Here at RO HQ, we are all fond of a great book. So much so, that we wanted to share our love affair by creating our "date with a book" gift box. A gift box that will knock the socks off the avid reader in your life, or something special for yourself.
In our first Date With A Book gift boxes, we have exclusive + limited signed copies "The Tea Chest" and "The Chocolate Promise" by best selling author Josephine Moon. *Cue excited squeals* - we are proud as punch to be able to share these gorgeous books with you.
We had a chat with Jo to learn a little more about her and how her passion for writing started. Settle in with a cuppa and find out more about this absolutely wonderful woman!
RO: Tell us a little bit about yourself?
JM: I love writing books that bring joy and comfort to my readers. I write contemporary fiction novels in my own unique style that mashes together 'Up Lit' and 'Foodie Lit'. All my books focus around a particular food and so far I've covered tea, chocolate, beekeeping/honey, cheese/Italian food and coffee. Naturally, my new book, The Cake Maker's Wish, features a whole lot of cake and baking! I am a Brisbane native but now live in the Noosa hinterland with my husband and young son and a tribe of animals that, despite my best efforts, seems to grow every year.
RO: What sparked your passion for books and writing?
JM: Like most writers, I was a voracious reader as a child. I credit my school and local libraries for instilling in me a love of stories. I actually wanted to be a vet when I was a child, then I started in environmental science in my first year of uni. I quickly realised, however, that my greatest strength lay in writing (not statistics, funnily enough) so I changed over to study journalism and film and media. I realised that writing was perfect for me because it allowed me to follow whatever passion I was interested in and write about that. It was while I was at my first writing workshop with the Queensland Writers Centre in 1999 that I decided that I wanted to be a novelist and write books for the rest of my life. From there, it took me another thirteen years to get a contract.
RO: What was the first book that you really connected with?
JM: Enid Blyton had a huge influence on my love of stories. The Magic Faraway Tree, The Naughtiest Girl in the School, The Wishing Chair and Noddy series were the ones that really set me on the path of passionate reading. The other series that did that for me was The Silver Brumby by Elyne Mitchell. I have always been horse mad and remember rushing back to the school library over and over to get the next book in that series.
RO: Where do you pull inspiration from for your books?
JM: Life, essentially. I am insatiably curious and want to know everything about everything. I ask a lot of questions and then if I'm interested enough I'll follow that through. For example, The Tea Chest started for me because I was in a T2 shop and smelling all the little dishes of tea and I suddenly realised that it was someone's job in the world to come up with tea blends. That struck me as being the most fabulous job and I wondered, 'Who gets to make tea?' By the time I'd gotten home, I had the character of Kate Fullerton and the setting of The Tea Chest floating around in my mind, waiting to be written.
Research is my happy place and I do extensive research for every book, both practically (such as learning how to make chocolate or cakes), online and with books, and I especially love to interview people. I always find that human beings are the best sources for research.
RO: What are some of your favourite hobbies or pastimes outside of writing?
I am a huge animal lover, and live with a lot of animals, so I spend a lot of time each day caring for, playing with and enjoying animals. I also love to go to the beach and spend time in nature.
RO: We are super excited for your new book, "The Cake Maker's Wish". Can you give us a little more insight into what it is about?
The Cake Maker's Wish delivers an utterly joyful jaunt in the English Cotswolds, following Olivia Kent, who has made the brave decision to uproot herself and her young son Darcy from their home in Tasmania in order to join an experimental 'village revival'. The (fictional) town of Stoneden has convinced the local council to allow them to import people from around the world who have ancestral links to the area in an attempt to save it from a dying economy. Unfortunately, when Olivia arrives, it seems that not everyone in the village is supportive of the idea so her new venture is not as sweet and simple as she'd hoped. It's a story full of colourful village folk, community spirit, lots of yummy food and some unexpected romantic opportunities. It's a story perfect for our times right now, heartfelt, uplifting and championing community spirit.
The book is officially released on 2 June and can be found in all good bookstores and online retailers and in audiobook format as well. Anyone looking for a signed copy (with some extra goodies) can do so here before 18 May.
Thank you so much for having me along!
Thanks so much for your time Jo, it was an absolute pleasure! Be sure to pre-order Jo's new book "The Cake Maker's Wish" and grab yourself some extra goodies. You can find our Date With A Book gift boxes here. Have you read one of Josephine Moon's novels?