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Interview with Mickey Carolan: CODA (Child of Deaf Adults), Author, and Speaker – New Release Mom Dad Not Hear

Mickey has been busy; last year, he published Sky, the Deaf Home Run Hero: A Lesson in Courage, followed by Bonnie and the Deaf Bake Squad: A Lesson in Confidence (both part of the Deaf Kids Can series). On February 13, he’ll release a memoir called Mom Dad Not Hear, which is guaranteed to captivate readers with wit and wisdom, showcased in thirty lessons on leadership, life, and love.


Mickey Carolan, a confident, mature, and handsome bald man, is wearing a white shirt and black slacks while posing for a photo. The book cover of his new release, "Mom Dad Not Hear," is prominently displayed in bold red and black print. The cover also features the handshape for "I Love You" displayed in a mosaic pattern behind the title. At the top of the book cover, you can read that it contains "30 Powerful Stories and Lessons about Leadership, Life, and Love from My Deaf Parents." The image is set against a clean white fabric background, which enhances the book cover's overall impact.
Mickey Carolan and his new release "Mom Dad Not Hear -30 Powerful Stories and Lessons about Leadership, Life, and Love from My Deaf Parents."

Author & Speaker Mickey Carolan is a storyteller with a unique perspective. Growing up with two Deaf parents, he became fluent in one of the most beautiful languages in the world, American Sign Language. Fueled by a passion to honor his family's remarkable legacy, Mickey's words leap off the page, inviting readers into his world.

 

Nestled just outside the vibrant hub of Grand Rapids, Michigan, Mickey shares his life with his cherished wife, Erin, and their dynamic duo, Elloree, and Brooks. Amidst the hustle and bustle of optimizing global supply chains and being his wife's trusty cheerleader in the salon realm, Mickey finds inspiration in writing about leadership and the intricate dance of life.

 

Beyond the keyboard, Mickey finds joy in a variety of roles – a family man devoted to his loved ones, a youth sports coach molding future champions, an avid reader delving into diverse realms of thought, and a fitness enthusiast who finds strength not only in lifting weights but in the weights of life's experiences.

 

Mickey Carolan adds a new layer to the legacy he seeks to preserve with every word he crafts. Through his stories, we're reminded that the beauty of life lies not just in its smooth paths, but in the unexpected twists and turns that shape us. (Bio from https://www.mickeycarolan.com/)


A Little About Author and Speaker Mickey Carolan


Q: Mickey, please tell us about your parents. I know you’re a CODA (child of Deaf adults). Were your parents both born deaf? Where did they go to school? 

A: My mother is Bonnie and my late father is Sky. The two main characters in my children’s books. They were both born deaf and identified as Deaf; they were one with the culture. My mother went to the Michigan School for the Deaf in Flint, Michigan, for her entire education. My father briefly attended Sunshine Cottage School for Deaf Children in San Antonio, Texas, before coming up to Saginaw, Michigan, to graduate from a mainstream school, Saginaw Arthur Hill.


Q: Do you have siblings? Are they Deaf or CODAs like you?

A: I have one younger sibling, Tammy, who is hearing.


Q. Which was your first language: English or American Sign Language (ASL)? 

A: My first language was ASL. Like many of my peers who have English as a second language, I was in speech therapy until I was eight years old.


Q: Did you ever wish your family or upbringing was different?

A: I didn’t appreciate my upbringing as much as I do now as an adult. I talk about this in a chapter called “Heavy are the Hands that Form the Signs.” For many CODAs, particularly the eldest, interpreting can be a heavy responsibility during your youth. Admittedly, I got burnt out during that time, which is a direct contributor to why I never explored becoming a professional interpreter. 


The Beginning of Mom Dad Not Hear by Mickey Carolan


Q: You read many books by CODAs. Tell me about your favorite ones and why you're writing a different story with Mom Dad Not Hear

A: Burn Down the Ground by Kambri Crews was my favorite CODA book. It was the first book that prompted me to put my stories to paper. While her experience was vastly different than mine, I have the utmost respect for her willingness to share the story with the world. She put herself out there! In a close second was Hands of My Father by Myron Uhlberg.

Mom Dad Not Hear is different from the others in the lessons that are attached to the stories. Many of the stories are very relatable to CODAs; they’ve lived it. But what you have yet to see are the lessons clearly aligned with each story. 


Q: What inspired you to write Mom Dad Not Hear? Please tell us more about your writing journey.

A: I’ve low-key wanted to be an author since my elementary school days, where I earned a “Young Author” T-shirt. Fast forward to 2014, I completed National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) where you write 50,000 words in one month. I completed it and it was intense, I also didn’t have children then so I got laser focused and wrote story after story. Those 50,000 words, even though they were terrible, were the basis for what is now Mom Dad Not Hear. My one word for the year in 2023 was the word FINISH, which drove a desire to finish this book and bring it to life. 


Q: Mickey, your new book shares your life lessons on leadership, life, and love from your Deaf parents. Who is your audience? Is it the Deaf community or the hearing, or both? What is your dream for connection and collaboration between the two? 

A:  I made the same mistake nearly all rookie authors make—I wrote it thinking that everyone was my audience. I’ve since moved off of that. While I believe everyone could benefit from learning a new perspective, there are a few audiences that are more apt to be drawn to this book. The Deaf and CODA community are drawn to it because it shines a positive light on the culture. I did my best to honor the Deaf culture I grew up in. In addition to those communities, the following readers may enjoy this book; business leaders, DE&I(A) [diversity, equity, inclusion, accessibility]-focused individuals, people who grew up with English as a second language, memoir readers, and anyone who wants to learn more about the Deaf community.



Q: Mom Dad Not Hear offers insights into the hidden world of the Deaf community. What do you hope readers will take away from your book? 

A: It is my hope that readers see the immense positivity that Deaf people and the community can bring. My parents and many of my CODA friends’ parents worked their tails off to raise good children. We need to do a better job of shouting (and signing) that from the rooftops. 


Mickey Carolan, a Keynote Speaker


Q: How do you incorporate the lessons and stories gained from your experiences as a CODA into your work as an author and speaker? 

A: Every single speech I give is tailored to the audience. I know it’s commonplace for people to have one to three “signature speeches,” and I understand the value of that. But I have so many stories and lessons that will prompt audiences to lead, live, and love with purpose. I believe audiences deserve to hear the message that best fits them. 


Q: Can you give us an example of a time when you faced a significant challenge and how you overcame it? 

A: One story I share in the book is about my freshman year of college. There were three things that happened during the first semester that put my father and me at an immediate inflection point. You’ll have to read the book for the rest!


Mornings with Mickey, Inclusion, and Where to Get Mom Dad Not Hear


Q: On your website, you have Mornings with Mickey! Can you share more about that? 

A: It is a weekly newsletter/blog post where I share stories and lessons from my CODA perspective to help you evolve into a better leader, parent, and version of yourself. Within Mornings with Mickey, there is also a Coffee with a CODA interview series that just launched. I’m excited to share the stories of fellow CODAs. 


Q: In your opinion, how can we create more inclusive environments in our schools and communities? What are some common challenges you see, and what advice do you have for someone dealing with today’s challenges to inclusion?

A: This question is deserving of a much, much longer answer. But I like to keep it simple. For the leaders reading this that are supporters of DE&I, please understand that it is incomplete without the “A” of Access/Accessibility. How it works in my mind is this: without the proper access, you aren’t truly being inclusive. Fix DE&I, add the A.


Q: Mickey, thank you for sharing your personal journey and powerful life lessons. I am excited to see where this all leads you and how it impacts our world in so many positive ways. How can our readers get copies of all your books? Where should they leave a review? How do they connect with you to schedule an author or speaker visit?

A: This has been fun, thank you again!

As for the books, they can be found at any major online bookseller and your local independent bookstore can order them for you as well. For reviews, the most effective place is Goodreads and/or Amazon. Here’s the Amazon link to order: https://amzn.to/47YmmrB


The book cover of his new release, "Mom Dad Not Hear," is prominently displayed in bold red and black print. The cover also features the handshape for "I Love You" displayed in a mosaic pattern behind the title. At the top of the book cover, you can read that it contains "30 Powerful Stories and Lessons about Leadership, Life, and Love from My Deaf Parents." The image is set against a clean white fabric background, which enhances the book cover's overall impact.
Mickey Carolan's new release: Mom Dad Not Hear: 30 Powerful Stories and Lessons about Leadership, Life, and Love from My Deaf Parents

To contact me for your next author visit or speaking engagements,


please email me at Mickey@MickeyCarolan.com 




 Instagram @carolanonmymind 


X @carolanonmymind 


Facebook: Mickey Carolan Author & Speaker




Thanks to Mickey Carolan for sharing in this interview! Please order Mom Dad Not Hear on February 13 or preorder from your favorite book supplier! 


Mickey’s children’s books are listed on our Favorite Books page—check it out to discover many other amazing authors who write children’s books about the Deaf community.


As for you, what do you believe would help create a more inclusive world? What barriers to accessibility does your family face? Tell us about it in the comments! 



Catch Up With These Popular Posts!

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The Inner World of a Deaf Person


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