Jo Robinson


Today my dear friend Jo Robinson is here to answer my questions and I do so hope she’s brought Beep Beep or any of her other feathered palls with her.

Hi Jo my dear. (kisses her friend on the cheeks) Sit down, have a nice glass of pink bubbles and some cheese and chocolate to nibble on. There. Comfortable? Okay, here we go.

Can you give me your best Whoop? Unless you have another one which works better for you?

Whoop dee doooo!!!  Or in as my UK friends would say, Jolly Dee!

Hahahaha, it sounds like a winner. Must try it out too, later. 🙂 But does it work all the time, even those times when the muse has gone and done a runner on you? And when did you first start with it?

The book I have coming out on 8th February, I started in November last year for the NaNoWriMo event.  Because you have to keep up with the word count there, you have to write on through, even if your muse is away at the pub, drinking and carousing.  My muse often comes to work with a terrible hangover, and smelling of curative omelette breakfasts.  When I went back to edit and complete it, I found that my muse actually works very well under the influence.  It was a good draft.  My first book was over-edited as I wrote it, and will only come out after this one, even though it was started quite a while ago.  I only started writing about three years ago.  This is all very new to me.

Still it sounds to me like you are on the right track. I’m very curious to your new book, but I’ll have to wait a bit I guess. 🙂 

Let’s do a few of the yada yada questions before we move on to the fun.

What is the title of the book you would like to talk about?

Shadow People

cover shadow people

Great cover! I know you paint, did you do the artwork for this one too?

Did you have difficulty coming up with the title?

No.  In fact, I started out with the title, and the book grew from there.  To begin with I had no idea what form these shadows would take.

If you would have to change the genre, what would it be then?

This book is a mix of science-fiction, fantasy, with bits of everything else thrown in.  If it had to be changed, it could be horror/fantasy.  There are some nasty demons in there, as well as beautiful alien dragon birds.  And a chicken.

Just to confuse you we’ll take the alternative route now.

What don’t you like about writing, or whatever you need to do marketing wise?

I haven’t actively marketed my short stories on Amazon, and am always amazed when someone buys them.  So far no horrible reviews though, and I’m happy that people are enjoying them.  I do plan on marketing the two upcoming novels as well as I can.  It is time consuming building your marketing base, but there’s fun along the way too, and satisfaction knowing that you put the hours in.  I love interacting with people anyway.  I don’t like editing so much.  Some research can also be tedious, but other than that, I love everything about writing.  There’s nothing better than watching your own stories come alive.

Tell me, when your muse is visiting and you’re on a roll, what would seriously drive her/him away?

Constant interruptions send my muse off to the bar.  Also, if I’m feeling ill, I can’t seem to write anything but wood.  Fortunately, I’m normally pretty healthy.

What does your muse look like?

My muse is a mini-me.  So, she’s gorgeous, even after a good night out.

Hahahaha, indeed gorgeous all the time, any time! And good people!

Do you ever speak to your characters and do you get along all the time?

I often hear my characters speaking in my head.  African Me was a difficult book to write, because of the extreme highs and lows.  I had myself laughing and crying when I started the edit.  Which is probably a good thing.  Shadow People was pure pleasure, although my demonic Nefandus did give me a nightmare or two when I first created them.

Can you name the food and drink that will surely get you started?

Pink champagne, cheese, and chocolate can get me started on pretty much anything at all.  I generally forget to eat when I’m on a writing roll.  Only when those around me start complaining of severe neglect, do I generally feel a hunger pang.

Would you be able to come up with an excuse on why you haven’t written a whole day, and have me believe it too?

I was marketing.  Really.  You do have to chat all day, you know.  It’s not my fault, really….  Drank too much champagne the night before?  Fell down a manhole?  Got attacked by an angry crab?

Wheeeeeheeeee! All very believable. 🙂 Especially since it was me you were drinking the champagne with. 🙂 Good thing we managed to wrestle down the crab.

And finally why would you ever want to live life behind a keyboard slaving over a manuscript?

This is a question I asked a very dear friend just yesterday.  Having a bit of a fight with severe malaria, these last two weeks, considering the real possibility of death, and being the generally dramatic soul that I am, I asked, “Am I doing the right thing?  Should I be spending the hours allocated to me on this planet in front of a computer screen?”  She said that doing what you love to do can never be wrong, and the joy of holding your books in your hands, as the fruits of those many hours spent writing, or even marketing for that matter, is more than enough to let you know that living behind a keyboard, slaving over a manuscript, is exactly what you want to do.  So the answer is, because I’m doing what I love to do.

Okay, now that we have the mandatory questions out of the way, shoot your mouth off. Tell me whatever you want the blab about. But please no cat’s, dogs, or children. Make me laugh, or cry, or even envious. Tell me something none has ever heard before from you. hehehe, love those little dirty secrets, real or make believe. 🙂

Well now.  If I told you my dirty secrets, you would be terribly shocked, and never speak to me again.  I laugh at silly things.  If I type tit instead of tip, I laugh until I cry.  I like to sprinkle my writing with laughter.  I also like to plumb the depths of human feelings, and write about the darker things in life.  So, that’s probably why there are two of me.  My science-fiction self Jo Cavell, who can be a bit gothic and dour, and then there’s me, who can be pretty much anything at all.  Except a singer apparently.  People have been quite rude about that.  Birds scatter from the trees when I sing along to GaGa, who I love, apart from the weird meat clothes.  What’s up with that, by the way?  I live in Zimbabwe, in the bush, and am pretty much used to getting plagues of bugs and things around.  Sometimes animals come in uninvited.   I once had a bush rat run across my keyboard, which made me scream, and fall flat on my bum.  I got chased by a hippopotamus while innocently peeing under a tree, and I’ve come face to face with a screeching baboon.  Oh yes, I can run.  Other than the occasional brush with death, visiting frogs strolling around the kitchen, or walking into walls in sudden power outages, life here is not too exciting.  Which is why it’s so lovely to write books.

Jo! Next time you’re face to face with a mad baboon just sing!

Now, all together! Hands in the air and cheer on Jo Robinson as she sings her way to fame.

Jo,  would like to thank you for popping in and answering my questions. I know we’ll speak again soon and just wait for my review on Shadow People. Coming soon to a blog near you. 🙂 

That wraps things up for now. Leaves me only with telling the folks where they can find you online, and not unimportant where to buy your books! 

Jo Robinson (aka Jo Cavell) is to be found at AmazonFacebookher blog, on Goodreads, and on Google+ at Readers Meet Authors and Bloggers. Don’t forget to follow her on Twitter too. 🙂

Shadow People

cover shadow people

Available through Amazon

Fly Birdie

cover Fly Birdy


The Visitation

cover Visitation


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