Fotgotten Friday: Q&A with Jo Smith

Over the 5 years I've been blogging I have had pretty epic (to me) blog posts on A Bookish Redhead so this is a chance to take a glance over and read some of the forgotten posts from the archives. P.S It's going to be every Friday (but not EVERY Friday) 

Todays Forgotten Friday is an author Q&A with Jo Smith originally published 2015.

1, Thanks so much for taking the time out to answer some questions! Can you tell readers bit about yourself? 

No problem - it's very exciting to be asked to do this! A bit about goes! I'm predominately a playwright and actress down near Brighton. I absolutely love the theatre and all things related to it. I have written three stage plays and have been fortunate enough to have them all produced. I'm currently working on my fourth stage play which is something completely different to my other plays - I can't wait for people to read and perform it. I love writing, always have. When I was little, I was always writing short stories or short plays and acting them out in front of my poor parents! It's always been an ambition of mine to write a novel so I finally took the plunge and created Sisters & Lies.

2, Your debut novel Sisters and Lies was recently released. What does it feel like?

It feels amazing! I love writing it and I feel I really knew the characters by the end of it. It has sold really well on Amazon as an e-book and I'm so happy with the fantastic feedback I have received.
(Click cover for more info)
3, How were you inspired to write the book?

I've always read a lot of chick-lit and loved the way that the author hooks you in and makes you feel for the people you are reading about. More so than anything other genre, I think. I wanted to create characters that people loved and rooted for - as well as the villains that you hate! The actual storyline came from when a friend of mine asked us all one night what we would do if our boyfriends were cheating on us (a strange conversation, admittedly). Our responses varied from "leave him" to "work it out" to "get revenge" - it instantly made me think of a story for a book and the rest is history!

4, What are your current writing plans? 

I'm currently writing my fourth stage play and my second novel. I just love writing so much that even if it never sees the light of day, it doesn't matter. I've also written a screenplay which the BBC Writersoom have read and enjoyed. Ideally I'd love some funding to make that screenplay come to life.

5, Which authors/books inspired you to write?

I take inspiration from a whole variety of writers from all mediums: Paige Toon, Lisa Jewell, Alan Ayckbourn, David Tristram, Peter Gordon, Agatha Christie, Roald Dahl, Jennifer Saunders...the list is endless. I believe I have a real eclectic taste in reading and I think that helps me make the transition from stage play to novel to screenplay.

6, What's the best thing a reader has said to you?

I had a tweet from a reader who said "I have just finished reading this (Sisters & Lies) because Paige Toon said it was good. She was fantastic!" When I first read it, my heart sunk - I thought it was going to be a scathing review, but having read it properly, it really made me smile. She didn't have to say anything to me but she took the time to let me know how much she enjoyed it and that made me really proud.

7, Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?

Write because you love it. Don't write for anyone but yourself. If you don't enjoy the book/play, then no one else will. Create well rounded, interesting characters and make them real - not caricatures. Also, don't keep checking back on what you've written - that's what drafting is for. Just get to the end and go back to fine tune later, otherwise you'll never get past chapter one! 

8, Is there anything you'd like to say to readers?

I honestly want to say thank you! They've been fantastic and so supportive. I hope they have enjoyed the book as much I enjoyed writing it and I hope they stand by me as I continue to write. I hope to do them proud! Oh, and give stage plays a chance - some plays can be far more dramatic and atmospheric than a novel.


Book: Anything by Roald Dahl. I'm a real Dahl fan girl and still love his books even now. You can't beat a bit of the BFG!

Author: Roald Dahl, obvs. However, if we're going a bit more 21st Century, then I'd have to say Paige Toon. Her ability to transport the reader almost immediately is a real talent. Plus she's an absolutely lovely person which comes through her social interaction with her fans.

Dessert: Oooooh, what a question! There are far too many to choose. I'm partial to a bit of Eton Mess, treacle tart, rice pudding...basically anything stodgy. However, and this is rather groundbreaking for me to put out there...I hate cake. Always have. I can't explain why, it's just horrible and I can't see the world's fascination with it. Shameful, I know.

Film: Hot Fuzz. No question about it. For a long time it was Grease but then Simon Pegg came along and that was that! I've seen Hot Fuzz countless times and I'm sure if my life depended on it, I could recite the lines for the entire film. Am I embarrassed by that? Hell no! It's a bloomin' amaaaaaazing film.

Board Game: Cluedo. I'm a bit of a murder mystery nut and love everything Cluedo related - the board game, the movie (Clue - go and check it out, it's awesome), the old 90s TV show...I could go on! My stage play "He, Haditcummin" was inspired, in part, by Cluedo, and I adore it.

Sisters And Lies: About the book: 

Charlotte Wilkinson thought she had the perfect life - a handsome boyfriend, a great job and a killer wardrobe. However, this perfect life comes crashing down when she walks in on said boyfriend and his new female colleague doing more than work. 

Desperate to get away from her life, Charlie packs her bags and decides to visit her sister, Cam in uber glam LA. Cam is working as a make-up artist on a hit daytime soap and going through her own secret love life woes with the soap's leading actor. 

Charlie soon falls in love with the Hollywood lifestyle and meets a guy that could change her world. If only her ex-boyfriend doesn't turn up to throw a spanner in the works, of course...

Grab Sisters & Lies for only £1.99 HERE

What do you think of the Q&A? Will you be checking out Sisters and Lies?

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