Friday, May 18, 2018

Interview with Puppy Approved, Ashley Howland

I had technical difficulties with this post today! I had it all set up and ready to go, but when I went to look at the pre-scheduled post today there was no post! 😰 I do not know what happened, so I'm posting this and hoping it sticks.

When I was talking to Ashley about doing an interview I was convinced that she had done an interview with me before. I was looking through my blog to find the old interview and I found nothing. Well I found an old blog hop we did, and talked about her more than once on my blog, but there was never any interview! Well time to fix that oversight. Here is the wonderful Puppy Approved Ashley Howland!

Dani: Why did you decide to write for children?

Ashley: I’m not sure it was a decision. My brain is just wired that way. I have children, I work with children. It’s more than that though, I love to read and my favourite books have always been children’s books. They are the things memories are made from. Reading to my children has always been one to the best parts of the day. We still love to read stories together and share these adventures. I write because I love to share stories with my girls and with other children. Naturally I write for children, it’s the best way to share adventures.

Dani: I know you are a dog person, but how do you feel about cats?
Ashley: Ahh the wonderful cats. I love big cats, as in tigers, lions and cheetahs. Now the pet cat, I guess I can see why some people like cats. I just prefer dogs. Partly because my husband is allergic to cats. Mainly it’s a personality thing. The thing with dogs is they need you. They want to be with you, do things with you and be a part of your life. Most cats want you only when they need something from you. I also have issues when people let their cats roam the country without any thought for the environment. No bells, no curfew. That of course is the minority of cat owners. There are of course cats that are great pets, but unless it’s a part of the big cat family I would rather have my dogs.

Dani: What do you do when you aren't writing?

Ashley: I am a teacher, mainly Physical Education now. I teach in a primary school and have taught Science, Japanese and classroom. I have interests in digital technology and love to integrate subjects all together. I often teach through stories, it’s one of the reasons I started to write. When I’m not at work I am with my girls, often on a soccer pitch. That’s all part of being mum. I am currently coaching, but generally I just try and help as much as I can. I love to spend that time with them and their friends. Between work, the kids, the dogs (who also love soccer), and occasionally getting to the gym life is quite busy. Writing is my time out, my release and while I don’t get much time, I try to make the best of the time I have.

Dani: Who influences your work the most?

Ashley: I would have to say my daughters. They are part of all my writing. At times we have worked on ideas together. Each of them has helped develop characters, ideas and even the plots. The places we go, the things we do, our daily adventures, the books we read and the holidays we go on all form part of my writing journey. My girls also help with my editing. Before I sent any of my stories off for editing I read them to the girls. They are fantastic at finding any plot holes and helping to fix any issues. The best critics come in small bodies. They are honest and straight to the point. If they hate it they tell me, if the find it funny they laugh and if they love it they ask for more!

Dani: What's the best job you've ever had?


Ashley: That’s a hard question. There are bits of all the jobs I have had that have been amazing. As a teacher I love to work with students. It’s so incredible to see them achieve their dreams. To be a part of the growth of any person is incredible. There are aspects of teaching that are not so enjoyable, the paperwork, the data, test scores, things like that. If you can put all that aside and just focus on the development of the students then teaching is incredible.
I was also lucky enough to work with at risk youth to train Labrador retrievers as companion dogs. This job was really rewarding. The dogs were always a laugh and the students grew so much from the program. It was an incredible experience. One that has shaped me as a teacher.
I guess I have been lucky and had opportunities to work with some great people. In my spare time I have coached volleyball and now am coaching soccer. The best part about this has been the people in the clubs. That community is what makes it all worthwhile.
As for the best job – it’s all about the experiences and what you make out of all opportunities. There is no perfect job, just what you make of it.

Dani: What are you working on now?
Ashley: I have a few projects going now. I really want to get the second book in my Super Hero series published. I just need to organize the cover and the chapter illustrations. That’s job number one. Then I have books three and four in this series to edit.
As I like to keep busy I have a pirate story I need to edit and I really want to get the second book in my Not So Boring Series drafted. The first one Write Your Own Story was are fun book to put together. In this book anyone can develop their writing craft. What’s even better is in each chapter they get to focus on one story and will have something worth publishing at the end. I love hearing the stories people come up with. The second one is a travel / writing journal with a difference. I just need to get moving with it.
I have lots to work on and not much time, but that’s all part of writing. It’s my release, so I will make time when I can.

You can connect with me here:
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AuthorAshleyHowland
Obi Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Obi-the-Super-Puppy/575191985848747
Blog: http://ahowland.org/wordpress/

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