Sunday, November 22, 2020

Akea - His Mother's Son by Elizabeth Jade - Book Tour

Akea – His Mother’s Son

Akea is no ordinary husky and taking her place as Wolf Queen was just the first step in the journey set out for her by the Great Wolf. Akea's world turns upside down when humans raid their home, scattering the pack and capturing her hybrid son. Salvador struggles to adjust to a life in captivity quickly realising not everyone approves of his mother's rise to Wolf Queen. When the Great Wolf sends him warning dreams, Salvador discovers his true purpose for being there.

“Ms Jade perfectly captures the atmosphere of life as part of the wolfpack and its many challenges. Her stories remind me of Jack London’s Call of the Wild, and with ‘His Mother’s Son’ she proves she not only has a knack for creating realistic and powerful characters, but a talent for describing the wild settings they inhabit with a natural confidence that is quite charming.” Colin Garrow (author)

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 Author Q&A
1 - What would you consider to be your Kryptonite as an author?  
While being autistic has its challenges, it has had a positive influence on my writing. However, because of it, I struggle with people and the pressures and problems dealing with them brings me. I also struggle with depression and anxiety, and it doesn’t take much to set this volatile combination off  – raised voices, too much responsibility, too much to do, too many people near me, sick people in the house, sick people on the news, poorly pets… You get the idea – STRESS!

I used to find that absorbing myself in my writing was a way to forget all the other things. Unfortunately, my writing buddy and fur baby, Kizzy, has had problems with her hips and back, and is now banned from running up and down the stairs, and jumping on and off my bed or sofa etc. It’s been extremely stressful, and just as I was adjusting to her limitations, 2020 dropped its bombshell. I know I’m not the only one to find this year squashing the writing mojo. That’s one stress we will all be able to leave behind soon.

2 - If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
I was only fourteen when  I started writing the first book in the Akea series and I had the strange idea that my chapters had to be a certain number of notebook pages long. I cannot figure out where that weird idea came from, but I do know it restricted me unnecessarily. I’m really pleased with the story and I have had some great reviews, but I know it could have been even better. So, my advice to my younger self would be, ‘Let it flow! Don’t make up silly rules for yourself.’

3 - Did you want to be an author when you grew up?
I’m not sure I ever ‘wanted’ to be an author. It just seemed to happen. I was home educated from the age of seven and I struggled to get to grips with the whole spelling, punctuation, handwriting and imagination thing. I could perform either of these to a good standard as an individual requirement, but I couldn’t combine them together in the same piece of work. So, one day, my mother told me to forget about them and just allow my imagination to flow.  She promised not to correct any of the above which was quite a big step for someone with a spelling fetish.

Things were a little stilted to begin with, but I enjoyed the experience and the ideas soon flowed.  When I first started struggling with depression and anxiety, I found writing was a marvelous distraction. However, once I got started, I soon found the ideas pouring out faster than I could get them onto paper.  They would fight at all hours of the day and night to get out, and I now have two large folders full of ideas and bits of stories to prove it.

Writing was a way to empty my head, and that’s how it would have stayed if it hadn’t been for my parents. They were so impressed with my first Akea story, Akea – The Power of Destiny, that they found me an agent. Knowing that someone in the profession agreed with them gave my confidence a boost and I then wrote the sequel, Akea – His Mother’s Son, and bits of several other books in what was evidently going to be a series.

4 - If you had to describe yourself in three words, what would they be?
Quirky, sensitive, animal whisperer – technically that’s four words, but I can’t think how to define ‘animal whisperer’ in one word.

5 - If you could own any animal as a pet, what would it be?
I would love to own a husky, but I know they need a lot of exercise and a firm hand, so they wouldn’t be ideal for me just now as I struggle to leave the house. I would also love a wolf as I think they are amazing animals. Although, I would prefer to live with them away from people rather than having them live with me. I would have a house full of everything given half a chance, but for now, I’m having to settle for three dogs, a snake, a gecko, and some stick insects.

6 - Have you ever met anyone famous?
If you mean someone who is ‘well known’, then that would take me back to my childhood and being brought up on the original Dr Who series. We used to attend a lot of the old Dr Who events and dress up for them too. I had a bit of a crush on Frazer Hinds who played Jamie to Patrick Troughton’s doctor, and kept sending him biscuits and drinks etc. when he was signing autographs. I also had an ice cream fight with Terry Malloy who played Davros in several episodes. I met lots of the Dr Who characters back then, but those two are my most memorable.

However, if you mean someone who is ‘celebrated’, then I could be sneaky and say ‘me’, as in September I had a junior class named after me. It came completely out of the blue, but they chose me to be an inspiration to those in the class with additional challenges like autism or hearing loss.  Elizabeth Jade class also spent some time looking at my books and seeing what they could learn from them about acceptance and overcoming obstacles. I still can’t believe it happened.

7 - How do you select the names of your characters?|
For some of my characters, the name comes from a moment of inspiration. Take Akea for example. I was looking for an image of a dalmatian with a husky for a dalmatian story I was planning. I like to have the image in front of me when I’m working. When I came across an image that felt right, it was the husky that ‘spoke’ to me, not the dalmatian. She told me her story and her name – that’s when I wrote Akea – The Power of Destiny.

For other characters, the name has a meaning which goes with their personality, lifestyle, or role. For example, Akea’s mother’s name is Eacnung. Her role is to produce the next generation of sled dogs, so her name means ‘Bearer of Children’. Then there is Akea’s son, Salvador. His name means ‘Salvation’ and he has a special role to play in the second book ‘Akea – His Mother’s Son’. I use various websites to help me find names with the meanings I need and if I can find a way to include the meaning in the story, then I will.

8 - What creature do you consider your "spirit animal" to be?
I have a very alert mind. It notices things that people I’m with often miss.  For this reason, my mother sometimes calls me Hawk Eye. However, I have an almost telepathic connection to most four legged mammals, but I couldn’t say which of these I am most like. I really couldn’t decide this on my own, so I answered the question using several YouTube tests and came up with two different animals. So, it looks like I’m a jaguar or a wolf – a Jag wolf!

9. If you were the last person on Earth, what would you do?
Celebrate! I wouldn’t feel that I had to fit in, I wouldn’t get stressed by getting things wrong and feeling I wasn’t good enough, and best of all, I could have all the animals to myself.

10 - Tell us 5 fun facts about yourself!

i)                    I can smell colours

ii)                  I can hear cat detectors (not necessarily fun, but definitely weird)

iii)                I once had an attack of double-barreled hiccups that lasted 10 minutes

iv)                I know what film’s been put on based on the adverts at the beginning of the DVD

v)                  I remember insignificant things in films that have nothing to do with the plot

10 - If you could live in any time period, what would it be and why?
To a germophobe like myself, the past was too unhygienic to be a safe place to live in, but maybe it would be okay for a brief visit. I think I would enjoy talking to any of the key figures in history, just to find out what really happened in their day. Do the history books have the events and the speeches down correctly?  How much of what we know is inaccurate or even just propaganda? I have a particular thing for villains and enjoy considering why they behaved the way they did, so it would be interesting to find out what really made them tick.


Author Bio

Elizabeth Jade was born in 1998 in Northallerton, North Yorkshire, England, but moved with her family to Wellington in Somerset when she was very young. Her early schooling did not go smoothly, and as a result, she was home-schooled from the age of seven. Her parents soon learned she had a unique slant on life and quickly abandoned attempts to follow the national curriculum in favour of child-led learning.

Elizabeth stumbled into writing at the age of fourteen when she began to suffer from anxiety and depression and quickly found her story ideas pouring out faster than she could get them onto paper.  It wasn’t until the age of eighteen that she realised her struggles in school had been due to Aspergers Syndrome (an autistic spectrum disorder).

As an enthusiastic animal lover, Elizabeth volunteered first at the Conquest Riding Centre for the Disabled and then at St Giles Animal Rescue before moving on to the Cats Protection Homing and Information Centre.  Her gifted way with the cats quickly earned her the title of ‘Cat Whisperer’ from the staff. Since she had always possessed such a way with animals, it was only natural for her story ideas to revolve around them.  

Elizabeth’s personal experience as a young author with the challenges of autism, depression and anxiety, along with her writing theme of acceptance and overcoming obstacles, have led to her having a junior school class named after her.


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