Featured Friday: Wiggy Wanda by Kathy Mashburn | Jo Linsdell

Featured Friday: Wiggy Wanda by Kathy Mashburn

Title: Wiggy Wanda
Author: Kathy Mashburn
Illustrated by: Mindy Liang
ISBN: 13: 978-1499662863

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!

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 will help open the door for women everywhere to begin to tell their personal stories to the young children in their lives – perhaps even their daughters.

Although I enjoy writing across genres, I spend much of my time writing books for children. The stories I write are usually based on an awareness issue like the fear of clowns, or a disability concern like having prosthetic limbs or being blind. Of course, I also enjoy writing stories that are just simply FUNNY! It is my hope the books I write will engage children in a positive way, encouraging them to laugh, learn, and to enhance their imaginations. I enjoy reading, writing, crafting, attending church, and spending time with her family and friends.

AUTHOR WEBSITE: http://www.kathymashburn.com

AUTHOR BLOG: http://www.kathymashburn.blogspot.com


Please tell me how long you have been writing, and why you decided to become a writer.
I began writing in the fifth grade when my teacher, Mrs. Brannock, gave my classmates and me an assignment to keep a daily journal about something going on in our lives. As she handed me a thin red spiral notebook to use, she could not have known the profound impact it would have on me in years to come. That simple wire-bound notebook became a bible of sorts to me as I captured my every thoughts, ideas, and dreams 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 and me to maintain daily journals again. By then journaling had become a habit to me, but her renewed assignment caused an even greater appreciation in reading, writing, and storytelling in 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 I continue to keep pen and paper handy every day.

Are you a fulltime or part-time writer?

I am definitely a part-time writer, but I consider myself a writer with a fulltime commitment.  I can’t remember a single day I have not written in my journal, or scratched out a new idea or story, or scribbled random thoughts on a napkin while dining.  Writing is a part of everything I do.  Most days I even set my alarm clock for an hour earlier than when I need to awake to prepare for my full-time paid job.  I enjoy writing so much I keep index cards on my nightstand to write down my dreams on the occasion I am lucky to remember them when I awake.

Where do you draw your inspirations from?

Everywhere!  Seriously, I am inspired by so many things like people, places, my family, my friends, and news events.   I am a good listener, so I pay attention to snatches of conversations around me to get ideas.  I consider this unintentional eavesdropping because people everywhere talk openly about their lives, their pets, their jobs, etc., which often turns into a story or an idea for a project.   I also practice really looking to see things with a ‘curious eye’.   I try to see things differently than others might.

Is this your first published work?  What other types of writing are you interested in?

No, it isn’t.    I’ve published three different books in three different genres.  My first publication was a book titled How to Swap Batches of Cookies and Candy with Others, plus 115 Great Recipes.  This book came about for two reasons.  The first was to find a way to have fun on a tight budget with my family during Christmas holidays, while the other was to learn all I could about the world of publishing.   I had been attending workshops at a local university on writing, so I decided the best way to understand the jargon and business was to get my feet wet by self-publishing a book.

My second publication is a fun story titled Mrs. Baxter Swarms Mount Vernon High School.  Mrs. Baxter is an eccentric grandma who takes things into her own hands to get to the bottom of the troubles her grandson, Norman get’s himself into a few days before his graduation.  She is a wacky and fun lady that’s sure to have readers laughing out loud.

In addition to the previous books, I have also published three children’s books titled A Birthday Clown for Archer, Feeding Piggy, and Jilly Loves to Pretend.

I enjoy writing in different genres.  My current works-in-progress are Living in the Midst of God’s Plan, and A Day in the Life of Beekeeper.  Readers can learn more about these projects on my website at http://www.kathymashburn.com.

Why did you decide to self-publish your work instead of pursuing traditional publishing?

For me, it’s all about the control and freedom to make my own decisions.  I like being responsible for my work.  Once I sent a story to a few publishing houses, which caused me to realize I was not very good at waiting weeks, months, or even years for a their reply, if any.   Then I began to read, read, and read again everything I could get my hands on about writing and publishing.  After studying other successful authors, I decided to pursue self-publishing.   It’s true, we are our biggest asset, so I set out to brand myself and to promote what I love to do, which is to write and tell stories.

This is not to say I would not pursue traditional publishing if an opportunity was presented to me, but in the meanwhile I plan to continue to do all I can to make my own success.  I can dream about the big publishing houses, and who knows, one day I might just land one.


  1. Jo, you are absolutely the best! I appreciate the feature, but mostly I appreciate our friendship. Much love, Kathy