Saturday, 19 November 2016

Andrew's Christmas! Photocopiable Christmas Crafts for Kids

Now available on Amazon!

This is a book to photocopy. There are many basic cards, decorations, time-fillers and models to make. It is a 'life-saver' for anyone doing crafts at Christmas with children! Maybe you or someone you know works voluntarily or professionally with kids and need inspiration. This could be the best early Christmas present ever! Buy it today, grab scissors, glue, colouring pens and a photocopier and Christmas is saved.

Sunday, 26 July 2015

Just do it!

Look for images of 'Just do it' on the internet and look at all the variants of Nike's inspiring motto (I'm hoping that flattery and a positive tone in this article will avert breach of copyright action from Nike against me. And no, they're not sponsoring this - yet).

'Just do it' as a concept has become an inspiring personal motto. Any project you really want to get done you should make time for. For example, I have loads of things that get in the way of my writing - if I let them! Luckily, I am a morning person so I can write for an hour before duty calls. 

I read (devour) Writing magazine published by Warners Group Publications edited by Jonathan Telfer. One complaint that is considered regularly is about making time to write. Plenty of people are like me, ambitious to write, and have to make time.

Sometimes life really does take over. For example, it took me at least five years to write the 5000 words of Gross Teacherpox and illustrate it, but sometimes one has to be mature and honest enough to give one's time and energy to the young family and paying job but keep that dream of writing alive and ready to go at any opportunity. Life is too short not to!

Another time-thief is social media - spending time blogging instead of writing...

So in other words - Just do it!

Love from Andrew Ashcroft

Friday, 24 July 2015

Gross Football Curry by Andrew Ashcroft

Here's my latest story for children aged 5 - 10: Gross Football Curry by Andrew Ashcroft.

Here's the description on Amazon...

Grimeton FC is a useless soccer-team that is facing yet another defeat by arch-rivals Winningham FC. Along comes Mr Gross whose disgustingly unconventional training methods the desperate Grimeton are prepared to consider... This story in short chapters is intended to be read aloud to five-year olds and read independently by children up to ten years. This is the colour-illustrated version of the story. There are two other editions of this story: a budget version printed on cream-coloured paper with a sans-serif font that may be helpful to readers with dyslexia and a Kindle e-book.

And here's my ironic author autobiography...

 Andrew Ashcroft has very little interest in football (soccer) which is why he was forced to leave England where it is the official religion. He now lives as a refugee in Sweden which has a tolerant view of football-infidels. He is a teacher and teaches sport thus proving that you don't have to be able to understand a subject to be able to teach it. He thinks his stories are absolutely fantastic and wants you to buy many copies of this book so that you will have plenty of evidence on which to base your own judgement.

...I once read that someone wrote an ironic author autobiography and noticed that people were reading his book because the ironic author autobiography made them smile and hooked them!

Wish me luck!

Love from Andrew Ashcroft.

Perfectionism is both a blessing and a curse!

When you write a story that you intend to publish, it has to be perfect! In that way, being a perfectionist is no bad thing. I like to think that I am open to negative criticism - I am a very negative critic of what I do. But I have also learned that I must get my work out there! Many people may not like it, but if someone likes it I've pleased them at least and also myself because of that.

Since publishing Gross Teacherpox in the Autumn of 2014 I have started to build a following and that is encouraging! Gross Football Curry followed and soon Gross Garden Gobbler will join them.

It is a long time since I blogged and I can see that over 700 people have seen my blog! Not many out of the entire population of the world, but it's a start.

What has spurred me to blog today is my old school-friend Stephen Waddington's career and teaching! Check him out on LinkedIn...

...and watch his PR video (amongst other videos...)

He was always more focussed than I was and now he's reaping the rewards. He grew up without a telly and read avidly and had an active outdoors life which probably contributed positively! He deserves his success.

Meanwhile, I'm exploiting my perfectionism and am channeling it with inspiration from the best!

Thanks, Stephen!

Saturday, 20 September 2014

The Da Vinci Code

This isn't a children's book? Why's he blogging about The Da Vinci Code?

Back in the summer of 2004 this book showed me that:


That summer it felt like every adult relaxing around the pool of the French holiday village was reading this story AND  it was being read in so many languages.

So for me, this book became my great inspiration.

I look forward to seeing my stories being read by the pool one summer soon.

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

GROSS TEACHERPOX by Andrew Ashcroft

My blog so far has been about children's books that have inspired me. Now I want to share the first result of all that inspiration - GROSS TEACHERPOX.

Gross Teacherpox is about when the authoritarian Miss Stern, the head teacher (principal) of Grimeton School is forced to use ANYBODY she can to takes classes for her when all of her teachers are ill with teacher pox. Mr Gross, a stinking monster with orange eyes is her last hope.

Here is some of my more of inspiration:

  • I am a teacher and have also worked as a substitute.
  • I aim to make interesting, inspiring, practical, dynamic lessons - like Mr Gross does… in his own way...
  • I prefer people who are not bossy like Miss Stern.
  • I wanted to create a story that would appeal to reluctant boy readers - but EVERYONE is welcome to read it!
It is 5,000 words long, took over five years to write and edit (life gets in the way…) but takes about half an hour for an adult to read aloud.

I had the good fortune to have the author Stephanie Baudet critique it before the publishing process began. She drew comparisons with Roald Dahl which was flattering for this fan!