We first interviewed autistic author Elizabeth Jade (her pseudonym) in May 2018 when her first book, Akea, The Power of Destiny, was published. She told us that she was the child that struggled to fit in, and no one knew why:
“[I was] the child who could tell you everything that had been going on around them all day, but couldn’t remember what the lesson was about; who wrote down her spelling list on the first page she opened the book on instead of the next clean page where her parents would find it; who heard the teachers instructions, but still didn’t know what to do and got told off for not listening; who hid when the vacuum cleaner came out at home, even in their teens; and I was the child whose teenage blues developed into depression, anxiety and hygiene related OCD.”
Writing stories has been a positive outlet for her depression and anxiety. Her love for dogs is the inspiration behind her Akea series for young readers. We asked her to tell us about Akea, His Mother’s Son, the second book in her series.
Tell us about Akea, His Mother’s Son.
Akea – His Mother’s Son takes up the story of Akea the Siberian Husky sometime after her rise to Wolf Queen in Akea – The Power of Destiny. Akea’s world turns upside down when humans raid their home, scattering the pack and capturing her hybrid son, Salvador. Instinctively aware of approaching trials, Akea must entrust The Great Wolf with the life of her son and focus on preparing her pack. Salvador struggles to adjust to life in captivity, quickly realizing not everyone approves of his mother’s role as queen. But when The Great Wolf sends him warning dreams, Salvador discovers his true purpose for being there – he must return in time to save his family and he will need to take his new friends with him.
What Inspired you to write it?
His Mother’s Son came as a natural progression of the story in The Power of Destiny. The previously separate roles of alpha female and Wolf Queen were combined in Akea, and as the new Wolf Queen wasn’t even a wolf, this was bound to have consequences. In addition, having a mate would naturally lead to the arrival of pups and the chance to see if The Great Wolf had plans for this new generation.
How does being autistic influence your writing?
I doubt I could store an entire series in my head and write the books out of chronological order without being autistic, and it does enable me to multi-task, so I can research, write and watch YouTube at the same time. But I believe the influence of autism on my writing is very much subconscious. In fact, I wasn’t aware of it to begin with. After publishing my first Akea story, several people commented on the parallel between Akea’s journey of discovery and my own. She overcame various obstacles, she discovered it was okay to be different and that being different didn’t mean she didn’t belong there. In the same way, I’ve had to overcome depression and anxiety, and feeling that I didn’t fit it, but now I understand it’s okay to be different and I have found my place in the world as an author.
Who is your illustrator?
The work of Anthony Wallis in my first book is amazing; he captured the feel of it so perfectly, so I asked him to work with me on His Mother’s Son. I hadn’t realised how much work went into being an illustrator, so I asked Anthony to write a guest blog on the topic, which you can read HERE.
Who is your ideal reader?
Although this book is primarily aimed at children age 7 to 11, it would easily be enjoyed by older children and adults as it is written in a mature style with a light touch, or read to younger children by their parents. Several people have said that my style reminds them of Jack London’s in Call of the Wild. I have even sold books to adult fans of Call of the Wild for that reason.
What’s the message you want your readers to take away after reading the book?
His Mother’s Son teaches children the importance of family, loyalty and overcoming obstacles, and the dual narrative also allows readers to feel both sides of the experience of loss and change. Like the first book, the story is told from the animal’s perspective and you quickly feel that you are indeed seeing the world through their eyes.
Do you have a proud moment to share?
My proudest moment has to be the review I received from fellow author Colin Garrow. He even allowed me to use it on my book cover – I can’t thank him enough.
“As she proved with the first book in this series, Elizabeth Jade has a gift for writing for children. With the follow-up, she has created another heart-warming story that continues the saga of Akea, Kazakh and their husky/wolf offspring. As Akea strives to keep her family safe while watching out for the rest of the pack, she must also deal with wayward Salvador, who is more difficult to control. And as if that weren’t enough, there’s the legendary Great White Wolf to worry about, too.
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.”
Is there anything else you’d like to share about the Akea Series?
I’ve already started work on the third book which, at this time, is called Akea – March of the Pack. I’m hoping it won’t take me as long to pull together as His Mother’s Son did. If you would like to keep up to date with my progress, then you can subscribe to my free download or blog on the website: www.elizabethjade.org
The books in the Akea series are captivating stories of self-discovery, loyalty and overcoming obstacles. Once picked up, you will find them impossible to put down. I hope you will join me on my own journey of discovery as an autistic author.
Find out more about the book and author:
- Elizabeth Jade website
- Akea Wolf Stories Facebook Page and Goodreads
- @akeawolfstories on Twitter
- @akeawolfstories.author on Instagram
- Get the book on Amazon USA* and Amazon UK
If you liked this interview, you may also like:
- A Captivating Tale of Self-Discovery, Loyalty and Hope
- Never Underestimate Neurodiverse Heroes in ‘Underdogs’
- More books by autistic authors
- More curious interviews with interesting authors and entrepreneurs
- Shop in our Amazon Influencer Autism Book Shop
*The links to buy the books are our affiliate links. By purchasing using these links, you will not only support the author, you’ll be raising funds to support our autistic team of contributors for their work too.