Our author today comes from Down Under.
First a bit about Julie Anne Grasso
With her background in paediatric nursing, Julie Anne Grasso spent many years literally wrapping children in cotton wool. Every day she witnessed great courage and resilience from the tiny people she cared for, which inspired her to write stories about a little girl elf just like them. She lives in Melbourne Australia with her husband Danny and their little elf Giselle.
Why did you choose to write books for Middle Grade readers?
I love middle grade because kids are so open to wonderful fantasy stories where they can get totally enthralled in a new world and still have that innocence before life gets complicated. I want to take them on a great adventure but also impart good values along the way.
What type of books do you like to read?
Obviously I love Middle Grade, but I am a huge science fiction fan, so I love Anne McCaffrey, Jasper Fforde, Douglas Addams and Frank Herbert. I also love Forensics so I have every Kathy Reichs and Patricia Cornwell on my bookshelves.
When you are not writing, what do you like to do?
Spending time with my husband and toddler Gigi, reading, and watching nerdy sci fi series like Doctor Who, Eureka and Warehouse 13 and Fringe.
Tell us about Escape From The Forbidden Planet and how the story came to be.
When I was in high school the kids used to call me Pixi because I pretty small in stature and I have fairly elf-like features. As I mentioned before I am also a pediatric nurse and I have used a lot of nerdy medical technology over the years, so I decided I wanted to write a story about elves that have special healing abilities. I am a cupcake fanatic, so the result was Escape From The Forbidden Planet.
Here's a peak at Escape From The Forbidden Planet:
Caramel Cinnamon thought the worst day of her life was the day her grandparents, the King and Queen of the Elves of Cardamom went missing. She was wrong! The day she spills sticky toffee syrup onto her father's computer, that's when her worst nightmare begins. She finds herself marooned on a forbidden planet, sent there by an evil clone with a very sticky secret. Caramel is desperate to escape. If she doesn't she will lose her dreams of returning to Cardamom to become a healer like her Mum. Luckily, she has a secret of her own and the lives of her family and friends depend on it!
Have you written other books?
I have almost completed the sequel to Escape From The Forbidden Planet. It will be called Return To Cardamom and will hopefully be ready for release in mid 2013.
What's next for your writing? Are you working on a new story?
I am working on a middle grade detective story, called Franky Dupont And The Mystery At Enderby Manor. It’s going to be in first person, so a little different from my other two books but I am loving the creative process and hope to have it finished also in 2013.
What advice do you have for other authors?
I used Kindle Direct Publishing to launch my author platform utilizing the free promotional days and they have really paid off over the last two months. For my Christmas Promo, I managed to rank as high as #2 in Children’s ebooks/Science Fiction and #35 for Children’s books aged 9-12. Giving books away for free sounds crazy, but it has given me the exposure I couldn’t have possibly generated as an unknown.
Anything else you want readers to know?
I hope you enjoy my book but beware, it has been known to cause a caramel cupcake craving!
Where can readers find you and your books?