We are pleased to introduce you Julie Hodgson and her husband John who are staying at Casa Morgado Esporão before they settle more permanently in Évora. Julie has won several book awards (new apple awards) and has recently won The reader's favourite award for the 2016 Book awards. Julie and John have traveled around the world before settling in Portugal. Both continue to travel extensively and Julie tours with her books while encouraging people to read. She is an avid reader herself and a coffee lover. Julie's motto in life is "always be the very best you can be"... and she strives to live up to that fact every day.
What drove you to write children's stories in the first place?
In 1989 I worked as a children’s writer for The Times in Kuwait, but before that I have always loved to write for children.. And my first book too off from there.
Writing: Do you find it difficult? How is the creative process for you? What brings you the inspiration to write?
I really enjoy writing and I never find it difficult, quite the opposite as I have so many stories in my head! I get my inspiration from life in general, and people, I love to people watch.
You have travelled the world and eventually decided to settle in Portugal. Why Portugal?
I love Portugal, the food, the weather, I always say the people are as sunny as their climate. Evora is a beautiful old city, I can just feel the stories forming in my head, it’s so cool. I am in the process of writing another children’s story.
You have opened a new bookshop in Évora, The bookmark. Congratulations!!
Yes, this is so much fun to bring books to people, as a writer myself, the thought of owning a book shop is a great way to meet people.
Can you tell us about this project? Why a bookshop? Why in Évora? What's the story behind the name?
I had a smaller book shop in Rua dos mercadores, 54 and it became so popular, so I thought I might get a bigger shop. I love to read and have a cup of tea it is one of my favourite things to do, so I thought I would share it. The name is in honour of Evora, and we always need a bookmark don’t we.
You have recently arrived in Évora. What is your current dream? How do you see yourself in 5 years time?
As I never know what I am up to, 5 years, I hope to be still in Evora and still with my book shop. I do still tend to travel though, as being an author, I visit schools around the world. I love living in Evora.
Jodie Broom, a 12-year-old girl (almost 13!), is like most girls her age. She loves her friends, music, and is always up for a good adventure. What she treasures above all else are books and she is consumed by them, reading and collecting whatever she can to satisfy her voracious appetite for stories, facts, and history. But Jodie lives in the year 2075, and more than fifty years have passed since the banning of books and paper; it's a time when no one can own a printed book, or even print photographs. In this E-world, experiences are largely simulated, from the reconstituted food to the zoo that only shows films of all the extinct species. With her student library card, which gives her the ability to time travel, Jodie discovers that she and her friends can experience historical events and meet legendary characters, and can also find and bring home her precious books to keep safe in her secret hiding place.