Author interview: Antares And The Zodiac

Written in the stars – we talk with authors Judith and Laura Wells about their children’s novel

Mother and daughter writing team Judith and Laura Wells have just released their first children’s fantasy novel, Antares And The Zodiac. We interview them to find out more about the book, self-publishing and collaborative writing.

SFX: For our readers who haven’t encountered your book yet, can you sum up the Antares And The Zodiac story (no spoilers though!)?

Judith and Laura: Four friends – Daz, Eve, Oli and Ebony – meet at a fairground on bonfire night, where one ride throws them into a very different dimension. They set off on an incredible adventure that’s completely out of this world. We follow them as they embark on an amazing journey through the signs of the zodiac.

Your book is aimed at kids aged 10 and above – why did you choose to aim for this audience? You say on your site that you were inspired by Enid Blyton and Beatrix Potter amongst others, can you tell us about that too?

We both love the fantasy genre – that’s where our writing takes us, filled with imaginative journeys. Because of this children/young adults were the audience we felt we should aim our writing towards. Fantasy is ideal for children as it opens their minds up to different possibilities! Fantasy is child-friendly and very entertaining. Our writing has quirky characters and talking animals – it’s a unique novel, with the imaginative qualities of those earlier authors’ works.

What motivated you to write the book together?

Judith has had poems published previously, and Antares was an idea we came up with and began working on. We had a plot plan for each chapter, and then worked through everything together.

And what made you decide to self-publish the book? Will you publish more afterwards?

It’s a very hard market – the trend seems to be for vampires at the moment! – so we thought self-publishing would show off the quality of our writing and give us a chance to build a fan base, and then we could take it from there. There are three more books to come in the Antares series, each containing very different stories and unusual characters, as the children travel through all 12 star signs.

What advice would you give to new authors?

Keep writing, experiment with different genres, and write for your own enjoyment as it’s a very hard industry to break into!

SFX: Thanks!

Find out more at www.antares-zodiac.com. Antares And The Zodiac is available online for £7.99 (paperback – out 1 October) and £2.48 (ebook – out now). The cover art, above, is by David Wyatt.