About Carol Ann Ashley Birtwell:
I’ve been teaching young children and their families music and movement classes for the last 18 years with Kindermusik, Gymboree, and now my own program, Ashleys Musikids.
I know how much babies and young children learn from picture books and acting out the adventures and activities they see and hear through the illustrations and the words. so it was a perfect match for me to start writing books for young readers and their families!
What inspires you to write?
When I see a lesson being learned in action with one of my little ones in class, this inspires me the most to write.
Inspiration for my latest book came because a little boy loved drawing robots, and his older sister said they didn’t look like robots. He hung his head and told me that he would never draw a robot again.
I told him that she was a bit older and had a bit more practice in drawing and she was an expert in drawing queens and kings, and he was getting to learn how to be an expert in drawing robots. I told him he could show her his new robot and tell her about the picture and she would understand more about robots and his way of drawing, as we all know drawing robots is different than drawing kings and queens!
I also showed him a few little tricks with drawing that a for-year-old could understand.
He graciously took all this in and when I saw him again he came racing up to me with his two lovely robot masterpieces and was excited to tell me all about them!
I was so grateful! Another Little Artist saved!
So my new book is about “Calypso Cricket”wanting to play the drum just like “Moraca Monkey.” What all the animals find out about themselves and their own unique talents is a great inspiration for us all!
Tell us about your writing process.
I’m a seat of my pants writer! Ha Ha! I very much listen for clues from my characters. They are very much alive to me, right down to what colors they want their outfits or costumes to be. For example, Calypso Cricket, at one point, just decided she wanted a pink pirate outfit!
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
Yes! I listen and talk with my characters! Some of them are leaders, and at times can be very bossy! So sometimes, I need to tone down their chatter, and some of the other characters I have to coax out of their shell! My characters are pranksters and they make me laugh a lot! The Zebra in my upcoming book is very clever and is quite poetic so I turn to him for advise quite often!
What advice would you give other writers?
Keep your vision and dream in front of you always. Keep it alive everyday and try to look at “obstacles” as mere “silver linings” that will help you on your way!
Find your tribe of fellow Authors in your genre and totally outside your genre. They have been my best cheerleaders and mentors!
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I had a big dream with limited funds. I researched and explored publishing possibilities and one of my biggest deciders was that create space is open 24 seven for phone help and they always help me tremendously.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I think it is a very exciting and complex way of doing business, so the important thing is to stay on top of social media which can be a bit overwhelming at times but the rewards are filled with freedom and financial reward.
What do you use?: Professional Cover Designer
What genres do you write?: Picture book, pre school, poetry rhyming, action, adventure, music, dance, animals, healthy food choices
What formats are your books in?: Both eBook and Print
All information in this post is presented “as is” supplied by the author. We don’t edit to allow you the reader to hear the author in their own voice.