Jo Linsdell is the author of numerous books, including; The KOSMOS series, How To Be Twittertastic, Virtual Book Tours: Effective Online Book Promotion From the Comfort of Your Own Home, Italian for Tourists, A Guide to Weddings in Italy, Out and About at the Zoo, Fairy May and The Box. She is also the illustrator of the A Birthday Clown for Archer series (written by Kathy Mashburn) and the Jasmine Dreams series (written by Maria Rochelle).
When she’s not writing and marketing her own books, she is also the founder and CEO of the award-winning blog Writers and Authors, organiser of the annual Promo Day event, and works as a book cover designer. Jo was named the Who’s Who in the writing industry in 2009.
You can find out more about me on my website www.JoLinsdell.com
When and why did you start writing?
I’ve always been writing. It’s part of who I am. I fell into it as job. I used to work for a company that made books for the dental industry and learnt a lot about the publishing process. Then I worked at the main hospital here in Rome writing research articles about neurology. From that, I learnt a lot about queries and the submission process. My writing career officially started in 2006 though, when I sent off my first article and it was published in an English-language newspaper in Florence. It was the turning point when I realised I could write about things that interested me. Soon after I wrote, and published, my first book. I’ve never looked back.
What inspires your writing?
I find inspiration everywhere. I actually have too many ideas. An idea can be sparked from an overheard conversation, a place I’ve visited, a picture, a writing prompt found online, a book I’ve read, a TV show, or just from life in general. My biggest problem is filtering the ideas, and turning them off long enough to finish writing my current work in process.
What has been your worst moment as a writer?
I’ve been blessed with mainly good moments so this is a hard one to answer. One of the most frustrating moments was when I paid to have a book formatted for me and ended up wasting my money. They did a terrible job of it and in the end, I formatted it myself. In a way, it turned out to be a good thing though, as I then made sure I knew how to format the files correctly myself.
Do you have any writing rituals to get you in the mood for writing?
I usually get myself a drink (a cup of tea or a glass of water) before I sit down to write. I often put a packet of biscuits or other snacks nearby too. I basically eliminate reasons to have to get up, so I can concentrate on writing.
If you could, what would you go back and tell yourself as a writer starting out?
Make writing a priority and don’t waste time. This is a lesson I learnt over time. I’m sure I would have written many more books if I’d done this from the start.
What do you believe make for great writing?
I don’t think there are any rules for what makes great writing. I’m an avid reader, and have loved a wide variety of books. I think the main thing is to connect with the reader. There has to be something that pulls them into the story.
How do you measure success as a writer?
Success is different for each writer. For some it’s simply getting a book published, for others, it’s becoming a best seller. I personally count every reader as a success. Even just one person reading, and enjoying my books is a success.
What’s your biggest fear as a writer?
Like most writers, it’s probably the idea of being rejected. A lot of time and effort goes into creating a book, and the idea that someone might not like it is something I think we all share. As a writer, I put a piece of myself into every book I write. Writers need to have thick skin though. It comes with the territory. If you put something out into the public, you make yourself open to both positive and negative comments.
Describe your latest book to our readers
My latest release is Gunpowder (episode two in the KOSMOS series). KOSMOS is a serial fiction of 12 episodes. A new episode of this time travel adventure will be published on the 1st of each month. The release date for Gunpowder is 1st March.
In Gunpowder, Matt finds himself in London. The year is 1605. As he struggles to understand how he got there, he gets caught up in a plot to assassinate King James.
What would you like readers to take away from your writing?
The KOSMOS series is the story of a boy who travels through time. It contains a lot of historical references, and by putting them into the story I hope it makes it a fun way to learn about them.
During his journey, Matt learns a lot about himself too. The story deals with friendship, family, and death. Most importantly though it’s about making the most of life, and that it’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters.
Do you have any tips for aspiring writers?
Just write. Don’t worry about getting it perfect. No first draft is ever perfect. That’s what the editing stage is for ;)
What’s next for you?
I’m taking part in the A Story A Week challenge this year, so I’ll be continuing to work on that. I also have several other books that are in the editing stages at the moment.
by Jo Linsdell
Matt finds himself in London. The year is 1605. As he struggles to understand how he got there, he gets caught up in a plot to assassinate King James. Can he find a way to stop the conspirators? Can he find a way back home?
This is the 2nd episode of KOSMOS, a serial fiction of 12 episodes. A new episode of this time travel adventure will be published on the 1st of each month.