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Blog: This Writing Life


  • Writer's pictureMelissa Stoller

3 Question Interview - MARIA ASHWORTH

Ready for another 3 Question Interview -- this time, with my friend and Spork Sister Maria Ashworth! Maria has lit the kidlit publishing world on fire with several terrific books and many more on the way. Thanks for being my featured author, Maria!

Here's what Maria thinks about STORIES, CREATIVITY, and CONNECTION:

QUESTION 1 -- STORIES -- Discuss what inspires your ideas and stories, and share the process about your latest projects.

I am inspired by everything from movies, songs, experiences, and family.

My latest project Tommy James, The Littlest Cowboy In Reckon came upon me when I decided to try my hand on creating a cowboy who was just as loved and precious as Joan Anglund’s. I also married a Texan in 2008 which inspired me even more. Or should I say it challenged this East Coast gal. I thought, "what could I do to make this cowboy extra special?" Tommy James is little for his age. His size makes people think he doesn’t have what it takes to be a smart buckaroo. But through the series, Tommy James teaches these people that just because someone is small doesn’t mean he can’t do great things. Tommy James proves what he CAN do. Tommy James believes in himself and doesn’t need the approval of others to feel good about himself.

My next one in the series, Tommy James Meets Doodlin’ Darla is even more darling and original in idea. I’m excited for that one.

QUESTION 2 -- CREATIVITY -- How do you showcase your creative side through writing/illustrating and other pursuits?

I used to be an elementary school teacher so my creative side is always working. I created my own book trailers, book marks, and Power Point presentations, and I do my own marketing. I’m always doing something with art. That’s my second love. In my free time I like to carve on linoleum blocks.

QUESTION 3 -- CONNECTION -- How do you connect to your young readers through your writing/illustrating, and how do you stay connected to the kidlit community?

I’m big on social media. At least I try. I love twitter and have a great following there. It’s not a great forum for young children but connects to parents. I also enjoy doing school events and sharing my story with the children who read my books. I’ve been with SCBWI since 2009 and volunteer during their conference.

BIO: Maria has four picture books currently on the market and a Middle Grade due out in May 2017. She has been interviewed on Fox News in Houston, in the Houston Chronicle, on NPR, and her first book will be produced in a local children’s theater in Katy, Texas in 2017. She also has a few short stories published in literary contests and anthologies. In her free time, she volunteers at two local libraries for the Friends Board, one as acting President and the other as Secretary. Maria is a long-standing member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.

When not writing, she is pumping iron at the gym or digging into a pint of ice cream. Maria lives in Texas with her family and a very needy cat.

Connect with Maria at:

Twitter - @maria_ashworth

Instagram - @mashworth113


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