Saturday, 27 October 2012


For anyone following my progress you may know that I recently published my Debut Middle Grade Science Fiction novel "Escape From The Forbidden Planet. I have had some great comments about the names that I have used in the book.
It got me to thinking about where they all came from and I decided to write it all down for posterity so here goes.
Caramel Cardamom:
  • Not her real name, her nickname and the name that her clone captor gives her when he sends her to a forbidden planet called,....spoiler, can't tell, you will have to read the book. How did I come up with that. Well, I was sitting pondering one day and I decided that it would be a great name for a character, mostly because I love anything caramel.
Gabriella Cinnamon:
  • Caramel's actual name.:One of my dearest friends is called Gabriella. We watched that movie together A Beautiful Life and loved it when the father called his wife Principessa. It was the obvious choice for a little girl Elvin princess. I also love Caramel Apple Spice drinks from Starbucks with their delicious cinnamon syrup, so Cinnamon was the obvious choice for a last name.
Basil Cardamom:
  • My elves have a signature scent, almost like their DNA so I decided to use names that were fragrant and Basil is one of my most favourite herbs.
Juniper Cardamom:
  • With its obvious aromatic qualities it was a perfect fit for an Elvin Queen
Carob Cinnamon:
  • I can't eat chocolate so Carob is the alternative but it just sounded like an awesome name for a dad.
Arianna Cinnamon:
  • In my nursing career I looked after a little boy whom I bonded very closely with his mum Arianna. She was such a wonderful mum and a great example to me, it was the obvious choice for Caramel's mum.
Jorde Oregano:
  • I went to school with a kid called Jorde and I always like the name. Oregano is a great herb for a pizza loving Elvin family, don't you think and a great name for a pizza joint.
Jimmy Oregano:
  • My pre-school friends name was James. He was Scottish and his dad called him Jimmy. It seemed fitting that he should be in my story.
Julia Oregano:
  • My friend Gabriella often calls me Julia as I went on a mission trip to Brasil many years ago and I was called Julia the whole time. It just stuck and of course I somehow snuck my name into the
Jemm Jasmine:
  • I love the name Jemm after that cartoon that I watched as a kid. Jemm Jerica.  Jasmine is a beautiful fragrance and one befitting a little elvin girl who is Caramel's best friend.

Eliza Jasmin:
  • I love Pride and Predjudice, and I wanted a strong female name so of course, Eliza. It just sounds like an elf name to me too.
Michel Jasmine
  • I just love the name, and it sounded like an elf name to me
  • Well, I had to incorporate my very own little elf into the story of course.

Micah :
  • My dearest friend's little boy is named Micah. He is a beautiful bright, red haired blue eyed boy, just like Micah in my story....
  • Our neighbours child was called Sasskia and I just loved the way it rolled off the tongue and it seemed to fit well with the other kids.
  • I needed a Japanese girls name that could be shortened so that it sounded more Aussie, because every Aussie shortens names. So I asked my dear friend Claire who was living in Japan at the time and we settled on Akirako, because shortening it to Kirra makes it a very Aussie name for a little girl trying to fit into a new country.
  • I love the name Alexander and the triple two just rolled of the tongue. It seemed like the right number for a clone who was ambitious, yet bungling.
Why Elves:
  • Well, I am short of stature, I have pointy ears and my nickname in high school was pixie, so I just always had an affinity for elves.
Why healing:
  • In my nursing days I did a year long study using a laser Doppler in the prediction and determination of depth of burns for children. I always wished that I could heal the little people that cared for, to decrease their suffering.  That's when I hit on the idea of a scanner that could be used to enhance an elves ability to manipulate the body to heal using the power of their thoughts.
Why rainforest and tree's that can be trained into the intricate dwellings that the elves in the canopy reside in.
  • My husband grew up in North Queensland in the cane farming region.  There was a rainforest right next to his house and he spent to many happy hours, roaming and running through the rainforest.  Thats where I got the idea to incorporate the rainforest and the sugar cane farm into my story.
Why trees that can be trained by elves.
  • My dad actually gave me this idea. He read a book many years ago where people could train trees, so I adapted into my story where elves could speak and commune with the trees to trees to train them into amazing and wonderful houses for them to live in.
Why Cardamom:
  • My favourite drink is Chai, which is made with the cardamom pods, black tea, cinnamon and ginger. I loved how aromatic it is and it grows uniquely in cleared rainforest. The perfect setting for my story.
Why does my little girl elf have a limp:
  • Well, when I was a little kid I broke my femur falling off a trampoline. I was in traction for 2 weeks and a cast for nearly 5 months and I had to return later to have surgery to make sure that my legs didn't grow too differently in length. It wasn't quite as dramatic as Caramel's injury but few people realise that I actually have a limp that I compensate for. Caramel's limp is an embellishment of my experience, but it gave me a platform to grow my little girls character.
So there you have it. The architecture of my story, made from a mish mash of my life loves and live experience.
And here is the result: Check out my website for the links to purchase, or add me to your reading list on goodreads.
 Cheers Julie Anne Grasso

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Kid Lit Blog Hop At Mother Daughter Book Reviews

For anyone following my progress, I am joining a wonderful new Kid Lit Blog Hop over at Kid Lit Blog Hop

This will help in developing a dynamic and engaged community of children’s books bloggers, authors, publishers, and publicists, as well as parents seeking out their next great read.

The aim is to hop around and support the other blogs, join in the conversation and check out the latest reviews so  head on over to

While you are visitng, you might want to check out my exciting new book release, available on Amazon in paperback and ebook, cover reveal below. See you in the bloggosphere. Julie Anne Grasso