Meet Sean O’Brien:The Sports Writer that Wrote a Children’s Book…

Sean O’Brien writes about Philadelphia sports. I love Philadelphia sports. That is how I first met him, virtually. I was surprised when I found out he wrote a children’s book and even more surprised when I found out the topic of the book. Sean is one of the good guys. I hope you enjoy getting to know him as much as I have.

Thanks to my friend Doreen for allowing me to write a guest blog post about my new illustrated children’s book Maddie: Teaching Tolerance with a Smile.

Author Sean OBrien Cover

Questions that will be answered in our online blog classroom today include:

  1. Why did I write an illustrated book where 50% of the proceeds go to a children’s charity?
  2. Why did two major media outlets cover the release of the book?
  3. How can you use this information to further your own writing life?


Stepping up to the plate…


I wanted to be a baseball player when I grew up, but I wasn’t good enough on the diamond. So, after graduating from college, I started my professional career in the Philadelphia Phillies’ farm system, where I was a member of the Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Red Barons’ front office staff.


Many years later I went back to school and earned an elementary education certification. Since Labor Day weekend 2010, I’ve adapted my old print skills to today’s internet world and have written over 2,000 (yes, two-thousand) sports, news and interview features for a variety of online venues. Those features have generated a combined total over over four million hits since that time.


I published my first book Fast Fiction and Other Stuff purely in ebook form on Amazon in the fall of 2012.


Thanks mom and dad


My mom taught me to read before I started kindergarten in the fall of 1973. A need to read has existed ever since that time.


Many parents, as well as an abundance of teachers, understand the greatness within children’s books. Reading any memorable book with your child, or with your class, instantly evokes memories of a favorite library book that was held long ago.


The cumulative experience of interacting with so many exceptional books (old-school print, and today’s ebook editions) sparked my interest to write one of my own someday. But, what would that story be and when would I write it?


Old school friend


I developed the idea for my children’s book after publishing an article about the Woytovich family. Jeff Woytovich (a high school classmate of mine) founded the Children’s Alopecia Project (CAP) in 2004 in honor of their daughter Madison, who developed alopecia when she was in kindergarten. As a result of the condition, ‘Maddie’ eventually lost all of the hair on her body.


Product placement


Maddie: Teaching Tolerance with a Smile presents the current topic of tolerance in a manner that underscores timeless values, honors the efforts of all responsible parents, encourages children to promote kindness, and recognizes the courage of a young girl in my local community. It was written with lower- and middle-elementary school students in mind.


50% of all proceeds from the sale of my book (in both print and ebook forms) are being donated to CAP.

The Children’s Alopecia Project published my book in August, 2013. That non-profit organization is also handling distribution. The hyperlink to their website can be used to purchase the print edition through Paypal, or via a mail request.

Use this link —> ebook version Maddie: Teaching Tolerance with a Smile to see a free preview of the Amazon ebook. I added bonus material to this special digital edition, including numerous interactive links, behind-the-scenes material and extra illustrations.


Media buzz


Just prior to the book’s release (July 30, 2013), Fox 29 Philadelphia ran a four-minute interview feature about Maddie, the Woytovich family, and myself on their 10 p.m. newscast.


The Reading Eagle published a front-page (print edition) article about the book on October 8, 2013.


Good press obviously makes people aware of your product. This publicity has given the print version of this book, which was sharply illustrated by Melissa Lascala, a strong start since the summer. Everyone who is involved in this project is very pleased with the sales results that have been seen throughout the United States and in a number of countries around the world to-date.


The end


And that’s all there is to say for now my friends, as our new book adventure is just beginning. I encourage every reader to never stop moving your eyes across every page that excites you. I also encourage every writer to tell your stories throughout your entire life.


Feel free to read my blog Insight, or to connect with me through social media via Twitter @SeanyOB, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn. You can also contact me directly through email:







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