A friend introduced Wanda Welbourn to the Create Space website, which "puts what you have in book form," she said. "I thought, 'What do I have to lose?,' so I uploaded and edited it with the basic introduction and I liked the way it turned out."
It started with showing some art work at the county fair in 2014. McCloud raised, Wanda (Corea) Welbourn won Best in Show with her mixed media of Mt. Shasta. She posted her prized sketch on Facebook.
Her friend, Michael Zanger, a mountain climber recovering from a severe injury at the time, contacted her after seeing her work and informed her that her sketch motivated him to work hard to recover enough to climb the mountain again.
“That simple little picture and my friend’s recovery encouraged me to do more, so I had an art show,” said Welbourn. “They were sketches from pictures I took of Mt. Shasta that I colored on the computer.” From that came her idea of a coloring book she called “Mount Shasta of the Cascade Range, The Big Girl Coloring Book.”
Then she was approached by another friend, Michael Brackett, who had written a couple Bunny and Hare children books. He asked her to make the sketches for his books, The Tales Of Bunny and Hare and The Adventures of Bunny and Hare.
“It was Mike Brackett that introduced me to the website, Create Space,” said Welbourn. “It puts what you have in book form. I thought, ‘What do I have to lose?,’ so I uploaded and edited it with the basic introduction and I liked the way it turned out.
“They even have support help for writing, for a fee. But you can put a book together for free on Create a Space. I even have an electronic scan barcode number (ISBN) on my books. I never thought I would be a published writer. The whole idea that you can put your art and written word in a book and it not cost an arm and a leg to give to your family and friends, and it looks published, is great. Create Space is a great tool to get people to publish their books. If you can get to the site, you already have the computer skills to do it,” said Welbourn.
After creating her color book, Welbourn made a children’s book for a friend who has a dying three year old granddaughter. “I created The Adventures of Viv E. Bear, because there is nothing else I can do besides pray,” said Welbourn. “Her older sister and the family will have this special book.”
Then, after a friend told her that she had returning breast cancer, Welbourn gathered her poems and journals from their motorcycle trips together through the years and created a book for her motorcycle girlfriends. On Two Wheels: Poetry About Motorcycling in the Western States by W.A. Welbourn was also published through Create Space. “My poems are from the rhythm and of the road,” Welbourn wrote in the introduction.
She is planning a public poetry reading at the McCloud Hotel in November and is selling her books on Amazon. They will also be available at Mount Shasta Sisson Museum and McCloud Hotel.