Julia Wills is the author of Fleeced, a lovely children’s book that has won excellent reviews (and has a killer cover). She kindly agreed to share with us some more information on her book. Take it, Julia! 🙂
The Ancient Greek heroes…
For centuries they’ve kept readers enthralled. Just peek into any book of the Greek myths and you’ll find stories straining at the seams with sword-swishers and shield-shakers: from Herakles to Perseus, from Theseus to Bellerophon … But the funny thing is, they’re always young men, dashing, strong and athletic, aren’t they? Able to fight and sail and command others, and showered with gifts from the gods to help them on their quests.
But is that really what a being a hero is all about? And, speaking for the Hydra, Medusa, the Minotaur and Chimera, what about the monsters they left dead in their wake?
My name is Julia Wills, and I’m delighted to accept Nicholas’ kind invitation to write a guest post for his blog.
“Fleeced!” is my debut children’s novel, and sets out to see things from the fabulous beasts’ point of view. That question, of the revered heroes and the damage they did, stayed with me for a long time, but it wasn’t until I was teaching at primary school and reading out the tale of Jason and his Argonauts, sailing monster-infested seas to steal the Golden Fleece, that I really started to wonder about the ram whose gilded coat it had been. A ghost left behind, bald and burgled, his glory days long in the past. How would he feel about losing the most marvellous thing he’d ever owned – his gorgeous, glittering coat – to great big swanky Jason? Naming him Aries, I imagined him stomping about the enchanted forest at Kolkis, snorting and raging for hundreds of years. Couldn’t he be a hero, too, if he had the chance? Even if he did have four hoofs, two horns and an enormous bottom instead of a dazzling smile and fancy footwork?
In “Fleeced!” Aries finally wins the opportunity to prove himself. Returning from the Greek Underworld to modern Earth, with Alex, his best friend and a keeper at the Underworld Monsters’ Zoo, they find themselves in London. In the chaos of their arrival, they meet Rose, a feisty schoolgirl, who despite their seemingly crazy explanation for being there, agrees to help them. However, it’s not long before the unlikely trio discover that they’ll need every scrap of courage they have, when they find themselves squaring up to a terrifying danger that would have even the legendary Jason quaking in his sandals.
- ‘Fleeced!’ by Julia Wills (Templar 2014) (Piccadilly Press 2015)
- The sequel ‘Rampage!’ (Piccadilly Press) will be published April 2015.
Who is Julia Wills?
Although Julia Wills was born in the last century this absolutely does not make her as old as the Ancient Greeks she tells stories about. However, she does admit to writing for just about as long as she’s been able to hold a pen.
After studying Psychology at Oxford University, Julia completed a PGCE at Northampton and a Masters in Writing at Glamorgan (now the New University of South Wales). She has always written but has had lots of other jobs too, such as maintaining a photo library for a Texan oil company, tasting sausages, working for batty professors at Oxford and teaching Year Four children in Northamptonshire. It was here, in the classroom, as Miss Wills, that she discovered just how much children adore the Ancient Greeks, their fabulous monsters and glitzy heroes, and more importantly, how children love a good laugh when they read.
Julia lives in Warwickshire, England.
Children’s author reviews:
“This spirited, highly imaginative tale – in which characters from the Underworld of Greek myth are transported to modern London – is driven by fantastic incident, crammed with sparkling imagery, and laced with infectious humour. A lovely romp. Deserves to be a big hit.”
– Michael Lawrence, author of the Jiggy McCue series of books
A great read – exciting, gripping and so funny. Full of wonderful characterisations. Children’s fiction has a marvellous new comic voice.
– Pete Johnson
I’m away on business until the 14th. Apologies if I’m late in responding to your comments, as it will all depend on our hotel’s Internet connection!