Describe your book in five words or less
English/Spanish children’s mystery adventure
How did the ideas for your books come to you?
This marks the 25th/almost 26th anniversary of one of my companies – Great Imaginings, Inc. – a tax, exempt, not-for-profit educational corporation – through which I have offered programs dealing with everyday issues and challenges – such as child abuse prevention, confronting drug problems, solving problems of loss, conflict resolution, building character and values/self-esteem… One day I decided to confront some of these problem areas in the form of a book – in a form that children could enjoy, from which they could learn and grow. To the book I added an audio CD and a teaching guide for educators and parents. My storybook characters are puppets, and I am a puppeteer/ventriloquist
What is the hardest part of writing for you? What's the easiest?
The ideas for Splunkunio Splunkey: Detective and Peacemaker Case One: The Missing Friendship Bracelet [children ages 4 to 8] came easily; they are part of my experience and imagination; the writing itself is easy.
What's next for you? Are you currently working on or have plans for future projects?
I am in the middle of the second book in the mystery series - Case Two: Big Bully Holly Howler - which targets friendship and bullying – written in English and English/Spanish.
I am also working on a very different book for younger children – ages 1 to 4 - whose illustrations I am painting. I have approximately half of the illustrations done.
Why did you choose to write for specific genre?
Today’s children are our future leaders. They need to learn strategies for coping with everyday challenges while young so that planet earth will one day be a world of friendship and peace.
What's it like hearing that readers are eagerly awaiting your book's release date?
Very exciting … Makes me want to finish the writing of Case Three and jump into the fourth of what I hope will be a series of 14 books.
What is one question that you've always wanted to be asked in an interview? How would you answer that question?
Right now I do not have an answer for this one… I will tell you at a later time…
Very honestly, my mind is on my husband who is in the hospital with pneumonia, and I hope I can take him home tomorrow so that he can continue healing under my loving care rather than in a hospital which is loaded with germs, infection…
What was your road to publication like? Difficult and expensive…
President of Dream Image Press, LLC, Dr. Elana Ashley has been publishing and selling a mystery series in English and Spanish for children ages 4 to 8 entitled Splunkunio Splunkey, Detective and Peacemaker. The first book in the series - Case One: The Missing Friendship Bracelet - confronts such issues as friendship, teamwork, solving problems of loss and conflict resolution. Case One comes with an Audio CD and Teaching Guide for Parents and Educators. The second book in the series - Case Two: Big Bully Holly Howler - should be coming out in 2012.
Dr. Ashley is also Founder and Executive Director of Great Imaginings, Inc., an Illinois not-for-profit corporation which promotes literacy and the arts. A storyteller, singer and puppeteer, Ashley presents educational and entertaining performances and workshops for children, parents, teachers and families in schools, libraries, community organizations, and on television. Great Imaginings, Inc. provides children and adults with the tools, strategies and inspiration which enable them to imagine, pursue their dreams, and achieve their goals. Great Imaginings is celebrating its 26th anniversay. For more information about Great Imaginings
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