At breaking point Jo deserts her dysfunctional family and possessive boyfriend, making an uncharacteristic escape to the Himalayas in a bid for freedom and self-knowledge. The peace she finds there helps her to unravel her turmoil, but unexpected challenges test her new-found equilibrium to the limit.
Finding Jo focuses on relationships between families, lovers and friends, and the resentment and long-held grievances that threaten to destroy them. Jo’s quest for a deeper purpose in life acts as a catalyst to her family, indicating that willingness to change and grow enables people to find happiness.
– When and where do you prefer to write?
At my desk in the study, which is a fairly open room next to the kitchen. I tend to be most productive in the afternoon up to 6 p.m.
– Do you have a certain ritual?
Not really. I have to be in the right mood. When I’m in the mood for writing, I just get on with it. If I’m not in the mood, I don’t force myself (unless there is a deadline). This works well for me.
– Is there a drink or some food that keeps you company while you write?
Not specifically. I usually have water or a herbal tea while writing.
– What is your favourite book?
Most recently I loved Where the Crawdads Sing, Delia Owens. It was a very different book with so much vivid description of the swamps in northern Carolina and a gripping plot. Early on in life I loved Alice in Wonderland, another female protagonist who is game to try anything and stand up to people or animals!
– Do you consider writing a different genre in the future?
No, I would stay with women’s contemporary genre, with lots of emphasis on relationships. I have always liked Joanna Trollope books.
– Do you sometimes base your characters on people you know?
It’s inevitable that there will be people I know in my books, but I feel that I use different parts of different people in one character to make them unrecognisable. I had one character in Finding Jo who was based on an old boyfriend I travelled with, but I haven’t known him for so long that I felt sure he would be unlikely to discover my book.
– Do you take a notebook everywhere in order to write down ideas that pop up?
Yes, I’ve been doing that since I was a child. There are jottings all over the place, most of which haven’t been used. Like many young girls I used to keep a diary which I wrote in bed about what had happened that day. I’ve still got some of them.
– Which genre do you not like at all?
Not keen on science fiction, and nowadays I don’t like graphic violence, unless the story’s so good I can get through it.
– If you had the chance to co-write a book. Whom would it be with?
Someone who is a writer and is very professional – maybe Joanna Trollope, if she were willing.
– If you should travel to a foreign country to do research, which one would you chose and why?
Greece. I have always loved the Greek islands which I know very well. But I imagine the idea of writing a novel about or in an island. I really enjoyed Captain Corelli’s Mandolin set in Kefalonia.
Thank you, Frances Ive and Rachel’s Random Resources
About the author
A career as a journalist/PR led to health writing for UK nationals newspapers and consumer magazines. Out of the blue I was inspired to write a novel, Finding Jo, which has taken some years to come to fruition, self-publishing in January 2021. I travelled a lot in my 20s and I have drawn on my three months’ trip to India in Finding Jo.
Amazon UK : https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B08VWL1JNR
Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08VWL1JNR