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).
She is the founder and CEO of the award winning blog Writers and Authors, organiser of the Promo Day event, and also works as a book cover designer. Linsdell studied A-levels in Business Studies, History and Art and has won several awards in her career. She was named the Who’s Who in the writing industry in 2009.
What inspired you to start writing?
I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. It was never really a conscious choice. It’s just part of who I am.
What did you like to read when you were a girl?
I’ve always had varied reading tastes. When I was younger I loved Judy Blume books, the Sweet Valley High series, Goosebumps, and those choose your own adventure books. I collected the series of Garfield classics too. The book that had the biggest impact on me though was Anne Frank’s The Diary of a Young Girl.
What is the greatest challenge in writing a book?
Finding the time to write. I have two young children that keep me busy, and work for clients. Then there’s the marketing of my books. In amongst all that it’s not always easy to find the time to just sit down and write.
How much research do you do before writing the book?
Google is a writers best friend. You can find so much information just at the click of a button. I also like Pinterest for things like location, clothing, and character inspiration.
The amount of research I do depends on the book I’m writing. For example, for the KOSMOS series, I did quite a lot of research as the main character, Matthew Smith, travels through time. I needed to get my facts straight about what really happened in each time period, who people dressed back then, etc…
What motivated you to write the book “Gunpowder”?
I wrote the KOSMOS series for my nine year old son. It’s a bite-sized adventure through time. The idea for Gunpowder came about after a conversation with my son about Guy Fawkes and why we celebrate with fireworks in the UK on 5th November.
Can you tell us more about your latest book “Gunpowder”?
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. In Gunpowder (episode two in the series), the protagonist 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?
How did you came up with the idea of writing fiction genre book?
I’d recently read a serial fiction and loved the idea. Bite-sized installments are great for readers that don’t have much free time to dedicate to reading, and perfect for children in the pre-teen/teen age group. I decided to make KOSMOS a serial fiction of short stories so that it fitted well with my son’s attention span. He gets put off by longer books, but by breaking it down into smaller episodes he enjoys the story. He also gets excited about the next episode because he can’t wait to find out what happens next.
Who are your favourite authors?
Far too many to mention them all. I’m an avid reader and have varied tastes. off the top of my head I’d say; Ethan Cross, Neil Gaiman, Sophie Kinsella, Susan Hatler, J.K. Rowling, and Dean Koontz.
How much time do you dedicate for writing on a daily basis?
It varies depending on my work load for clients, and family obligations. I usually manage to fit in an hour or two every morning though.
What words of wisdom would you like to give to aspiring writers?
Don’t be an “aspiring” writer. Be a writer. The only way to learn is to do, so set goals, get that idea written, and never give up.
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