An Interview With Jo Huey: Author of Transition (Book Blog Tour)

Jo Huey is an inspirational speaker, coach and author. She is also an adult child of an alcoholic and shares her personal story of living with an alcoholic father for 16 years and how that has impacted her adult life.

Jo shares her story for two reasons, the first is to connect with those that have been affected so they know they aren’t alone and the second to educate and inform others about this very hidden problem. Within the book, Jo shares several techniques you’ll be able to learn and use in your life if you really want the change you seek.

If you are interested in an inspirational and motivational story, then you won’t be disappointed. Her book, Transition, can be purchased through Amazon*.

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Here is my Q&A with Jo…

What process do you follow for your writing? Are you a planner or do you just let it flow? Straight to PC, or pen and paper?

I started typing in Word straight away, no pen to paper for me. I don’t think my hand would cope with that! I’m a much faster typist, so that was never in question.

I did a bit of planning in terms of topics and chapters, but it wasn’t until after I gave it to my friend to review that she suggested a different format. I started making all sorts of notes on post-its and hanging them from string but it just looked overwhelming, so I reverted back to my writing on the PC.

I broke the chapters down and then added a ‘Time to Reflect’ section after many chapters, which allowed me to explain how I saw the previous chapters in the present. This allowed me to introduce learnings and reflections which would keep the reader engaged.

Do you attend writing/author focused conferences? Which is your favourite?

No I have never attended any writing conferences or any associated events. Recently, I’ve been given details about groups on Facebook which I’ve joined so I can learn and mix with other authors.

How many manuscripts do you have that you never submitted? Will you consider approaching your publisher with them now?

I went through a number of versions with my book and I had a draft printed, but it was never published because my ex boyfriends didn’t agree with the content. I had to redo it before I could self-publish.

What one piece of advice do you wish you received before you started writing? What one piece of intended good advice, wasn’t what it seemed?

I think if someone had suggested getting the right type of person to help with the editing and creation of the book that would have been helpful. I chose someone to edit it who used to be an editor, and was used to taking content out to make it succinct. That didn’t really suit the style of my book – what I needed was someone that knew about storytelling and how to engage with the audience.

Being told to think about the structure was helpful… but also not, at the same time. If you’re new to writing it’s all a mine field and so it’s hard to know what will and won’t work.

What is your favourite thing about the whole writing process?

Once you’ve started writing a book it’s quite addictive and you can see something tangible coming together. For me, because the content was very personal, it allowed me to reflect on things that had happened, which was very interesting.

Was there a particular book that made you sit up and think ‘that’s it, I’m going to be an author too’?

I wouldn’t say a particular book but more a person. I was at a networking event I ran and a lady who attended said to me ‘Jo, you have a story, you should tell it’. That got me thinking into lots of things and that’s basically how I started the book and my business.

Who do you envisage as playing your characters if your book was ever turned into a movie?

There is no doubt in my mind that Reece Witherspoon would play me. She is someone I admire very much. Ever since watching her in ‘Legally Blonde’. I love her attitude and outlook on life and her integrity. She’s a great actress and so clever and I think she’d do a great job as she has done in other real life stories.

What do you consider is your greatest accomplishment?

My greatest accomplishment in my life has to be the transformation I’ve been through. It was one of the hardest and most fantastic things I chose to do. It’s taken courage, strength and determination but it has been worth the investment. My life has changed dramatically and ultimately I’m a more fulfilled, happier and calmer person because of it.

Thank you Jo, for the interview.

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*Amazon affiliate link

Love Them And Leave Them by Sue Shepherd – Blog Tour

About The Book

Sometimes you have to leave the one you love … sometimes you’re the one who’s left behind. The new heart-warming and heart-breaking romantic comedy from the No.1 bestselling author of Doesn’t Everyone Have a Secret?

On his way home, Ed makes a split-second decision that changes the lives of all those who love him.

Six years on, Ed’s daughter, Jessie, is stuck in a job with no prospects, her dreams never fulfilled. It will take more than her unreliable boyfriend, Chris, and temperamental best friend, Coco, to give her the confidence to get her life back on track.

But what if Ed had made another decision? It could all have been so different …

Six years on, Ed’s daughter, Jessica, has a successful career, loving boyfriend, Nick, and a keen eye on her dream home. But when new clients, a temperamental Coco, and her unreliable boyfriend, Chris, walk into her life, Jessica’s perfect world soon starts to unravel.

Love Them and Leave Them is a story of love, families, friendship and a world of possibilities. Whichever decision Ed makes, the same people are destined to come into his daughter’s life, sometimes in delightfully different ways. And before they can look forward to the future, they will all have to deal with the mistakes of the past.

Buy the book on Amazon here.

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Character Spotlight Author Q&A

When did you create them? Where? How?

There are two main characters in Love Them and Leave Them. Jessie and Jessica share equal star status! 

When I first began writing the book, I knew I wanted it to be a parallel world story and I knew I was going to need two main characters, each a different version of the same person, but I wasn’t sure of anything else. I simply began writing about two women who’d had very different opportunities in life, and Jessie and Jessica appeared (although they had different names back then.) The more I chatted to them in my head, the more defined they became. Their main differences all hinged on the sudden loss of their dad at a young age (or not). 


From that moment on, their personalities splintered, and, as Jessica told me all about her time at university and the support she had from her parents and boyfriend, so Jessie told me how hard it was to lose not only her dad, but her future, all in the blink of an eye.

What do you like most about them?

I like both my main characters, but I think my heart goes out to Jessie just a little more. She took a hard knock and is struggling to come back to herself. The way she feels about her dad’s death in chapter one is very similar to my feelings regarding the loss of my own dad, who died very suddenly over 12 years ago. All this time, and I still can’t listen to ‘Dance with my Father’ without getting tearful. I’ve experienced other losses since, but I think the shock of that particular death will always remain with me.

What do like least about them?

It’s possible the readers will feel that Jessica has it all too easy, but I suspect that will change as they progress through the book.

Did everyone like them to start with or did you have to change them in any way?

When my editor read my first draft, he was concerned that both my main characters swore too much. He asked me, ‘Are you angry?’ Reading through it I had to agree – both women were quite sweary and selfish. I concluded that I was allowing some external stresses in my own life to influence the way my characters behaved and spoke.


Once I was aware of it, I was able to rectify it. The good thing is, with the click of a button, you can eradicate many f*cks. I softened the characters and made them both much more caring. But I learnt an important lesson – try not to let my own mood reflect in my characters’ dialogue.

Are there any similarities with anyone real?

Both Jessie and Jessica physically resemble a real-life friend of mine. In my head, I see Jessica as my friend when she’s dressed up and Jessie as the same friend on her more casual days. Which friend? I couldn’t possibly say!

What are your plans for them?

I don’t have any further plans for Jessie or Jessica. I feel their stories are told. I know where I imagine them to be in the future, but I suspect not all my readers will agree. But, then, isn’t that the joy of writing – once a person reads your book, they have their own take on your characters and the worlds you’ve placed them in, and that’s exciting to know.

Win an e-book of Love Them and Leave Them by entering the rafflecopter below (two prizes to be won). T&Cs apply.

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About The Author

Sue Shepherd writes contemporary romance and enjoys creating novels with heart, laughs and naughtiness. She doesn’t pull any punches when choosing her subjects, but manages to handle her characters’ challenging situations with sensitivity and humour. Her debut novel, Doesn’t Everyone Have a Secret? was published by Corazon Books in March 2015. It reached the top 10 UK Kindle chart, and also topped the romantic comedy, contemporary romance and humour charts. It became available in paperback on Amazon in November 2015. Sue’s second novel, Love Them and Leave Them, was published in September 2016.

Sue lives on the picturesque Isle of Wight with her husband, two sons and a standard poodle. Her passions in life are: her family, writing, the sea-side and all the beautiful purple things her sons have bought her over the years. Ask Sue to plan too far in advance and you’ll give her the heebie-jeebies.

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Isolation Junction by Jennifer Gilmour – Blog Tour

About the Book

Isolation Junction by Jennifer Gilmour follows the story of Rose who is stuck in an abusive and coercive relationship. After years of emotional abuse, the self doubt about her future and the erosion of her confidence, Rose takes a stand.  

Finding herself alone, penniless and frightened Rose wonders how she will ever escape from the situation to provide a better life for herself and her children. With 100 reasons to leave and 1000 reasons why she perceives she can’t – will she have the courage to do it? And will she find the support to regain control and confidence?

Buy it from Amazon.

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Character Spotlight Q and A

When did you create the characters? Where? How?

I actually had the plot line set out together with the names of the characters for quite some time, but hadn’t developed the character profiles. Once I started to formulate the plot, it became clear what the character of people was going to be like and how they were going to fit into the plot. I then started to build the profiles. It was quite straight forward to build them, as I had a personal reference point regarding what a victim, abuser and hero was like in real life, so the personalities seemed to flow rather well. However,  I was determined to get these characteristics accurate, so spent quite a lot of time working and tweeking various aspects.

Focusing on the victim (in the story this is Rose) I wanted to compile my own and other women’s stories together to form her personality and for me, her image then followed suit. I created her first as she is the main character and she needed to have features to remember like her red hair and green eyes. I wanted her to stand out to her abuser in some way, as well as creating a character that people could relate to.

What do you like most about them?

I love Rose’s natural beauty and her determination to make any situation work. She is so motivated even if she doesn’t see it for herself; she simply needed someone to give her that support, encouragement and a helping hand for her to be able to use all her skills to free herself from a destructive situation. Rose is full of potential that she is yet to realise.

What do like least about them?

Rose’s lack of confidence and that she listened to the wrong people for advice, and believes that their views are the correct and accurate ones. Her lack of confidence at this point in her life contributes to the mistakes she makes. Rose can be naive and depend on others to make decisions for her, which is linked to her lack of confidence and her low self esteem.

What are your plans for them?

My plans are for Rose to flourish and for her self confidence to grow so that she is able and confident  in making her own decisions in order to take responsibility, ownership and control of her own life – a complex and slow process given all that she has gone through. I can’t wait to continue to work with Rose as in Isolation Junction she was almost robotic in her reactions to life’s events and I am excited with the anticipation that she will grow, learn and develop as a person.

Did everyone like them to start with or did you have to change them in any way?

As I was writing, a couple of the characters were changed slightly and I amended their character profiles accordingly. It was either an addition or a slight change because I didn’t believe the character would react a certain way. It is hard sometimes to work in restrictions but now I have the profiles set I can refer to them and still add aspects if I need to.

Rose is one of those characters that people have said they want to see more of and hear more of her ‘pain’ but it is hard to express the ‘pain’ she is going through when she hasn’t realised the full extent of what has happened and is running on adrenaline so to speak. I have taken this into consideration though and I believe it will work well, and readers will be pleased to hear that her character is yet to flourish and in the future they will see more of her recovery and development.

Enter here to win an e-copy of the book. T&Cs apply.


 About the Author

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Jennifer Gilmour is a married mum of three, and a business owner. She has spent the past eighteen months writing her first novel to raise awareness of the unseen side of domestic abuse/coercive control.
Jennifer was born and educated in Hull before moving south to attend university. Now happily living in her home city with her husband, three children and a hamster she runs an Internet business (Blissful Gifts and Services) and is a top performing Consultant for Jamberry.

Find out more here:

Website: www.isolationjunction.com

Kickstarter Campaign: www.kickstarter.com/projects/690571062/isolation-junction 

Facebook: isolationjunctionbook 

Twitter: @JenLGilmour 


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