Today, we have our very first author interview. Now, this isn't an interview with just anyone. This is an interview with someone who is in the throes of literally making their lifelong dream come true.
Many of us have fantasised about the time when we would have our first book published, our name on that front cover and when we could finally hold our head up proudly and sing to the world, "I'm a published author. I've made it!"
Many of us have dreamed of this moment from the time we were children.
Today's interview is with an emerging author named Ashling Kwok who is taking those very first exciting and exhilarating steps to seeing her dream come true.
Over the next few months, Ashling's life will transform. As her writing mentor, and having worked with her on a number of manuscripts, I can certainly attest to her talent, passion, drive and commitment to succeed. She has everything it takes and I'm thrilled and honoured that she chose me as a mentor.
I'm so very pleased that Ashling is making her dreams come true and I look forward to watching her progress through her journey to becoming a published author. This girl is on her way.
All my best
Hi Ashling, thanks for stopping by. Can you please let our readers know how long you've been writing for?
I wrote my first picture book when I was fourteen. It was called Benny’s New Bicycle and was written on a typewriter and had stick figure drawings. Luckily, my writing has improved over the years because my illustrator abilities have not.
Why did you choose to write picture books?
I choose to write picture books because I love watching children’s faces light up when they get to the end of a story. I've always read to my children at bedtime and loved how a good picture book would build anticipation and give a contented ending. I also love images and watching how both elements intertwine to create a story.
What's your favourite thing about writing?
Where do I start? I love the storytelling aspect. I love the way readers learn. Writing is my stress release and my frustration all rolled into one. When I write, I escape to a faraway land where nothing but words surrounds me.
And the most challenging?
The most challenging thing would be when a story just won’t come together. You know what you want to say but you can’t find the words. A lovely writer once told me that you need to walk away because the story will brew even when you don’t know it is. I know this technique works because one day, the ending that I tried so hard to find just appeared.
How has a mentorship with Greenleaf Press helped you?
My mentorship with Greenleaf Press has changed my life. I have sent manuscripts to editors before but Greenleaf is different. Aleesah Darlison sees things that no one else sees. She picks up on every issue that a writer who is too close to their work misses. She's also incredibly supportive and offers great advice regarding publishers and the submissions process. I can’t thank Aleesah enough for her help.
Thanks Ashling, but you have to be commended for your great ideas, your tenacity and your hard work. It's wonderful to see it starting to pay off for you! So... when is your first ever picture book due for release?!
I have just signed the contract so I’m guessing it will be mid-2018.
Fantastic. Please keep us updated. And what are you looking forward to most of all once your book comes out?
I’m looking forward to hearing from readers who love the book. I’m looking forward to sharing it with children and most importantly I’m hoping that I continue to publish more as it's all I’ve ever wanted to do.
Awesome, thanks for your time Ashling. Congratulations once again and we look forward to following your journey towards publication... and beyond. Good luck.