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Writer Wednesday: Jo Hollywood

Jo Hollywood is a freelance copywriter, columnist on several Regional British newspapers and blogger with Huffington Post UK. She has published three non-fiction works aimed at parenting children on the Autistic spectrum, based upon her experiences as a mother of an autistic son. An Unextraotdinary Life, a paranormal romance story, is Jo's first published work of fiction.

Jo gained a BA(Hons) English Literature and Drama with Theatre Studies back in 1996 and also worked as a senior renal nurse for many years. Today Jo lives in Lancashire with her husband of 18 years and their two young sons. When she is not busy writing, she likes to take her boys to the local museums, cafes, cinema, the Lake District and lots of playgrounds. ​She also drinks a lot of coffee.

1. Why did you want to become a writer? 
I have been an avid reader ever since I was a little girl. I just love stories. My real passion for writing though probably began when I went to University to study English Literature. It was there that I began to write stories and to develop my creativity by putting pen to paper. As for the reason of why I wanted to become a writer, well, I suppose that I just love writing stories that will help people unwind and escape from those daily realities. Writing also helps me to unwind.

2. What's the toughest part of the writing process for you? 
The hardest part would be getting time to write. I am a busy mum of two young children, my youngest son is autistic. So I try to write in the evenings, but sometimes housework and just general life gets in the way. I do sometimes try to write in coffee shops and libraries, and I enjoy this aspect. I used to set myself a daily writing target, but I no longer do so. Instead I sit down and write every day. Some days I write more than others but that's okay. I am not the world's fastest writer.

3. What's the most enjoyable part of writing? 
That would be seeing your characters come to life. This can be a somewhat slow process, but as you write you slowly begin to fall in love with them, and I love that part. I also love the solitude of writing. It's usually just me with the laptop, pen and paper and a cup of coffee.

4. Out of all the amazing books out there, which book do you wish you had written and why? 
 That would have to be without a doubt, The Time Traveller's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger. I adore this book and it completely blew my mind the first time I read it. I read it every summer. It is just so very insightful about the human spirit and that true love really does exist.

5. If you could only save one of your characters from fictional calamity, which would you pick and why?
That's a tricky one as I love all of my characters. But if I had to choose, it would be Jack. I love Jack. If I could turn back time he would no longer be a ghost.

6. If you could spend the day with your favourite literary character (not from your books), who would you spend it with and what would you do? 
Oh there are just so many to choose from, but it would have to be Henry from The Time Traveller's Wife. I would be able to travel through time with him. Who knows the adventures that we would bet up to? It would also mean that I could meet Claire.

7. What can we expect next from you? 
I am currently writing my second novel, Coffee with Matt. This does not have a paranormal theme, but it is a love story. I am only in the beginning stages at the moment, so I am not sure where the characters will take me, but I am having so much fun writing it.

8. Is there any particular writing advice you wish you'd been given at the start of your writing career? If so, what is it? If not, what advice would you give to someone starting out? 
I really wish that I had been told that writing is a very slow process and that you need to take your time. I struggle with that concept. It is important that you take the pressure off and write for yourself, rather than for anyone else. I think that once you do that, you can enjoy your writing and be more productive.

9. Tell us what a typical writing day involves for you. 
Oh there really is no typical writing day for me, every day is so different depending if the children are home or what needs to be done in the house. I do write every day though, be it at home or while sat in a coffee shop.

10. Finally, what are you reading at the moment? 
I am reading two books at the moment. The last book in Justin Cronin's trilogy, The City of Mirrors and a beautiful book by Anita Brooker called Hotel du Lac.

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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?

Follow Jo on Twitter | Buy An Unextraordinary Life on Amazon Visit her blog

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