It's been a stellar week for Hawke's Bay award-winning author Gareth Ward.

Not only is he about to release the first book in his new series, The Rise of the Remarkables Brasswitch and Bot, but he has just won the Sir Julius Vogel Awards Best Youth Novel award for his children's book, The Clockill and the Thief (published in 2019).
The Clockill and the Thief follows on from his first novel The Traitor and the Thief.

Ward says although he hasn't finished with the first series he is very excited about his latest book.

"In my mind there is one more book in the first series and probably three in the new series with the second one at the publishers already," Ward said.

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"I'm really excited about this new series - the characters are really fun. The main character is Wrench, a brasswitch. And then there's Bot, a maverick mechanoid who acts first and asks questions later.

"I loved writing this story. It was so much fun and I'm really pleased with it."

Ward (aka. The Great Wardini) is a magician, hypnotist, storyteller and bookseller. He has worked as a Royal Marine commando, police officer, evil magician and zombie. He basically likes jobs where you get to wear really cool hats. He and his wife Louise run two independent bookshops - Wardini Books.

"Fortunately for me Louise loves running the bookshops, so I can go hard with my writing. I try to write for three to six hours a day.

"I'm really settled in my steampunk genre and am very comfortable in that world."

The Rise of the Remarkables Brasswitch and Bot is aimed at those aged 10 to 15, but "adults will also love it."

"In fact I have had more feedback from adults than younger people about my first two books."

The cover of his latest book was designed by Ward's friend Bex Bloomfield who runs her own Hawke's Bay business Little Red Robot.

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"She did a fantastic job."

To celebrate the release of The Rise of the Remarkables Brasswitch and Bot there will be a Steampunk Ball at the Havelock North Function Centre this Saturday. Tickets from Wardini Bookshops. Prior to the ball there will be a free event for children at 4pm with lots of fun and games.