‘Rescued’ by the family experience
Cotati author, teacher Kristina Ashley bases characters on her family in new children’s book ‘The Rescue’
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By Kaydon Coburn  February 15, 2013 12:00 am


Write what you know. That is exactly what local children’s author Kristina Ashley did when she penned “The Rescue,” her first children’s book, which is now awaiting release in paperback version.

“It was so smooth. It literally took me a couple of days to write, cover to cover,” Ashley revealed.

Ashley is a third-grade teacher at John Reed Elementary School in Rohnert Park who was stumped for ideas or topics when she heeded the advice of her husband, who told her “you should write a story of this huge thing that has happened in our life.”

Dog rescue leads to story idea
“It’s based on an experience that we actually had,” Ashley said. “I was looking around for story ideas and didn’t want to repeat anything. This happened and I just wrote it out.”

Ashley, currently the mother of children ages two and five, originally wanted to pass on her real life childhood experience of adopting a rescue dog to her children. She also had the desire to write a children’s picture book, but she did not have any idea what it would be about.

The pet adoption experience then created “The Rescue.”

“Rescuing animals brings a lot of joy to not only the animal because you are saving it, but also to the family to learn about appreciation, caring, compassion, and saving an animal,” she said. “It brings so much joy, even though it’s hard.”

In “The Rescue,”  a young girl and her family decide to adopt a dog, and they find out just how hard it is to adopt. While they want to find a dog that will fit with their family’s personality, there are many to choose from.

Bay Area background
Ashley uses the San Francisco Bay Area for the larger setting, and she said the characters in “The Rescue” are based on her family, who reside in Cotati.

For the unpublished author, “The Rescue” was not a complicated process once she decided on a subject to write about, scribed the original draft, and then by chance found a very interested publisher. Ashley submitted “The Rescue” to 50 publishers before she located one from a retired teacher friend on her Facebook page. Last year, Tate Publishing in Oklahoma became very interested in her book and replied they have an audience for it.

“That was unexpected,” Ashley said. “It was the last one I was going to try for a while.”

The original draft was completed in January of last year. Ironically, finalizing the book’s title was the challenging part, according to Ashley.

“That was actually the hard part. I wrote it (title) first and then I looked at the story, and talked to my husband,” she said. “That took the longest figuring it out.”

Ashley explains the best part about the book writing experience so far was “seeing it completed, having it make sense, and all the possibilities once it was done. That was the cool part.”

Ashley grew up in Petaluma, attended Sonoma State University and has been an elementary instructor in the Cotati-Rohnert Park School District for more than eight years.

Paperback version due soon.

“The Rescue” will be officially released in paperback on April 23 and available online and in bookstores. She is personally selling a hardback version. Ashley will be at John Reed Elementary Feb. 28 at 6 p.m. for a book signing.

“I’ve always loved children’s books, so I wanted to write a children’s book. I pursued it because of this experience in our family,” says Ashley.

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