Story Behind the Story: Juliet M Sampson

Juliet's Author photo .jpgToday I’m delighted to introduce you to Juliet M. Sampson. Juliet is an award winning author. Dance Demons, her third novel won 2016 Book of the Year in the Reader’s Choice Awards in the AusRomToday competition. She was also one of ten finalists for 2016 Author of the Year in the same competition. Her other three books are Behind the Mask, Bon Voyage! and Outback Wonder. Grace’s Mystery Seed is her first picture book.

After several successful years as a primary teacher, Juliet made a commitment to full time writing and became a novelist. She wanted her stories to reach a wider audience. As well as writing five books, Juliet has written various articles for magazines and online blogs.

She loves to inspire others and her quote ‘spread sunshine and inspiration,’ has reached a global audience. Juliet lives in Melbourne near the bay where she is surrounded by family and friends. Her other passions are travelling, dancing and sketching.

Hello Juliet. Please tell us your story behind the story.

‘Spread seeds of kindness and watch them grow,’ this was how the story started. Let me introduce myself, I’m Juliet Sampson, the author of four young adult novels, Outback Wonder, Dance Demons, Bon Voyage!and Behind the Mask. I’ve had a passion for storytelling from a young age, enjoying my mother reading to me and attending Storytime at the library.Grace's Mystery Seed HB Cover-4.jpg

The world of the classroom and sharing books with children occupied my days, after I graduated from university. My room was filled with paper, books, pencils and an environment that embracedlearning. Being a primary teacher this is what I loved to do. My belief was and still is that learning is forever, no matter our age.

Years passed and my life was changing. My desire to write was growing.  Flash forward to today. I’m pinching myself, as my dream has become a reality. In March, my first picture book Grace’s Mystery Seedhit bookshops.

Grace’s Mystery Seed was inspired by my love of gardens. This fondness occurred when I was at a writing masterclass. The famous writer gifted his students with seedlings to care for and grow. I had never been a gardener before and wondered how I would manage this task.

I planted the seedling and watched it grow. It passed my knees, then my hips and reached my shoulder. One day, there was a bud and finally the mystery seed was revealed.

Bryce and JulietThe famous writer had made one final request to collect the seeds and distribute them to others. I have kept my promise. The seeds have been shared with people of all different ages and from various walks of life.

He was right this single thought of spreading seeds of kindness and watching them grow has created an abundance of connections, sense of community, friendships and happiness.

Grace’s Mystery Seed is about a garden but digging a bit deeper, the readers will not only discover what hides in the pages but how friendships are formed and community is built.

passing on the seedsBLURB:

‘Polly likes these stripy seeds,’ Grace said. ‘What are they from?’

‘Let’s find out,’ said Mrs Marino.

Grace and her neighbour plant a mystery seed. They wait and wait for ages. Then a little green shoot starts to grow . . . and grow . . . and grow . . . until, at last, Grace discovers the truth about her amazing mystery seed.


Juliet has kindly offered to give away one copy to a lucky commenter. Entries close on April 17 at 11.59 pm AEST. We’d like to know what your favourite plant is and why. Good luck everyone!

Grace’s Mystery Seedis available in all good bookstores. To download the free teacher’s notes, visit the Ford Street Publishing website.

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Ford Street Publishing Teacher’s Notes for Grace’s Mystery Seed