Where do your ideas come from?
Everywhere – my children, my childhood, world events, images I see, conversations I overhear, a look in a child’s eyes. Sometimes I have so many ideas I feel like my head is going to explode. For me the difficult part isn’t finding inspiration, it’s taking that idea and turning into a relatable story that children will want to read.
Are you a plotter or a pantser?
Definitely a pantser. I don’t think I’ve ever plotted or planned anything in my life. However, I have found that while this approach works well for picture books, it hasn’t helped me with the junior fiction series I’m working on. I’ve learned the hard way that a little planning goes a long way when it comes working on larger projects.
What is your interesting writing quirk?
Probably the fact that I usually work on about five manuscripts at a time. I hop in and out of each one depending on my mood and inspiration. I’ve tried to focus on one at a time, but my restless mind won’t let me do it. I don’t know if this helps me or hinders me but it’s the only way I can work.
How did you learn about the craft of writing?
I did a weekend course at the Sydney Writer’s Centre with Aleesah Darlison many years ago. It was fantastic and taught me some valuable lessons. Other than that I’ve spent endless hours reading online blogs and picture books by authors that I admire. I also write as much as I can – every day if possible. I truly believe that the more you practice, the better you get. There’s no short cut, you just have to put the work in and you will get there in the end.
What is your newest release?
Lola and Grandpa is my debut picture book. It’s published by Little Pink Dog Books and will be released on May 5, 2020. My other upcoming books include:
- The Battle (EK Books – 1 June 2020)
- Where’s my Dinosaur? (Yellow Brick Books – 2020)
- A Star for Mama(Little Pink Dog Books – 2022)
- A Grandma to Love (Little Pink Dog Books – 2022)
Favourite part of your new book?
The fact that I get to show my dad how much I love him in a very unique and special way. Although my dad is still with us, all I had to imagine how I would feel if I lost him and the words poured from my heart. My dad is a selfless, wonderful man – and this is my gift to him.
Find Ashling Kwok at:
Lola and Grandpa can be found at Little Pink Dog Books