About the author***
Asa Childress is a young (25-year-old) children’s book author from London, UK who is passionate about anything creative. He has tried music, graphic design, video editing, and animation before finally publishing his first book in March 2022, A Very Wide River. Asa particularly seeks to teach important life lessons through enjoyable storylines. His first book, for instance, inspires kindness, patience and seeing the best in others. As a Christian, Asa has found great value in ‘wisdom’. He finds it to be a word that is undervalued among children and young people today. Through fable-like stories, it is his hope that children will discover the value of wisdom. This includes the wisdom of investing in the future at the expense of the present, a theme that is very much central to A Very Wide River.
BREW Question: Did you love reading books when you were little? Why or why not?
Author’s Response: Oh, absolutely. They were often funny, enjoyable, and inspiring books that encouraged moral values. I loved books like The Rainbow Fish, teaching selfless love. Children enter the mind of the main character while reading a book and are therefore inspired to act the way the main character does. So, I definitely found it beneficial to read stories.
BREW Question: At what age did you start reading books? What were your best memories of that time?
Author’s Response: I’d say since birth. I was born only 3 months after the introduction of DVDs, so at that time we had more books than movies! My parents would have read a children’s story almost every night. I think one of my favorite memories would be having my Dad read The Night Before Christmas on the night before Christmas! He always read it with drama to his voice and made it really fun!
BREW Question: What was the first book you loved reading? Why?
Author’s Response: One of my favorites is a book entitled ‘Ruby To The Rescue’. I loved the story it told about valuing those who are viewed as outcasts to others. It’s one I highly recommend. Again, it’s that moral lesson element that made it so special to me.
BREW Question: When did you first think about writing your first book? Why?
Author’s Response: I have thought about it, on and off, for many years. More recently, though, I came across a way to self-publish using Amazon KDP. I thought it would be worth writing a book. I then remembered I already have a story that I wrote for my younger sister’s bedtime story many years ago. I decided to take it, rewrite it and have it illustrated.
BREW Question: What was the greatest obstacle you’ve encountered when you were writing your book? What made you overcome it?
Author’s Response: I think the greatest obstacle is wondering if it would even be read or appreciated by anyone. When you’re writing as an established author, I’d imagine there’s a calm about knowing you have an audience, a publisher, and money. I didn’t have great confidence that my book would be successful. I overcame this by remembering that this is not all about success. It’s more about accomplishment.
BREW Question: What pieces of advice can you give aspiring authors? What worked for you?
Author’s Response: I’d advise them to focus on getting together a team of friends and family who will review the book as soon as it is released online. Reviews seem more important than I knew at the time, especially on Amazon. The wonderful thing is, though, the reviewer doesn’t need to have bought the book. You could just show them the book (a hard copy, e-book, or PDF) and give them an Amazon review link.
BREW Question: Who are the authors or what are the books that had the greatest influence on your own writing? Why?
Author’s Response: I was greatly influenced by authors John Bunyan and C.S. Lewis. They wrote ‘Pilgrim’s Progress’ and ‘The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe’ as Christians who wanted to express their faith through stories. I was inspired to write in a manner that reflects my faith as well as biblical values of kindness and wisdom. However, I never once mention these things in the book, allowing for a wider audience to be inspired.
BREW Question: What are your current or future writing plans? What can readers further expect from you?
Author’s Response: I am not so sure about next steps. Right now, I believe A Very Wide River should be heard by many and I don’t want to give up on marketing this book. I do have an idea for a future book, but it’s classified information that is yet to be unveiled. For now, I’d encourage readers to take a look at this book and leave an honest review.
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***The author or publisher provided the above write-up.