Friday, July 12, 2013

Meet Ashley Litz, Author and Third Grader

Ashley Litz (on the left in the photo below) is the author of No, No, Sammy! (available on Amazon) and a third grader in Georgia. She lives with her parents, sister, four lively dogs, and one easygoing cat. She loves to write, draw, play the piano, and participate in many school activities. Her hobbies include running, writing, reading, and crafts. Ashley's book was illustrated by the artist Linda Albrecht.

Emily Litz (on the right in the photo above) is the author's younger sister and was the model for the girl in the story. She is in the first grade. She lives with her family, four dogs, and one cat. She is involved in piano, Spanish Club, and Running Club. Her hobbies are drawing, making crafts, and writing stories.

Sammy is a black medium-sized poodle and is three years old. He is very lively, always happy and always wanting attention. He sometimes gets into trouble just like he did in the story but he never has a bad day. Happiness and love are very much a part of his personality.

Our interview today is with Ashley.

1. Why did you decide to write a book about Sammy?

My grandparents kept my sister and I after school each day. Emily got picked up two hours earlier than I did. When I got to their house that day, my Grandmother was telling me how Emily kept telling her black poodle, "No, no, Sammy!" each time he did something wrong that day. My Grandmother thought it might make a cute children's book so she began to write down ideas. As she worked on it, I kept telling her to write it differently, "to do it this way for little kids." When it was all done, I had written the whole story myself and my Grandmother liked the way I did it.

2. Does your sister feel like you did a good job describing her in your book?

Yes, Emily said that she thought I did a good job. Emily helped me to remember things Sammy had done and she had tried to teach him some good manners, so she helped me to describe her and the poodle.

3. Were there places where you had to change the real story about Sammy and Emily for the book, or is everything in the book something that really happened?

No, not really. Emily and I thought about different things Sammy had done, like digging holes in the yard, getting into the garbage, etc. He had done a lot of "bad" things so we had a lot of material to work with!

4. Did you give ideas to Linda Albrecht about the way you wanted the pictures to look to go with your story?

Yes, I did with the help of my Grandmother and Emily. We thought of things Sammy had done and wrote the story around those so then the artist drew images that described these events.

5. How did your grandma help you in writing and publishing your book?

My Grandmother thought of the story for the book which I then worked with, and she helped me to find an artist who was good and also affordable. We had a hard time finding someone who could draw animals and that is Mrs. Albrecht's specialty. Then my Uncle Jason did the hard part of putting images and writing together and publishing it to Amazon and CreateSpace.

Check out the book trailer for No, No, Sammy! below.

Thanks, Ashley!

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