Indie Author Week – Meet Sue Wickstead

I’d like to introduce you to some lovely children’s #IndieAuthors. It was a pleasure to chat with them, and I hope you will enjoy learning about them and their books. Don’t forget to #sharethebooklove. Here’s my first author:

Sue Wickstead  with Jay-Jay Playbus stories for 5-8 year-olds

sue wickstead

Find out more at Sue’s website:  https://suewickstead.co.uk/

Or on social media:  Facebook    Twitter    Instagram

Waterstones      WH Smiths      Amazon UK

 

 

 

Interviews & News

Between holidays and family health issues, the Month of May has flown past in a blur and my May News failed to appear, but fear not – June News is going to make up for it.

I have some more exclusive illustrations to share with those who have downloaded chapter 1 of my next book, Akea – His Mother’s Son (Click here if you’ve missed that). They are amazing, so watch out for those. June is Indie Author Month and I’m planning to introduce you to some of the wonderful children’s authors I have met recently.  And finally, I am delighted to share an interview of my own which, though short, delves a little more into my autism. My thanks to Rachel Pudsey for this.

Interview

1. Tell us about yourself and your work

I always knew I had a unique take on life, but it wasn’t until I was 18 that I was diagnosed with Aspergers. I was among the last individuals to be diagnosed with this specifically, before the general diagnosis of Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) became the preferred term. Read More…

Guest blogging

It’s always a pleasure to provide a guest blog. Here’s an extract from my most recent contribution.

“Akea is born into a family of sled dogs, but there is something unique about her. Her father captures it best when he surmises: “Akea was different from the other pups. She felt special even though he didn’t know why.” Akea senses this difference when she first sees a lone wolf by the name of Kazakh. It’s then she realizes that her true destiny lies beyond the relative safety of her sled dog family. Kazakh’s role is to help her discover her place in the world, but doing so goes against the rules and norms of wolf society and could even cost him his life.”

You can read more of my guest blog at https://www.rachelpudsey.com/blog/guest-post-by-elizabeth-jade and you may find your next great read there too.

For the love of dogs…

 

My autism quote today is by Stuart Duncan.  Again, this is a quote I can really relate to. Despite having some marvellous reviews of my first book, Akea – The Power of Destiny, I am still firmly convinced I can’t do anything right. I’m not sure that opinion will change when my second book, Akea – His Mother’s Son, is published either.

While I find it hard to be proud of my writing achievement, I am proud of the relationship I have with my Shi Tzu, Kizzy. We have been together since she was 7 weeks old and we are never apart for long.  She is incredibly intelligent for her breed and so quick to learn.  She is my world. 

She wears the bandana all the time, but the hat belongs to Woody from Toy Story. This figure sits on top of the arm chair.  His string no longer works, but every so often he relates one of his favourite phrases without any assistance – spooky or what! Kizzy has learnt so many clever tricks, and I can pose her in any position I choose and she won’t move until I say so. Today, she is Woody’s friend – Kizzy The Cowgirl.

Awesome About Autism – Guest Blog

Awesome About Autism by Jude Lennon

Two years ago I met Jane Hawkes at a Business Networking event. Jane’s son Will is Autistic and she had founded an online business Seashore No 4 which could offer Will a job once he left school. She was passionate and enthusiastically determined for Will to have a chance to reach his full potential.

Will was also passionate, but in another area – drawing. Jane, Will and I embarked on a project which would allow Will’s passion to develop. Together, we have created a series of children’s books with an autistic main character. Hal was born from Will’s imagination and by careful questioning, I was able to build up a character profile not just of him but of his entire family. The first book Hal and the End Street features Hal as a thirteen year old living with autism in 1974. The book takes the readers through social situations that Hal finds himself in and shows how using strategies can help him to cope with them.
Will 1Hal and the End Street launched on World Autism Awareness Day (April 2nd) 2018. It became an Amazon Number 1 Best Seller in its category and has received great feedback from children, teachers and parents alike.

Although Hal has enjoyed success, the best thing has been the effect on Will. From a shy teenager who avoided eye contact, Will has grown in confidence. Initially Will said he wanted nothing to do with the promotion of the book. He didn’t want to have his photograph taken, be interviewed, talk to people about it. He certainly didn’t want to go on Radio or be filmed for television and there was no way at all he’d be speaking at the launch events. Will has achieved all of these things!Will 2And now we are celebrating the launch of Book Two ‘Hal and the Parties’. Set in 1977, Hal is now leaving school, embarking on a college career and dealing with new friendships as well as a host of celebrations and parties. Will’s illustrations have developed in style and texture and this time he took promotional events in his stride.

Jane came up with the tag line Awesome About Autism because she really wanted to show that Autism needn’t be a barrier to achieving dreams, holding down a job, making friends or being part of society. Will 3Will is studying Art at college (just like Hal) and is hoping to have a career in illustration ahead of him. He has already been commissioned for work. Being the author who had the chance to work with him on this is a real privilege. And we are already looking ahead to Book Three!

For more information about Hal’s Books please visit https://halsbooks.co.uk/
Seashore No 4 is still going and now employs another young person who is Autistic.