Meghan McCain, 23, who currently blogs about life on the campaign trail, answers questions about her new illustrated children's book in this iHer book, “My Dad, John McCain,” focuses on her father's military service and presidential bid.
Q: You’ve been very busy on the campaign trail. Why did you decide to write this book?
A: When Simon and Schuster approached me to write a children’s book about my dad’s life, I initially thought I wouldn’t be very good at it and so wasn’t inclined to move forward. However, after giving it some additional thought and thinking about how powerful my dad’s story is, I realized that this could be a great opportunity to communicate that story of patriotism and bravery to younger Americans in a way that would be accessible and that they might appreciate.
Q: What do you hope kids will take away from reading this book?
A: I believe that kids will, first of all, be captivated by this book because it is a great adventure story. I also hope that they are inspired by my father's service and sacrifice to his country. It is an incredibly patriotic story, and it has always been an inspiration to me. I hope that kids will also take away the message of the importance of service to others and to country whether it be in the military, elected office or getting involved in your community.
Q: In the process of writing the book, what did you learn about your father that you didn't know already?
A: I'm not so sure that it was learning things I didn't know, as much as it was developing a deeper appreciation for the story I'd heard so many times before.
Q: What do you find most inspiring about your dad?
A: His passion for this country is the most inspiring thing about my dad. Almost his entire life has been dedicated to serving this country and trying to make its future better for all Americans.
Q: Do you have any intention of entering the political arena?
A: No, never.
Q: After the campaign is over, do you have any aspirations to write more books?
A: Yes, I have thought about writing an account of what my life has been like on the trail. There are many stories that simply didn’t fit into the medium of the blog I write, and there's certainly enough material there to be able to sit down and try to work it into a novel.
Q: How did you decide to use the illustrator Dan Andreasen? Can you tell us a little bit about the process of matching illustrations with the text? How were you involved in that process?
A: Dan Andreasen is an incredible artist, and he has done a spectacular job illustrating my book. I like his fluidity with his illustrations, and his use of watercolor adds a more poetic quality than straightforward illustrations would have. Matching the illustrations with the text is somewhat difficult, especially given some of the intense material in the book. It is not easy to illustrate my father’s experience in prison and not make it too scary for children. Most of the pictures are laid out as if I were retelling the story to my own children using old photographs and objects (such as a coffee cup and a Blackberry) surrounding me. I was closely involved with the illustration process. In fact, the cover is derived from one of my favorite pictures of me and my father, when I was a child. The photo on the back of the book was taken by my dear friend and McCainBlogette photographer, Heather Brand.