My first book jacket – Woohoo!
This is the US edition of Under the Same Sky. 😊
I’ve always admired dust jackets. It's wonderful to see how far this book has travelled in such a short time.
Another wonderful surprise waiting for me in my inbox this morning!
Chinese edition of Under the Same Sky - woohoo!
So happy to see how far and wide this beautiful book has travelled. :-)
This was a pleasant surprise to wake up to.
Thrilled to bits to see the Italian translation of Under the Same Sky – woohoo!!
Thank you to Italian publisher Valentina Edizioni. Looks and sounds beautiful.
Happy dancing the tarantella! Gelato, anyone? 😊
Welcome back to my Time Out Blog, Ashling. I’m looking forward to hearing about the inspiration behind your latest release The Battle.
The Inspiration behind The Battle
This story was inspired by my son who was going through a difficult time at school. Every morning I’d watch him put on his uniform and his eyes would be filled with fear. I knew that in his mind, he really believed that he was going into battle.
Most of the issues he was having revolved around a group of children that he believed were bullying him. I knew the children involved and I wasn’t convinced that they were the sole source of the problem. I wondered if the situation was really as bad as he thought, or whether his perceptions of the world were slightly skewed.
The reason I questioned this was because my son is a sensitive soul and his heart is easily wounded. He treats everyone with kindness and offers his friends and family unconditional love. But what he didn’t understand is that not everyone is like him. People don’t always play nicely or talk to you in a polite manner, but that doesn’t mean they are bad or that they don’t like you.
I spoke to his school principal and did all of the things a concerned mum would. But I knew that unless I changed my son’s expectations of how the world should be and helped him build his resilience, he would always struggle in life.
We had a lot of discussions about the power of the mind how things aren’t always what they seem. I also emphasised the fact that we can’t control the outside world, we can only control how we perceive and deal with the outside world. Eventually my son was able to reframe his thoughts and view the world in a slightly different way.
The idea for The Battle came as a direct result of this situation. It’s the story of a little boy named Edward who is anxious about starting knight school. He’s sure that it will be full of ogres and dragons so he puts on his armour and prepares for battle. As the day progresses, Edward soon realises that the dragons and ogres he imagined don’t actually exist – they’re children, just like him.
Starting School Can be Scary Sometimes!
By: Ashling Kwok (Author), Cara King (Illustrator)
Publication date: June 1, 2020
Publisher: Exisle Publishing
Imprint: Ek Books
Format Hardback: 32 pages
Dimensions: 245 x 255mm
Here’s a sneak peek at my forthcoming picture book with the very talented Mel Armstrong and New Frontier Publishing Australia, releasing October, 2020. Appropriately titled 'Into the Wild' for when we are all out of iso.
I am truly grateful to Mel for her talented gifts and outstanding ability to bring my words to life through such stunning imagery. Cannot thank Mel enough.
And thank you also to New Frontier Publishing Australia New Frontier Publishing UK again for producing yet another gorgeous book. Woohoo!!
A bit of happiness arrived on my doorstep, today. What the world needs right now.
Happy book birthday!
Thank you to Nancy Bevington and Big Sky Publishing.
Happiness is a Cloud is available now to purchase:
Cuddle up with your loved ones and watch Tom Hardy read Under the Same Sky on CBeebies in the UK. Woohoo!
Tom Hardy has a deep, masterful voice and makes for an entertaining dive into bedtime stories. The CBeebies production team did an amazing and professional job. Couldn't have asked for more, Watch to your heart's content.
This is the icing on the cake.
Thank you again, CBeebies and Tom Hardy. New Frontier Publishing UK Nicky Johnston New Frontier Publishing Australia
Ckick on the link below to watch the episode in full.
Best news ever!
Award-winning actor Tom Hardy will be reading Under the Same Sky on the hugely popular UK children’s show CBeebies as a bedtime story on Tuesday 28th April.
My feet haven’t touched the ground yet. It appears, the news is all over the internet - Mirror and Daily Mail just to name a few.
Tom Hardy will be reading a new story every night with their themes of long distance friendship, sharing problems and true courage to help ease the pain during these difficult and challenging times.
This is HUGE news!
If you know or have family or friends living in the UK let them know to tune in.
I hope to get a copy of the episode to share with you all.
Big thanks to CBeebies and Tom Hardy. This is an honour and a privilege.
HUGE thanks to New Frontier Publishing Australia New Frontier Publishing UK and Nicky Johnston for producing such a beautiful book. Woohoo!
Still grinning from ear to ear.
Watch this space. Here's a link to an article from the UK: https://deadline.com/…/tom-hardy-bedtime-stories-cbeebies-…/
Welcome to my Time Out Blog, Ashling. I’m looking forward to finding out more about your latest release Lola and Grandpa.
Every Sunday Lola visits her Grandpa. They spend the day examining the universe and teaching each other about the world. But one day, Grandpa isn’t there anymore. Lola struggles to deal with the loss. But as time goes by Lola realises that her Grandpa will always be with her - in her heart and in the memories they made. A beautiful and reassuring story of love, loss, and the value of memories.
1. Lola and Grandpa is your debut picture book. Where did the idea come from?
The idea for the story came from the standing at my parent’s kitchen window watching my dad and daughter stroll around his garden. They would examine everything around them and talk about the meaning of life. Then my dad would lift my daughter up into his arms so she could touch the sunflowers and cuddle him tight. Seeing this reminded me of my childhood and the special moments I shared with my dad. It also made me think about how heartbroken we would all be if he was no longer with us.
2. What was the most rewarding part of this project?
Every single part of this project was rewarding. It only took me a few weeks to write this book because the words poured from my heart. Being able to hand my dad a copy of my book has been a highlight of my life, and he is overwhelmed to know how much he is loved.
3. 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. My dad is a selfless, wonderful man – and this is my gift to him.
4. What was your path to publication?
When I was writing Lola and Grandpa a few people said that I shouldn’t let Grandpa die as it was too confronting for children. But I was adamant that Grandpa died as I’ve always believed that children need to be made aware of real life situations so they can build resilience and learn to appreciate the good things in life.
With this in mind, I knew that I needed to find a publisher that was brave enough to take on Lola and Grandpa…and that’s where Little Pink Dog Books came in. I sent my manuscript to LPDB in late 2017 and was offered a contract in early 2018. Working with LPDB has been a wonderful experience and I am eternally grateful to Peter and Kathy for their support.
5. 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 - as I truly believe that the more you practice, the better you get.
6. What’s next for you?
Lola and Grandpa is my debut picture book. It will be officially released on May 5, 2020. My other upcoming books include:
7. Do you have an online presence?
Thank you for your time, Ashling. I wish you every success in your writing journey.
Ashling Kwok is a freelance journalist and children’s author who is obsessed with words. When she’s not dreaming up new ideas or working on her latest manuscript, Ashling can be found scouring local bookstores, marvelling at all the wonderful books being created by talented children’s authors. Ashling lives in Sydney with her husband, two children, and energetic border collie, Jed.
Title: Lola and Grandpa
Author: Ashling Kwok
Illustrator: Yvonne Low
Publisher: Little Pink Dog Books
Publication date: May 2020
Audience age: 5-10
Welcome to my blog page!
Here you will find the latest news and updates on my writing and published books.