Elaine Roberts is proud to welcome this years winner of the Joan Hessayon Award, Jo Thomas, to WMWP.
Jo started her broadcasting career as a reporter and co-presenter with Rob Brydon on BBC Radio 5, reported for BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour and went on to produce at BBC Radio 2 working on The Steve Wright Show. She now lives in the Vale of Glamorgan with her writer and producer husband, three children, three cats and a black lab, Murray. She writes lighthearted romances about food, family, friendships and love; and believes every story should have a happy ending.
Why/when did you know you wanted to write?
I remember getting the bug when I read my first Christina Jones followed very quickly by my first Katie Fforde. In fact, a friend at work had read it on her holiday and passed it over the desk, saying ‘here we go Jo, I think you’ll like this’. Like it? I loved it! And it was then I thought I wish I could write those kind of stories. I wish I could be part of that world. Nothing bad ever happens in those stories and I always knew there would happy ending.
How long did it take you to complete your manuscript?
Well, an oyster takes about three years to grow and that’s probably how long The Oyster Catcher took from first getting the idea to actually being published.
How did you find your publisher?
At an RNA party of course! I was introduced to Hazel from Accent Press and some time later she offered to publish my book as an ebook. It was time to get my story out there.
Can you tell us something about your ‘road’ to publication?
I was published in November 2013 by Accent Press as an e-book. In January 2014 it started rising up the Amazon Kindle charts. By February it rose to number 2, inbetween ’12 Years a Slave’ and ‘The Book Thief’. Whilst it was there I was approach by one of the big publishers and a number of other publishers showed an interest in me. I ended up going to auction and I was really lucky to finally sign a 4 book deal with Headline.
Now you have that first book ‘under your belt’ what’s next in your writing life?
Busy! The first book, The Oyster Catcher is coming out in paperback in November so I’ve been doing edits on that. My second book, The Olive Branch, is due out in February 2015 and I’m just about to do the next draft on that and, in October I have a novella coming out as an ebook, called The Chestnut Tree, which I put the final full stop on this morning!
Thank you, Jo, for taking time out of your busy schedule to talk to us today.
The Oyster Catcher by Jo Thomas
According to a champion shell shucker, in order to open an oyster, you first have to understand what’s keeping it closed. When runaway bride Fiona Clutterbuck crashes the honeymoon camper van, she doesn’t know what to do or where to go. Embarrassed and humiliated, Fiona knows one thing for sure, she can’t go home. Being thrown a lifeline, a job on an oyster farm seems to be the answer to her prayers. But nothing could prepare her for the choppy ride ahead or her new boss the wild and unpredictable, Sean Thornton. Will Fiona ever be able to come out of her shell? As the oyster season approaches, will there be love amongst the oyster beds of Galway Bay? Or will the circling sharks finally close in?
Amazon uk: The Oyster Catcher