One fall night in 2015, children’s author Ashley Burton Dupuis ‘03 tucked her one-year-old into bed. As he touched his toes, she said to him “night night toes.”
A few moments later he touched his nose, and she responded with “night night nose.” From there she looked over at his light-up turtle which shined with stars and had the final line.
“With ‘night night golden star that glows’ I had my first page,” says Dupuis. “I finished 9 more pages of ‘night nights,’ including the wind, ants, superpowers and heavenly wishes.”
After her first few pages were finished, Dupuis came up with a quick sketch of ideas and began painting pictures for each page.
Her original plan was to make the book “Night Night Wishes” for her kids Kellen and Olivia, but, after some encouragement from a friend, she ended up sending it off for copyright in 2016.
Dupuis graduated from Auburn with a degree in international business with concentrations in French and logistics and never expected to write or illustrate a book of any kind. Besides painting on the side, she had only dabbled in the arts occasionally.
“When I make plans or set a timeline for my life, it very rarely goes as planned,” she says. “I have learned to go with the flow and accept what may be.”
After graduating from Auburn, she was hired by Knight Transportation and worked as a Customer Service Manager and Director of Driver Development in their Kansas City office. Two years later, she moved to Tennessee and found a job as an Inside Sales Manager for Leading Edge Communications.
She then married her husband, Christopher Dupuis ‘05, and moved to Olympia, Washington where she handled referrals and new patients for a local neurologist. She never thought her career path would lead to writing a children’s book, but is no stranger to new adventures.
She and her husband, a logistics officer in the Air Force, move around often. They have lived everywhere from Wyoming to Hawaii. Upon their move to Florida in June, they will have lived in seven states since 2008.
Even though “Night Night Wishes” has not been submitted to any publishers, it sells several copies each month.
“When I hear my four-year-old niece ‘read’ me my book, or people I’ve never met tell me how much their children love ‘Night Night Wishes,’ I feel like it’s been a success.”
“Night Night Wishes” isn’t the last book Dupuis plans on writing. She has already started working on two other children’s books that hit a little closer to home.
“[One of the books] incorporates our gypsy lifestyle of moving, and [the other] includes Auburn, a place our family loves.”