I am honored to welcome author Jo Michaels to Reading For Fun. She will be attending OIBF on October 19-22, 2017 in Springfield, MO. Trust me when I say she is beautiful, kind and extremely witty. She will make you feel welcome and dazzle you with her stories. I have been lucky enough to spend some time with her in Nashville and I can’t wait to see her again at OIBF.
Hello Jo and welcome! I thought we would begin with your professional life. You are an author, but you are also active in other areas in the book community. Could you please share with us what other areas you work in?
Jo: Oh my goodness! Loaded question. Hang in here, peeps! Here are the other things I do: I’m an editor, formatter, and one of the EICs at INDIE Books Gone Wild. I’m an admin with SASS (Struggling Author Street-team Services), and I help new authors gain their footing and educate them on several things over there. I’m the blogger coordinator for Utopia, one of the most amazing conferences in the USA. I do a ton of pro-bono work for charities in the form of formatting and typesetting anthologies. I run a blog where I give authors all kinds of information on how to survive this crazy publishing world. Besides all this, I design my own book covers (and those of a select few other authors). Last, but certainly not least, I’m the hostess on A Daily Cup of Jo, my radio show. Whew! Did I leave anything out?
What or who inspired you to go into writing?
Jo: Genghis Khan. Funny story, actually. When I was in college, we had to write a research paper on a prominent person out of history. Because of the things Genghis accomplished in his life, like taking over most of Eurasia before the age of thirty-three, I chose him. Along the way, I discovered his best friend, Jamuka, had become Genghis’s most bitter enemy. Well, I asked myself why. What could be so impactful in their lives that it would force them to want to kill one another? Only one thing came to mind: a woman. So, I wrote their story and titled it Yassa (Genghis Khan’s law of loyalty). He was the catalyst of opening trade with other countries, and he brought Eurasia so much profit and stability! I also had so much fun delving into the innerworkings of the human mind and heart. Seems Genghis didn’t quit with Eurasia because he caught me, too; he’s inspired so much in the world, eh?
Which of your books/ series are you most proud of and why?
Jo: I could no sooner choose a favorite star in the heavens. I love all my books equally. Here’s a rundown: Yassa – because it was my first and the reason I started writing. Abigale – because they made my daughter smile. Mystic – because changing the world’s mindset has to start somewhere. M – because that was my first futuristic novel. The Frivolity Fairies – because that warms your Christmas heart. Writing Prompts – I get to have an impact on kids and teens everywhere and get them WRITING! Fractured Glass – my first foray into doing something different that had NEVER been done before. 7: The Seven Deadly Sins – because I stepped out of my comfort zone and, again, did something different. I, Zombie – I got to write zombies, and I got to write them in the young adult age bracket, haha! The Bird – because I got to play with fairy tales. Emancipation – because it will truly scare the shizz out of you.
My favorite series of yours is the Mystic Series. I truly fell in love with each of the girls and the story had a profound effect on me. I highly recommend it to everyone.
Do you have a favorite quote from one of your books? If so, could you share it with us and explain why?
Jo: I totally do! “If you spend fifty years as someone’s friend, you’re bound to know a little about them.” Ms. Young chuckled. “Probably more than you ought to, right?” That’s from a scene in Emancipation—a much needed humor break from all the thriller stuff. I just fell in love with Ms. Young. *grin*
One of my favorite quotes is from you. It’s actually at the end of Bronya in “A note from the author”. It rings especially true in light of recent events. “We all have strength in us and the only way we’re going to be able to battle hatred is when we quit hating each other and ourselves.”
Emancipation is a darker book, what was your inspiration to write it and do you plan to write more books of that nature?
Jo: My inspiration was actually an episode of 20/20. There was this woman who married a man on death row (he’d been convicted of murdering three, twenty-something-year-old women. This dumb woman divorced her hubby, left her four daughters, and married the guy (who, of course, swears he didn’t do it). Well, I asked myself what if, and Emancipation was born! It’s a series of stand-alone novels, so yes, there will be more!
You also write with a group of authors called the Ferocious Five. Could you tell us a little about this group of ladies and how you came together? You could also give a hint to what your next project together is. ;)
Jo: OMG I totally do! We’re the bomb! I love them all so much. Tia, Casey, Kelly, and Nichole. *all the love* I actually put out a call for entries for an anthology of novellas (this hadn’t been done before then), and they answered with their writing samples. I loved their styles/voices, so I chose them. Once we got together, it became so much more. Fractured Glass was born! It was totally unheard of for five people to write one novel, so we did it (and it’s an amazing read). Then there was 7. Oh man! I love that one even more than I loved Fractured Glass. Such an important message underlying in that novel. And, again, one story written by five authors! It’s the BOMB! As far as what we’re working on right now, all I can say is the marketing plan is something that’s NEVER been done, and we’re not all five writing one book this time.
Well you ladies know how to write and throw a party! I can't wait to see what you have in store for us with this new project!
Are you currently working on another book, if so can you share a little something about about it? Is it YA, NA, Adult? What genre?
Jo: I am. It’s in the Othala Witch collection – Sector Sixteen. Title is Faye Magic. New Adult Paranormal Romance! If you know anything about me, you’ll know I don’t really write romance (with The Bird being my one exception). While all my stories have a romance happening, they aren’t romance novels. If you know more about me, you’ll know lots of people die during my tale. *grin*
~~Now for a little FuN!~~
Who is your favorite author? Do you have a favorite book that you come back to time and time again?
Jo: Jane Austen. I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve read Pride and Prejudice. I get so caught up in the beautiful language and the snarky dialogue. *sigh* Love it. Love her. I strive to be more like Jane Bennet: kind, unassuming, and genuinely a good person.
I actually agree with you as far as Jane Bennet, but from Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. LOL
Jo: Stratford upon Avon. I also love Shakespeare. *grin*
What is one of your favorite hobbies?
Jo: I love, love, LOVE art. I draw, paint, and sketch all the time. My favorite medium is prismacolor pencil, but I also get into watercolor. You’ll get to see several examples of this when the new F5 collaborative project launches in March 2017. *grin*
Would you please share something quirky about yourself that most people wouldn't know?
Jo: I’m super loud and overly energetic when I’m in a crowd. Most people probably think of me as the quiet one in the corner, but that’s before they’ve met me. Ha!
One last question...it needs to be a good one… Who is your most favorite celebrity hunk? Why do you find so smexy about him?
Jo: Wow. I don’t really have one! I was never the girl (even as a teen) who went bananas over celebs. LOL! If I HAD to choose, I guess I’d say Gerard Butler. His accent is awesome.
Oh not a bad choice at all!
Thank you so much for taking time from your busy schedule to share your thoughts and work with us. I can’t wait to see you at OIBF!!
Jo: Thank you so much for having me! I can’t wait to see you, too. Next year is gonna be super busy, but I’m looking forward to all the events I’m attending! OIBF will be off the HOOK amazing!
Especially with you being a panelist. If you would like to attend OIBF get your tickets HERE.
Visit our Official Website
JO MICHAELS BLOG
Hi everyone! *waves* I'm Jo Michaels, and I run the Jo Michaels blog. What is the Jo Michaels blog? Well, it's a place for readers and authors to come together and rejoice in their love of books, to find great reviews, and to get tips and tricks on all things self publishing.
I got started in the blogging world in 2012, and I've posted nearly every day on my blog since then. Because of that, there's a ton of content for you to browse, and an endless number of tips and tricks. Don't worry, you won't get lost! I've created pages and divided all the important links into subject matter so you can find what you're looking for quickly.
This blog is my way of giving back to the Indie. Whether with information or tips and tricks posting, or by reviewing books, most everyone in the book world can find something useful.
While you're over there, check out my Time for Books 2016 Review Team! This group reviewed nearly 400 Indie published books last year, and we're hoping to exceed that mark this year. Join up if you feel so inclined.
If you love podcasts, pay me a visit on A Daily Cup of Jo or subscribe on iTunes podcasts. I interview all kinds of folks from the Indie world, and I have some exciting stuff coming you don't wanna miss!
I do hope you'll join me in this journey to make the Indie world an easier place to be. I look forward to meeting you all soon.
Give me a follow on these social media sites:
About Jo Michaels:
Jo Michaels is...
Hi, I'm Jo. Let's forget all the "Jo Michaels is blah, blah, blah" stuff and just go with it. I'm a voracious reader (often reading more than one book at a time), a writer, a book reviewer, a mom, a wife, and one of the EICs at INDIE Books Gone Wild. I have an almost photographic memory and tend to make people cringe at the number of details I can recall about them and/or their book(s). My imagination follows me around like a conjoined twin and causes me to space out pretty often or laugh out loud randomly in completely inappropriate situations.
I have a degree in graphic design, and my journey to the end was one few students who begin that program ever complete. However, this was one case where my memory and OCD tendencies helped me. Graduation was one of the most amazing days of my life. But, my most amazing day was when my now husband proposed. Every little girl dreams of being Cinderella someday, and he pulled off the proposal of fantasies.
At the risk of sounding cliche, I'm going to let it out there and say how much I absolutely adore the man I'm married to. Along with my children, he's my whole world.
I've lived in Louisiana, Tennessee, and Georgia, but I've had my feet in almost every state. Traveling is something I adore, and have plans to someday see the Mongolia I've written about in Yassa.
One of my favorite things is hearing from fans! You can find me on social media most any day of the week. Connect! I'd love to hear from you.
Thank you everyone for joining me today. Check out our other OIBF official bloggers each for more exciting interviews, spotlights and giveaways!Reading For Fun (Tina Donnelly)
Us Girls & A Book (Jaci Chaney, Emily Piland, Kallie Kennon, Kelly Kortright)
Brains, Beauty and Books (Jocqueline M. Protho)
The Katy (Katy Walker)
Bookworm Coalition (Tricia Ballard)