Interview with Ashley Rice

We hope that you'll enjoy our interview with Ashley Rice and learn something from her journey as an author!

Tell us about yourself!

My name is Ashley Rice and I’m an author and illustrator who currently lives in Dallas, TX.

When did you begin writing?

I wrote and illustrated my first “book” when I was 7. It was called The Hog Gets the Apple and was about twelve pages long. We were supposed to write something creative on a single piece of paper, but I found I had more to say than would fit on one page... so I asked my teacher for more paper and just kept on writing.

What is the title of your most recent book? What's it about in a paragraph?

Use Your Girl Power: Nothing Can Hold You Back!

Why did you write your book?

I tend to write a lot of books that have to do with the idea that girls can pursue their dreams and be anything in the world that they want to be. I had this idea when I was a kid, when I noticed that the only women I knew who seemed to have jobs out in the world were some of my elementary school teachers who were relatively young and still single. Where I lived in Texas, back then at least (it’s changed now, of course) but back then most women would go to college, return, and get married. End of story. I thought that girls should be writing the books, manning the space shuttles, running the world, inventing the gadgeets, etc. Now I think more broadly, in terms of gender and age, and believe that it’s important that girls, boys, men and women of all ages know that they have the power and ability within themselves to pursue their goals and dreams so long as they work hard, believe in themselves, and really want to achieve something badly enough. But I still like to encourage young girls specifically, partly because it’s become my niche and also just to make sure they don’t sell themselves short or miss out on any opportunities.

What specific challenges did you face when writing and publishing your book?

All of my books were written for the same publisher and with each of them I faced the same challenges that all writers face, I think -- the biggest of which is that you always want to make sure that you are doing your best to improve your writing and make it better each time you come out with something. Currently I’m focusing on books that are meant to help adults with their personal struggles and things that happen after you’ve (officially, at least) finished “growing up.” Those books haven’t been published yet.

What has been the most rewarding part of writing and publishing your book?

I love it when a young girl or even an older woman contacts me to tell me that one of my books has influenced her and her journey or her specific life in some way. That’s the greatest feeling, when you feel like, even if it’s in a relatively small way in the grand scheme of everything that’s going on these days, you’ve at least managed to give back a little bit and maybe even made a little bit of a difference in some way.

What tip or piece of advice would you give to unpublished writers?

Keep trying. It may take a while before you get to the stage where you actually get a piece of writing published. But if you keep at it, you will make it. Don’t ever give up. That’s rule number one. Rule number two: just keep going.