The Storyworld is available for download for the iPhone on the App Store here: Bedtime Stories — read & tell App.
Thank you for joining us and welcome to my blog. Please introduce yourself and tell us a little about you.
My Name is Julie Hodgson, Married and have 2 grown-up children , son and daughter and 4 grandchildren, I studied Child psychology and humanities at University in Scotland. I love being with children and storytelling is my passion. I am a crazy certified bibliophile. If I am not reading, then I’m telling, or I am writing stories.
Writing is my passion in life
What’s the name of your Storyworld and what is it about?
The story is called, The Moonlight farmers is a story about farmers Edna and Jim who are allergic to the sunlight, they always farmed at night and never went out when the sun was shining. They have many adventures, and some unexpected finds! They get new neighbours who really enrich their lives.
How did you come up with the stories and characters?
The main characters Edna and Jim are taken after my grandparents. Although they did not have a farm, they had a large garden and them often grow things. They were not allergic to the sun though. But they loved growing things. I always remember their back garden with fondness. On my travels in Africa I once met a little albino child, he was so beautiful, even though people thought of him as a curse, I felt he was a wonderful child, with the same love and yearning to live and learn like every other child I had met on my travels.
Tell us about the themes in your Storyworld. Why are they important?
The Moonlight Farmers have been a special story I had always told children while travelling around the globe, to teach children that although we are different in some ways, we are in fact the same, Like Mikey and Abby that were allergic to the sun, Edna and Jim were too. Many of the children I met were from all aspects of life and skins from all of the colours of the rainbow, it was a wonderful thing to meet such diversity in our world. I was truly humbled to meet these children.
Are there educational aspects to your work? If so, what are they?
I am a very moralistic storyteller, always have been. I always like to convey a message of acceptance or friendship or respect woven into my stories. It’s always fun to learn things, and as no one knows everything, it’s a good way of getting children to learn while in stealth mode, so to speak. They can learn about the solar system, counting and numbers and also sneaking in some history at times.
When and why did you begin writing?
I wrote my first poem when I was 9 years old. It was the poem, To Autumn by John Keats that inspired me. So, 1971 was when I really started writing things down. I also found that books were a great way to forget your surroundings. (I very much liked that) I have not looked back since.
How many books have you written to date? What inspired you to write your first book?
I have penned 34 books, and my inspiration began while I lived in Tripoli Libya in the early 80s and couldn’t find English storybooks there was never any food in the shops let alone books.
I have written one book for The Blind organisation, (UK) and one was donated to cancer research.
And as I had always told stories to my young daughter, I decided to write them down. The ABC tales was my first ever concoction. And it is still not in real book form yet! It is on scraps of notepaper… I’m sure I shall get it out there soon.
Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your genre that you find particularly challenging?
I love writing for children and young adults. I don’t really like writing books for grownups.
I have written one thriller but under my nome de plume.
I much prefer delving into the fantasy world for children. I’m still not grown up yet! I think there is a rule that if you reach 50 and are not grown up, then you don’t have to. .. I agree with Peter Pan on this one.
I have been told that my style of writing is rather old-fashioned, Enid Blytonish! I take that as a compliment!
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When I worked for the times In Kuwait back in 1989, I was paid to write, that made it feel real! Although when we put pen to paper with passion, we are a writer!
Where do you turn for inspiration?
I actually love watching old black and white movies and reading Edition of the Strand magazine. (from 1884) I am also a people watcher! When I’m sat in airports, I watch people, , how they act, how they talk. I have come up with some very colourful characters that way.
What were your favourite books as a child and why?
The famous 5 by Enid Blyton were my favourite… I loved the fact that any of the characters could have been me. That really makes a story come alive.
What book are you currently reading?
I am reading Stephen Kings Rose Madder although I must confess, I read more than one genre at a time, but at the moment, Stephen King is my chill out time! If you could ever combine the two!
What advice do you give to writers starting out on their career?
Never give up, do not take criticism of your writing personally… Learn from your mistakes. It is part of our nature, to be always learning. Dream and do, do and dream….
What are you currently working on and what is your next project?
I am penning a 3rd Novel Of the Jodie and the Library card series. I always have short stories on the go, and of course being onboard with Bedtime stories is a real challenge and fun thing to do… Il excited about what comes next.
Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
Thank you for telling us about your Bedtime Stories Storyworld and your books! We can’t wait to read them!
The Moonlight Farmers, is available for download on the Bedtime Stories — read & tell App on iPhone and iPad