New Adult Dystopian/Steampunk/Sci-Fi
February 12, 2015
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‘Garden is very charming with some lovely parallels …’ Sharon Sant – Author of The Sky Song trilogy
Inspired by the classic novel The Secret Garden, Jane Yates introduces us to a steampunk world of bio-domes, robots and mysteries. Eleven-year-old Aberdeen is so used to being by herself that all she has to fill her thoughts are stories of mighty dragons and grand castles. But Aberdeen’s world is soon thrown into disarray however; her parents murdered.
Having no choice, Aberdeen is sent to live with her uncle back on Earth where her fascination into her new surroundings begin to take hold. It isn’t long before Aberdeen befriends three other children – Maisy, Peter and Lenard.
Oh, and there’s Frank too, Peter’s robot dog, who completes this special circle of friendship.
Garden is a journey of self-discovery, of trials and friendship. With adventure boundless, Jane Yates follows up her acclaimed Paradox Child trilogy with a new tale for young fans of steampunk and science fiction.
Tell me something about yourself?
My name is Mrs Merryweather. I am not going to tell you my age. I am a widow with no living relatives. I am head housekeeper and have been working for the master for 20 years. I started as a cleaner and then gradually worked my way up to this position. Of course, I have my beloved Keys, my robot - he’s my right hand man.
Do you enjoy your job, why does this role interest you?
Well I have to keep all my staff on their toes, more so since the accident. I don’t want people giving up and getting down. I am a firm believer that hard work is good for the mind and the soul. So I sometimes invent jobs or make my staff do the job over, just to keep them busy. It’s a kindness really.
My husband when he was alive was a deep fish seaman. He used to tell me that when they transported the tanks of cod long distances, they would put a few large cat fish in the tank with them. The fisherman did this to keep the cod on the toes, as it were. They needed the cod swimming and moving about to keep them fresh and in good shape. Cod are clever fish and knew if they didn’t keep moving and sink to the bottom the cat fish would eat them! I think of my role as a bit of a cat fish, with a touch of dragon thrown in for good measure.
What is your greatest strength?
I have so many strengths, so I will list a few here. I am physically fit and strong for a lady of my age. I am honest, trustworthy and loyal. Polite, I believe manners make a man.
What is your greatest weakness?
I have to admit that I am not very flexible, I don’t like change. I think that’s why I may have been a bit hard on Aberdeen when she came. Everything was ticking along, and she set the cat amongst the pigeons, as it were. However, no, I have to admit I am glad she did come after all, and I’d not change her or any of it. But don’t tell the child that! I shall deny it if you do.
Do you have any hobbies outside of work?
I am a collector, and I like to collect historical items that are used for cleaning a home. Vacuums and other cleaning gadgets. I have an extensive collection with some very unusual ones, rare and unique. I even have the original boxes!
Are you ambitious? Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?
This is my home, I look after the master and Lenard. I want to see in the next generation. I can’t imagine being anywhere else.
Before you go, Mrs Merryweather, where were you when the gamma ray hit Earth? What did you think was happening?
Luckily I was inside the house when it hit, unlike the poor mistress who was in the walled garden. I had no idea what was happening. I understand now that the government had prepared for it. However the likes of me weren’t told.
We had to move to an underground shelter to begin with. But it was not long before the master arranged for the bio-dome to be built.
It was good to be back in the house again, even if we could not see the sky. Looking back, I guess we were lucky; it could have been a lot worse. Lots of people died, my husband was out at sea when it happened. He never came back.
About the Author
Jane lives in the historic city of Oxford, England with her two spaniels. She works at the Pitt Rivers museum there too and is amazed and inspired by its wondrous array of objects. Being a museum of anthropology and world archaeology, Jane often finds herself influenced by its exhibitions. And indeed it has helped Jane write a trilogy for children – the series.
Jane is not only a mother, artist and storyteller, but dyslexic too, which only highlights her success even more. Jane refuses to allow the disorder to halt her dreams and continues to enjoy her favourite hobbies. Jane is a lover of steampunk, adventure and children’s stories, which often play a huge role in her own books.
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