids with this disorder because, basically, they are scared of love. Love has hurt them in the past and they will do anything to avoid that pain in the future. They push away the only people that are there for them. If we don’t get them the help they need while young they will grow up to have more severe challenges including addiction to drugs and alcohol, prison, homelessness, sex trafficking, etc. It’s really hard to see this happening and be helpless to help. It’s also extremely challenging to be the therapeutic parent they need.
ML: Is that why this message was so important for you to share?
LC: Yes! Lots of children do not have access to the help they need. They may live in rural areas, their family may be too poor to afford the right therapy or they may not know where to find help, or even know that they need it. Sometimes, parents think it is their fault that their child is not responding in healthy ways.
ML: Did you face any challenges in the whole process?
LC: Writing. I am an engineer, great at math and computations, logic, etc. I can write technical reports all day long, but to write in a way that excites people, that touches them, is way out of my comfort zone.
ML: What was the biggest lesson you learned through it all?
LC: Knowing that I could definitely NOT have done this without you and the team. I didn’t know what I didn’t know and it was a LOT! One thing that stuck out was that I originally wrote the book spelling out the different interventions that can be used in certain situations. I learned that you cannot let kids know that they are learning lessons. It needs to be buried in the story. That is SO much more fun! Facepalm!
ML: It was so lovely working with you. What made you decide to join Publishing Mastermind?
LC: I was writing this book for middle schoolers when it flashed across my screen on Facebook or something. My friend had just told me that I could one day separate the different lessons in that book into several children’s books. I just brushed that aside for later. Until you came across my screen. We had an initial consultation and you were so real and so nice. Since you’re from South America and work with an agency that helps build schools in Guatemala, where my kids are from, I think it was pretty much meant to be!
ML: What was your favourite part of the program?
LC: Getting to know my fellow authors and supporting each other. Working with Lauren, Kalyna, and Samara who are all so helpful, patient, and kind. The team is truly invested in helping you fulfill your dream of being a children’s book author.
ML: If you could share one piece of advice with an aspiring author, what would it be?
LC: Just do it! But definitely get some help with it. Take the Children’s Book Masterclass with Miriam. It was so necessary for me to be able to get where I am now, with a book for sale on Amazon!
ML: Lastly, what do you hope parents and children take away from this book?
LC: Learn how to relax, breathe, and take actions to help control big emotions. This can help them for a lifetime. I wish I knew these things growing up!
ML: Thank you, Linda, and congratulations again!
Watch the Full Interview:
Linda J. Cronin lives on Cape Cod in Massachusetts with her two children, who were adopted from Guatemala in 2008, and their three awesome cats.
She is the president of her own Civil Engineering company, the founder of the non-profit “Help Children Heal”, and the inventor of an interactive therapeutic toy and a board game for adopted and foster children with trauma. She is passionate about helping children overcome their trauma through fun books and toys. She is also an award-winning photographer and avid hiker.