Stitch says is proud to be a part of the Return to Cardamom Blog Tour, hosted my Mother Daughter and Son Book Reviews:

Return to Cardamom Blog Tour Button 2013

As part of this tour I have had the wonderful opportunity to read this awesome book and interview Julie Grasso.

Julie Grasso

Let’s find out more about Julie:

When did you decide to become an author and what impact has this had on your life?
I had a dream in my heart for many years but I think it was when I started working with sick and injured children as a paediatric burns nurse. I realised that reading is a wonderful distraction and a great influence on a child’s life. That is something I wanted to do. The impact has been incredible and sometimes a bit all-consuming. As a stay at home mum, I have been able to concentrate on developing my writing and finding ways to market my books from the comfort of my lounge room, with Gigi at my legs most of the time.

Reading certainly can be one of the best therapies!

Tell us about your latest work and what motivated you to write it:
Return To Cardamom is the sequel to Escape From The Forbidden Planet. As a nurse I am a bit of a nerd in all things medical and science fiction, so I decided to combine my love for the two. Caramel is a telepathic elf with very special abilities, but an accident as an elfkin leaves her with a damaged leg. She lives on a rainforest planet with an incredibly powerful resource that is in huge demand throughout the galaxy. Evil forces will stop at nothing to gain this resource, and Caramel finds herself once again battling to save her family, friends and planet, along with her own issues of confidence and self-worth.

Love Caramel the telepathic elf, something very special about that!

What are your future aspirations as an author?
I would like to have my books in schools and be able to interact with kids to encourage them in literacy and self-confidence.

Where do your ideas come from? What experiences or aspects of your life influence your writing?
My ideas for this series come predominantly from my own experiences and my interests. As a child I had an accident and broke my leg. I faced a few challenges in healing and rehabilitation like any other child, but that experience gave me a keen interest in medicine and helping others. Combine that with all things science fiction and a serious obsession with caramel cake, and there you have it, my series was inspired.

What do you do to improve yourself and a writer?
Firstly, I read a lot of middle grade books.
I have a couple of beta reading kids aged 10, that I run all my manuscripts past. I also have 5 adult beta readers including my sisters, who give me their ruthless opinion before I submit anything to my editor.
I research what other authors are doing both in the independent publishing realm as well as the traditional publishing world.
I interact with other kidlit bloggers, authors and readers through the Kid Lit Blog Hop.
I follow lots of authors, agents and bloggers on twitter, and read absolutely any article that has to do with publishing, creative writing and marketing of books.
Every book I write has a book cover conjured in my head almost from the beginning of the manuscript. I work really closely with my illustrator, providing dreadful sketches of what I want in my book covers. He manages to interpret them with the help of skype and we workshop them until we have something that will appeal to kids to capture their attention. I really believe that a cover is the window to the soul of the book, so whenever David draws me a cover, I always tell him, “Make it shimmer.”

Wow that’s a great list of things to do. Thank you for joining us here on Stitch Says. There will be a review of Return to Cardamom later in the week. Until then keep reading, keep writing.