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Interview with Kathy Mashburn

What genre do you write and why?

While I enjoy writing across genres, I spend most of my time writing books for children. The stories I write are usually based on an awareness issue like a fear of clowns, a physical disability like having prosthetic limbs or being blind. Of course, sometimes I simply write stories that are entertaining and FUNNY!  I strive to write books that engage children in a positive way, encouraging them to laugh, learn, and to enhance their imagination.

Tell us about your latest book.

Imagine you have been diagnosed with cancer. Now, imagine how you would go about explaining your diagnosis to a young child. Wiggy Wanda is a children's book that I wrote in hopes it might open doors for women everywhere to begin to tell their personal stories to the young children in their lives - perhaps even their daughters.

In Wiggy Wanda, Keri Fields is only seven years old when she learns the reason for her mother's sickness. She has seen firsthand how badly her mother feels when she is sick. Keri listens carefully as her mother tells her about a boo-boo called cancer that is causing her to be sick enough to throw up and tired enough to lie down often. To help explain the things that will happen while her mother is being treated by the doctor, Keri's parents present her with a very special gift. Keri quickly discovers this is no ordinary gift!

What marketing methods are you using to promote your book?

For me, marketing is an everyday all-day effort to reach my audience.  I enjoy marketing my books and myself in various ways, including using social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Linked-in, Pinterest, and Goodreads.  I also submit media kits and press releases to newspapers and TV and radio stations (starting locally, and then branching out as far as leads allow).  I am a member of numerous online writers groups and a few local groups in my community.  I am also a member of The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and Georgia Writers Association.

Lastly, my absolute favorite marketing method is participating in opportunities that allow me to network directly with my readers.  I hold book signings; attend expos, fairs, festivals, and community events as often as possible.  The more comfortable you become with talking about yourself and your work, the more successful you will be.

What’s your favorite quote about writing/for writers?

“The best time for planning a book is while you’re doing the dishes.” – Agatha Christie

Where can people find out more about you and your writing?

The quickest way to learn more about me and my work is by visiting my website at http://www.kathymashburn.com and to sign up for my blog or newsletter using the links at the top of the home page.  Readers may also connect and follow me at http://amazon.com/author/kathy.mashburn, or at http://facebook.com/kathymashburnauthor.

Why do you think readers are going to enjoy your book?

Wiggy Wanda is not just an ordinary book!  It’s a book meant to spark conversations between adults and children dealing with cancer or other serious illnesses.  It is beautifully illustrated and easy to understand.  In addition to the book, Wiggy Wanda dolls were created at the request of many of my readers.   The Wiggy Wanda doll is intentionally sold bald, so that adults and children can experience shopping for a wig of their choice and other accessories, including clothing, shoes, and hats together.

Where can a reader purchase your book?

Wiggy Wanda available on http://www.amazon.com, http://www.wiggywanda.com, or at http://www.createspace/4787429.    My other children’s books, including A Birthday Clown for Archer, Feeding Piggy, and Jilly Loves to Pretend are also available on Amazon.  Readers can simply search my name (Kathy Mashburn), or the title of any of my books to find me.

What is your work in progress?  Tell us about it.

My current works-in-progress include Wooly Gets a Haircut, An Odd Bird, and Santa, Are You Ready?  My lists is always growing and changing as I find inspiration.  A couple favorite ways for me to be inspired is to observe people and to listen to snatches of their random conversations when I’m out-and-about.  A great idea can occur at any moment!

Who or what inspired you to become a writer?
I began writing in the fifth grade when my teacher, Mrs. Brannock, gave my class an assignment to keep a daily journal about something going on in our lives. As Mrs. Brannock handed me a thin red spiral notebook to use, she could not have known the profound impact it would have on me years to come. That simple wire-bound notebook became a bible of sorts to me as I captured my every thought, idea, and dream inside its pages.
It was much later in high school when another teacher, Dr. Peggy Quarles further inspired me to write. She poured fuel on the fire when she instructed my freshmen class to maintain journals again. By then journaling had become habitual to me, but the renewed assignment caused an even greater appreciation of reading, writing, and storytelling within me. It is because of Dr. Quarles’s encouragement and advice to write about anything and everything lurking behind the doors of my imagination that causes me to keep a pen and paper handy every day.

Does your family support you in your writing career?  How?

Absolutely!  I am blessed to be the mother of three beautiful daughters, Jennifer, Lindsey, and Rana.  They have never failed to encourage me to pursue my dreams and to reach my goals.  Their belief in me inspires me to reach higher than I ever thought possible.  They are especially supportive when it comes to extending my reach to prospective readers.  They never hesitate to tell everyone and anyone about my work, plus they volunteer to do physical work for me as well.  Most weekends, you will find them packing books, dolls, etc. for mailing, or managing tables on my behalf at public events.  They and many others are always hands-on when it comes to helping me grow as a writer.

When you’re not writing, how do you spend your time?

When I am not writing, I enjoy reading, crafting, attending church, and spending time with my family and friends.

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