In a hidden world called InhabitANT, thousands of ants eat, sleep, work, raise children and wage wars. Their fiercest enemy is an evil spider, a massive, devious beast with magic powers, called RepugnANT. Three young ants – ExuberANT, BrilliANT and HesitANT – stumble across the fiend while looking for food. Their frantic efforts to escape him thrust them into one heart-pounding adventure after another. The eight-legged brute is in hot pursuit and has vowed to catch them and wipe out their nest.
The pals need to escape his clutches and alert the nest, using Zube’s own special powers and Brill’s clever brain. But is HesitANT up to the challenge? Watching his family wiped out by slaveraider ants has left the little ant nervous and timid. Can he shrug off his fears to save InhabitANT from the world’s craziest spider?
I’m a retired newspaper reporter from the North East of England, following my childhood dream of being a novelist. As a kid I read books under the bedclothes by torchlight. Now I dive under the bedclothes, torch in hand, to scribble down conversations between my nutty book characters in case I forget them in the morning. I’ve written stories since I was about eight years old. I wrote them on a toy typewriter and my dad did the illustrations. All sadly lost down the decades.
When I wasn’t pounding on my typewriter, you could find me smashing a tennis ball against the brick end of a block of garages beside my home. For hours on end I perfected my lob, backhand and forehand shots – all the time spinning stories in my head. I drafted my first novel about 10 years ago but had to give up because of pains in my hands and wrists – Repetitive Strain Injury. It was just too painful to type during the day, then continue in my spare time. I retired last year and rested my hands for three months. I have a stockpile of ideas for stories and in January decided to fulfill my dream of writing a novel. I returned to that first draft, reworked it and a few months later published it – a children’s fantasy, called ANTics.
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
ANTics was inspired by a dream. I was golfing in Spain when I caught sight of a group of ants attempting to carry a potato crisp back to their nest. They were fascinating to watch as they wrestled with the crisp, which was 20 times bigger than a single ant. It seemed an impossible task. But they didn’t give up and sent off for reinforcements. Some pulled, some pushed, and one ant ran around directing operations. Then they decided to lift it up a six-inch kerbstone. Their antics were awesome.
They left such an impression on me, that night I dreamt about ants battling a giant spider. When I woke I wrote down the dream and the story evolved from there.