Meet Kristen Waldbieser, Best Selling Author and Educator
One of the many wonderful aspects of Books That Heal is the opportunity to connect with extraordinary people making a difference in families’ lives every day. Kristen Waldbieser (https://www.kristenwaldbieserbooks.com/) is one of these amazing people and we had a chance to speak to her about her unexpected career as an author, her extraordinary books and the impact her work is having on children throughout the country.
BECOMING A PUBLISHED AUTHOR
Kristen shares “I always wanted to be a writer. I started by co-writing with a friend, an illustrator, our first book, “Stories from the Magic Kingdom.” I live in Orlando, Florida and love Disney and thought it would be a great place to start. At the time, I was teaching fifth grade English so writing was something I did in my spare time.
Everything changed when I started having symptoms of POTS (Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome) which means that I pass out whenever I stand up or sit down suddenly. It took almost four years for doctors to figure out what it was. I could not continue to teach especially as I was going through the diagnosis and testing.”
While Kristen was not able to work as a teacher, she had to keep busy and began thinking about what she was going through with an invisible disability. Kristen shares “I didn’t see people like me represented in children’s books, not just a minor character, but a way for kids to be represented and not just labelled.
That’s one of the main reasons I created Princess Audrey. I wanted her to be a strong character. She has personality, she is kind and she isn’t afraid of anything. Her disabilities are not limiting her in any way. The story would be the same whether Princess Audrey was in a wheelchair or not.”
In the book, there is a Mermaid who is deaf, a blind pirate and a seeing eye parrot. The focus is not on the disability or the difference. Kristen shares “I want kids who don’t have disabilities to know that their friends with disabilities aren’t necessarily different. They want to have the same experiences too because they are all just kids.”
A Princess Audrey reader and Kristen
KIDS ARE KIDS ARE KIDS.
“Princess Audrey shows that anyone can be a princess and that’s my message” says Kristen. “There is nothing stopping you. It doesn’t matter what your are born with. Kids are kids are kids. They all want to play, laugh, watch movies and read books. Just because a kid has a disability, they are still just a kid and want to be treated like that.”
Kristen, thank you for sharing your work and for creating amazing stories that inspire all children to know that anything is possible!
To get your own copy of the Princess Audrey books, please stop by the shop at https://www.kristenwaldbieserbooks.com/.