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Hi readers, and welcome to the HOME SWEET ROME blog tour!
I’m so excited to not only share with you the second book in the Mira’s Diary series, Home Sweet Rome, BUT an interview with the author, Marissa Moss!

She just happened to stop by the blog today to tell you a little bit about what inspired her for her new novel, and where she would go if she had the ability to time travel. Before we get to my conversation with Marissa, though, here’s a little bit about her new novel:


“Mira was prepared to travel the world to find her mother—but she never expected that she’d have to travel through time as well. When Mira’s search transports her to 16th century Rome, she befriends the famed painter Caravaggio and falls into his group of scientists and fellow artists. But Mira quickly realizes this is no place for forward thinkers and is soon faced with protecting her new friends from the evil Madame Lefoutre. Mira’s outmatched 5,000 miles (and 500 years) from home, but she’ll have to succeed if she ever hopes to be reunited with her mother.”

-Summary from Sourcebooks Jabberwocky

Published: April 2nd, 2013 | Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
Genre: Historical Fiction, Time Travel, Adventure | Pages: 192

And now what you’ve all be waiting for….


Inspiration behind the story…

1. What led you (and Mira!) to Rome this time around? Have you traveled there yourself?

Rome is one of my favorite cities.  I lived there for a year and go back at least once a year, usually for a delicious Roman Thanksgiving.  I love the layers of time that you can see on the streets — ancient Roman carvings set into medieval walls next to baroque facades.  The whole city is like a palimpsest, layers and layers of culture overlaid on top of each other.  It’s the perfect place for a time travel story since just being there makes you aware of all the shifts of time made real in the architecture, fountains, and sculptures.

2. What drew you to the artist Caravaggio?

Caravaggio’s paintings are so intense and dramatic.  They sweep the viewer into an incredibly tense moment.  I was stunned by their beauty and force the first time I saw them and every time I see them again, I feel the same thing.  Then when you think about what most painters were doing at the time, the pale, pastel idealized pictures based on classical models, you realize how innovative, how daring he was.  To me, it’s a miracle he wasn’t prosecuted for heresy or burned at the stake like Bruno.

The teacher in me has to ask…

3. What is one thing you would say to encourage young writers?

Read, read, and READ!  The more you read, the better you’ll write, especially as you start to read like a writer.  By that I mean noticing when things work and don’t work in books, when descriptions drag on too long, when characters aren’t convincing, and when it all comes together magically in a way that really touches you.

And for a little fun…

4. If you could time travel anywhere yourself, when and where would you visit? Why?

That’s tough.  I feel like I missed out not knowing New York in the 1950s and Paris in the 1920s.  Those were such inspiring places to be writers and artists.

5. What heroine inspires you?

Too many to name just one!  I love to write picture book biographies about women who I feel should be better known, but aren’t.  People like Maggie Gee who flew planes during WWII for the Women’s Army Service Pilots, or Jackie Mitchell who played baseball on a men’s team and struck out Babe Ruth, or Harriet Quimby who was the first woman to fly across the English Channel.  If there’s a woman you think I should write about, please let me know!

Thank you so much Marissa for stopping by The Hopeful Heroine today! Be sure to check out my review of Home Sweet Rome and if you need to catch up on the series, here’s my look at Lost in Paris. signature.jpg

Marissa Moss has published over 50 children’s books and her illustrated Amelia series sold more than 2 million copies. Although she hopes to visit all the wonders of the world, right now she lives in the San Francisco Bay area where she can appreciate the Golden Gate Bridge from her window. Visit her www.marissamoss.com.