Welcome back to another installment in the ‘A Kansas Author’ blog series. Today, my interview is with an author of children’s books!
Let me tell you, Mary Ann Wittman’s books are adorned with the sweetest covers. Clemmie and the Mailman is my favorite, so far!
Welcome, Mary Ann! Where in Kansas did you grow up?
M: In Salina.
Have you lived in Kansas your whole life?
M: No, I have lived also in Mississippi, Texas, Colorado, and overseas in Izmir, Turkey.
When did you know you wanted to write?
M: I have always had a creative imagination and have written poems and short essays. As I began to develop stories in my mind, I decided to begin writing them down.
What is the name of the first book you published?
M: The first book is titled ‘The Little Christmas Tree.’
What’s it about?
M: It is about a small, sad little tree that is afraid he will not be picked to become a Christmas tree.
Aw, lovely! I bet that did well over the holidays. Are you self-published or traditionally published?
M: Quasi-self-published. I did have a publisher, but he passed away. Now my illustrator is my publisher.
I’m sorry to hear about your publisher. However, I can see your illustrator is a gem. I love your covers.
Is Children’s books your genre of preferences.
M: It is. That is where my creativity leads me.
Have you done any book events or reading? Teachers would love you!
M: I have read at elementary schools, the Discovery Center, Brown vs. Board, etc. I have also displayed my books at various venues including the Public Library, Tails on the Trail, Washburn Tech, HHHS ‘Howl’-idays, the Washburn Bookstore, and NOTO. Among other places…
That’s wonderful! Do you have any upcoming events?
M: Not at the moment.
What are you currently working on?
M: I just completed and published a children’s book: ‘Jenny Elizabeth’s List’ in November 2015. Plus, Dan and I have begun another book: ‘Steve and the New Baby.’
Do you mind telling me what it’s about?
It is about my daughter and son-in-law’s dog, Steve, and his experience when their little son was born and entered the household.
That sounds like a fun book!
M: I think it will resonate with a lot of people who have been through this experience of having a dog (their “first baby”), and then bringing home their first child much to the dismay of the doggie.
I’m sure there will be a huge audience for that story!
Mary Ann, What has been your biggest challenge in life?
M: My biggest challenge was the major change in my life after almost 30 years of marriage and two children … leaving that life to become a single, career-oriented woman.
Have you ever written about it?
M: No I will never write about that time in my life.
This is where I want to get nosy, but I’m going to refrain.
Who’s your favorite author?
M: I don’t have a favorite author, but I do have some favorite books. The best book I have read recently was: All the Light We Cannot See.
I have some random questions for you. Is that all right?
Chocolate or vanilla?
Coffee or tea?
Hot breakfast or cold?
M: Hot breakfast.
Dessert before or after your meal?
M: Dessert after.
Thank you so much for your time, Mary Ann. How can readers find you and your books?
M: My books can be purchased at the Washburn University Bookstore on Campus in the Memorial Union and they can be purchased directly from me by accessing my website or by emailing me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.