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Thursday, 6 August 2015

ℚ Lemongrass Hope - Amy Impellizzeri

Today we have the pleasure of meeting up with author to talk about Lemongrass Hope (, Wyatt-MacKenzie Publishing, 303 pages), her début Women's Fiction novel.

Lemongrass Hope is that fine and fresh thing – a truly new story …. Amy Impellizzeri is a bold and tender writer, who makes the impossible feel not only real, but strangely familiar.” -Jacquelyn Mitchard, New York Times #1 Best-Selling Author, The Deep End of the Ocean

A layered, bittersweet romance that questions consequences and explores second chances.” -Kirkus Reviews

Lemongrass Hope, about love, time travel, and what lasts, is haunting, mesmerizing and unforgettable.” -New York Times Best-Selling Author, Caroline Leavitt, Pictures of You

Author Q&A | Trailer | Synopsis | Teaser | About the Author | Giveaway & Tour Stops

Hello Amy, thank you for joining us on Bookschatter today.

What was the inspiration for Lemongrass Hope?

"Lemongrass Hope is a book about second chances and “What If” and the seed for the idea came to me at a time I had taken a one-year sabbatical from my 13-year corporate law career – definitely a time I was questioning the “What If’s” in my own life!"
How much of yourself is reflected in this book, and how?
"Well, surprisingly – or maybe not surprisingly – I relate in some way to nearly all of the characters – male and female - in the book.  But the book is not auto-biographical and the characters definitely evolved in ways I did not expect."
The first thing that draws me to a book is its cover.   Can you tell us about your cover for Lemongrass Hope - why you chose that concept and who the artist is.
"Oh!  The cover story is one of my favorite parts of this journey.  My publisher and I were not really in agreement about the cover at first.  I had this very precise vision and she was all: “A tree, Amy? Really?”

So I stayed up all night one night trolling around Flickr – until I found IT.  A photo taken by a southern photographer, Lindsey Raughton, on safari in South Africa.  It’s of a real marula tree – which is such an important character in Lemongrass Hope.  I got in touch with Lindsey and told her about my novel, asked if we could buy the rights to the photo, and she said YES!  My publisher, Nancy Cleary, loved Lindsey’s photo too and used it to design this BEAUTIFUL cover!"
Why should we read Lemongrass Hope and what sets it apart from the rest?   What makes your book unique?
"This is a book about relatable characters and life events – but told in – what I truly feel – is a completely unique way.  With surprises and twists right up until the last page.  I can honestly tell you – I have NEVER had any reader tell me or write to me that they were NOT surprised by the last page.

Does that convince you?"
Can you tell us something quirky about Lemongrass Hope, its story and characters?
"Oh, this is a funny story.  There is a scene in the book in which the main character, Kate, eavesdrops on an interesting conversation between two 20-something year old girls seated next to her by a pool.  That conversation was lifted – nearly word-for-word - from a real conversation I eavesdropped on myself.  I did change the name of the boyfriend mentioned – in my overheard conversation, his name was not Spike – it was Elvis – but who would believe THAT? "
It's definitely intriguing...

Who would you recommend Lemongrass Hope to and what should readers be aware of (any warnings or disclaimers)?

"I love that Lemongrass Hope has been received beautifully by book clubs – of all ages.  The only warning I ever gave regarding the book - was to my mother when she previewed my book after I handed the final version in to my publisher, and I said: “Hey, mom. Just so you know, there’s some, you know, S-E-X in the book.”  After she finished it in 12 hours, she called me to say “I absolutely loved it.  You are so wise.  But where was all that S-E-X you warned me about?  There was hardly any.”

True story. So … suitable for moms AND book clubs."
If you could / wished to turn Lemongrass Hope into a movie, who would be your dream team?
"I have a very real dream about the book becoming a movie (even though the first big-name movie producer who asked to read the manuscript did not actually end up optioning the movie rights (sigh)).  It really should be filmed on location in Bryant Park, New York, and the Bahamas, don’t you think?  *Wink.

And I’ve heard a lot of readers – especially at book clubs – try to cast the roles of Kate, Ian, and Rob.  Some intriguing recent suggestions have been:
Rob – Mark Ruffalo
Ian – Michael Fassbender
Kate – Keira Knightley or Katherine Waterston

And oh yes, to direct?  PLEASE Sofia Coppola, PLEASE"
What do you like to write and read about?  Do you stick to a particular genre or do you like to explore different ones?
"Well, since I write fiction and non-fiction, I guess it’s safe to say I like to write about many things.  But in my fiction, I love to incorporate exotic locales and mix the ordinary with extraordinary.

My current work-in-progress, entitled Secrets of Worry Dolls, takes place partly in Guatemala, and – like Lemongrass Hope – incorporates some magical realism as well."
What is your writing process?
"I try to write a little every day.  I try to write down every idea – no matter how silly, because you just never know.  And I always revise, revise, revise, and then revise a little more."
What is in store next?
"My current work-in-progress is entitled Secrets of Worry Dolls.  It is a tale of sisters, mothers, complicated choices, and courageous love.  Like Lemongrass Hope, it will weave some magical realism into the storyline, and will take place partly in the fascinating country of Guatemala – the place where the “Worry Dolls” legend is said to originate.

I had an aunt that brought me a small box of worry dolls when I was a child.  You are supposed to whisper your worries to the small hand-made woven dolls, place them under your pillow, and allow them to “worry” for you so that you can sleep at night.  Of course, dolls that hear so many worries would hold a lot of secrets, don’t you think?"
They sure would.  It sounds a little scary to me...
To finish off I would like to share some images you have created... you have a beautiful dog, called Cocoa... and apparently she is very helpful... a proper assistant...

I love them!
Amy, thank you again for chatting to us!  and best wishes for the rest of your tour!

Lemongrass Hope - available NOW!

UK: purchase from US: purchase from purchase from Barnes & Noble find on Goodreads


  1. Replies
    1. Thank you for popping by! I have finally managed to update the post with some pics... I hope you like them :-) some are from your Facebook page... they just had to be shared ;-)

  2. Great interview, thank you.

  3. Cocoa is indeed an AWESOME assistant (although she is a she :)) THANK YOU!

    1. I shall rectify that immediately - she is so gorgeous. I really liked the picture of her carrying a book in her mouth LOL

  4. Great interview! Thanks for sharing :)