Betsy and Maggie interviewed author Mary Parry and photographer Corey Williams about their inspiring children’s book, Sadie McGrady Runs for President. Mary spent years developing Sadie and found, in Corey, a photographer who brought her vivid ideas to life—just in time for a pre-election release. Included below are highlights from the lunchtime conversation with the duo.
We’re eager to hear the story of your partnership—how did it come to be?
How did you know?
CW: Photography’s my strength, but the publishing process isn’t. Mary had the pieces in place to make the engine fly. She brought the structure. All I needed to do was step in for this one-week photo shoot, and she would make a book happen.
What makes your partnership work?
MP: We inspire each other to grow in different ways. I took a photography class from Corey after the book came out. I love what she does, and I wanted to learn more.
How did the fact that you’re both women influence your work?
MP: Because of the nature of this project, I insisted this partnership be with a woman who could take amazing pictures.
That’s powership! What advice do you have for other women who are considering joining forces?
CW: I’ve learned a lot about myself from partnering with Mary. Most importantly, I learned that when I can be openly honest about my faults, failings, limitations, it makes it possible for other people to pick up the slack, and then I can run with the things I’m good at.
MP: When we started, we were moving so fast we had to be direct because we didn’t have time for niceties. We had to put all our stuff on the table. It was about getting Sadie done, but also putting everything out there that could get in the way of getting Sadie done.
What’s the secret to your success?
CW: How did you really feel about that? The $80 dress you bought that I was cutting up with scissors?
MP: That’s how great things happen—by being ok with tearing things up. That’s how creativity works. The best things can come from being open to taking structure out of it. We had a solid plan and a framework, but also a go-with-the-flow approach.
Ok, Corey, you get the last word.
*Edited for clarity and space. Image of Corey (left) and Mary (right) courtesy of Corey Williams.