23rd November 2015
Winell Road: Beneath the Surface
Written by Kate Foster
Released: May 2015
Twelve year old Jack Mills lives at 5 Winell Road and probably has the world's weirdest neighbours. Like freakishly weird. And to top it off, he lives with Mum (nosy, interfering, a hideous cook) and Dad (unsuccessful inventor of the Camera Belt and Self-Closing Window).
All in all, it's a boring, embarrassing, dead-end place to live. So when Jack arrives home from school one day, a close shave with a UFO is the last thing he expects. But the fact it doesn't abduct him, and that no one else - not even Mum - sees the gigantic flying saucer hovering over the street, adds a whole new layer of strange.
Soon after, an alien encounter threatens Jack's life and he becomes embroiled in a galaxy-saving mission. With the assistance of his new neighbour, frighteningly tall Roxy Fox, he discovers Winell Road is hiding secrets - secrets Jack might wish he'd never uncovered.
Q. Tell us about yourself.
I am a freelance editor and children's author, mother of three boys and household slave.
Q. What is your book about?
Winell Road is a sci-fi adventure story. The protagonist, Jack Mills, is bored, lonely and typically twelve - until the UFO encounter. After that, his old life flies out the window replaced with a crazy, and somewhat weird, few days that will change his life forever. But for the better? Who knows.
Q. Who is your target audience for this book?
Middle grade readers, so 8+.
Q. What aspects did you find challenging about this book?
The first draft. Always the first draft for me with all my books. Getting the scenes perfectly onto paper was a serious daily struggle.
Q. Why does your book offer the reader that differs from others covering similar subjects?
This book is all about the adventure. It's a window of escapism for children. I promise no heavy life lessons, no seriousness, no emotional turmoil. I want kids to have the best time. Oh, and the book is full of anagrams and puzzles.
Q. How did the idea for this book come about?
Two reasons: One, was an enormous revelation scene in one of my favourite movies that sparked an idea and exploded into a novel; and two, from wanting to create a main character who isn't perfect and who hasn't got magical powers or isn't The One. An ordinary kid, literally.
Kate is a freelance editor with a list of successful clients, and a children's author, originally from England and now enjoying the beautiful sunshine on the Gold Coast in Australia. She lives in a house full of males, including the spoodle, and confesses to being a little obsessive when it comes to winning. She's frighteningly competitive.