Anna Leask is senior police reporter for the New Zealand Herald.

Real Housewife launches cosmic creation

The latest book in Gilda Kirkpatrick's comic series, Mutiny in the Solar System, will be launched next week. Photo / Nick Reed
The latest book in Gilda Kirkpatrick's comic series, Mutiny in the Solar System, will be launched next week. Photo / Nick Reed

From sipping champagne to studying the solar system - it's been a busy year for Gilda Kirkpatrick.

Not only is she set to debut on Kiwi television screens as one of Auckland's Real Housewives, she's just finished her second children's book which goes on sale next week.

Mutiny in the Solar System is the second book in the Astarons series - illustrated sci-fi comic-style books that chronicle the adventures of eight super heroes through earth's solar system and beyond.

The series was designed by Kirkpatrick with learning in mind and each book is packed with scientific information about the universe.

The first instalment was released in September last year and introduced the Astarons, described by Kirkpatrick as cosmic 'guardians' on a mission to save the universe from destruction.

Auckland University astrophysicists Dr Nick Rattenbury and Dr JJ Eldridge have assisted her with the educational side of things, ensuring the characters, storylines and dialogue are scientifically accurate.

"I'm super excited about the book being released. This book is not only about entertainment, it is about education, and enabling people to further their knowledge," Kirkpatrick told the Herald.

The mum-of-two boys aged three and 10 months works full time as a creative director for advertising agency Us&Co, and penned the book between those commitments and filming for the Bravo television programme Real Housewives of Auckland which airs next month.

"I have great help at home and a really great team at work, so that has made all of this possible," she explained.

"I feel like the first book was harder, it introduced all of the characters and the concepts.

"But in the second book they are already established and you can get to know them more and story becomes more exciting because you have more of a connection with the characters - there's a dynamic there."

Astarons is illustrated by animator Myles Lawford.

Kirkpatrick, who was born in Iran, said the idea for the series came when she noticed there was little "real science" in kid's fiction books.

She wanted to change that, and started planning Astarons.

Each character is derived from one of the eight major planets and their powers and physical appearance represent the complicated fabric of each planet, Kirkpatrick said.

As the story progresses, readers are introduced to additional characters and information - asteroids, supernovas, galaxies, black holes and more - at a basic level.

The Astarons website has further information about every topic in the book.
"My vision has always been to make education entertaining," Kirkpatrick said.

- NZ Herald

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