Friday, 19 August 2016

Getting To Know...Jo Hollywood

Today I am excited to bring my Getting To Know... with Jo Hollywood, author of An Unextraordinary Life a paranormal romance.

You've recently released your first novel, An Unextraordinary Life, what was the inspiration behind the story?

That's a difficult question to answer as I feel that many books, movies and life experiences have all inspired me in some way. It has been a story that has been bubbling away for many years, and one that I just had to write.

An Unextraordinary Life is a paranormal romance story, have you ever had your own paranormal experience?

Great question! My maternal grandfather died when I was a little girl. Several weeks after his death, I was in the house where he had lived, and where my grandmother still lived. I walked into the the kitchen and I could smell fresh tobacco smoke, he used to smoke roll ups. It was as if he was in the room. Later on that night, when I was in bed. I saw him sat at the end of my bed. He didn't say anything, but just seeing him gave me great comfort.

Have you always known that you wanted to be an author?

Not really, I love writing and have always scribbled stories. I studied English Literature at University, and was offered an M.A. In Creative Writing but I turned it down as I needed to do something completely different. I ended up training as a nurse.

Do you have a favourite place to sit and write or a certain routine that you follow?

I literally sit and write anywhere, but usually my laptop sits on the dining room table surrounded by Lego and Minecraft figures. I sometimes write in the local coffee shops in town. As for routine, I usually write once the children are in bed.

When you're not writing, what would we find you doing?

I spend my days working from home as a freelance copywriter. It fits in with looking after my two boys. My youngest son is autistic, so I need to be at home. So when I am not writing I am usually cleaning the house or shopping. Or drinking coffee and reading books.

As a writer of romance, what would be your ideal romantic date?

My ideal romantic date? That would have to be a dinner date with my husband, anywhere outside of the house. We very rarely escape together.

Do you have a favourite character that you have written so far?

I love Jack, the ghost who is in An Unextraordinary Life, he is very special to me.

Do you have a favourite author?

Oh I have so many, but if I had to narrow it down, it would have to be Audrey Niffenegger, Dani Atkins, Amanda Prowse and Jo Nesbo. New authors I have recently found include S E Lynes and Carys Bray. Little Women also holds a special place in my heart. I always wanted to be Jo.

What is your favourite thing about being an author?

Putting pen to paper, that release of ideas and the satisfaction that you have managed to tell a story. I love that the characters magically come to life; that I breathe life into then. That's what is really exciting. I also love the fact that writing for me is very cathartic.

I know you're currently writing your second novel, can you tell us anything about it?

I am currently writing a contemporary romance novel that revolves around a young mum of a child with autism. The story shares how she finds love again, but ultimately how she learns to trust again after a troubled past.

To connect with Jo Hollywood

Jo's Website 

To buy a copy of An Unextraordinary Life click here

An Unextraordinary Life synopsis

When Tess unexpectedly bumps into Jack one cold day in March, her world is quite literally turned upside down. Can she make a new life for herself with Jack, based on how happy they were in the past? Or does she need to make a new start and find love in the arms of her new work colleague, Rob? The path of true love never does run smoothly. 

Meet Tess, a woman who is still in love with her husband, who died five years ago. 

Meet Jack, the ghost, who wants to make Tess happy again. 

Finally there's Rob who wants to win Tess's heart. 

Who will she choose?

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