Name – Jo Peterson
Age – Old enough to know better, too young to resist.
Where are you from – Born and raised in Michigan. Moved to Florida right out of high school but the humidity and God awful heat of the summers sent me running back after five years. I’m the middle child – Yes I have middle child syndrome! My kids are grown and now I’m the crazy cat lady working and paying the bills all for the comfort and pleasure of Itty Bitty and a Lil Man.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
I just returned home for the Dreamspinner Press Author Workshop. The staff does an amazing job and it was great seeing old friends and making new one.
Also I have a new book coming out next Monday ( March 14th) I’m really excited about it. It’s the 5th and final book in the Guards of Folsom series titled BOUND in which all the characters from the previous books must bind together to help one of their own.
You can check it out here: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=7534
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
It’s the craziest story. I never wanted to be a writer, hell I never even read fiction prior to 2010. One night I took my girls to see Twilight (Midnight showing) and really enjoyed the movie. I came home read all four books then moved on to more adult books like The Black Dagger Brotherhood and Immortals After Dark. I was reading a novel a day making up for all the years I’d missed. Then after a stretch of one bad book after another I thought how hard can this be? Well, it was really f@*King hard. But my first attempt was actually accepted and the rest they say is history!
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I don’t think it really registered with me until the 3rd or 4th book. Hell, I still have a hard time believing I’m actually a writer some days.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
Like I said above, I really did it as a challenge. I then wrote about a personal fantasy I’d had for a few years.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
Not really. I get an idea, sit down to the computer and once I have the first line, just let it flow and take me on a journey. I never really know where the story is going to end up.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
Titles are always a fun evolution. I rarely ever stick with the title that I first come up with. Take Rival Within for instance. It went through five or six changes during the time I was writing it. It wasn’t until doing edits that I finally settled on the title.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
One of the things I try to strive for in my books is realism. They aren’t always pretty and most of my characters are flawed. But if there is one thing that most of my stories have in common it’s hope.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic ?
A lot of it. Most of my characters are based somewhat on real people.
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Absolutely. Tag Team for instance Mason is dealing with severe depression and has suicidal ideations. My sister and niece battled with the same thing. Unfortunately, they didn’t get the same happy ending Mason did. That book was a personal type of therapy in dealing with their deaths. My Hometown is based on my town and friends and Alex from BAMF is totally my boyfriend’s personality.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?
to writing and reading fiction, I basically read nothing but Historical texts and true crime. I think the biggest influence they had on me was I became a sponge, constantly soaking up knowledge. It’s helped greatly when I need to do research.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I’m reading Dominate Predator, the second book in S.A. McAuley’s Border Wars series. It’s amazeballs!! If you haven’t read this series, do yourself a favor, READ IT!
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
I was at the Dreamspinner Workshop this past weekend and one of the speakers was Geoff Symon. He is a Forensics Investigator and Damon Suede’s husband. He was a dynamic speaker and I could have listened to him for hours. He has a series coming out this summer Forensics for Fiction that I cannot wait to get my hands on.
Fiona: What are your current projects?
At the moment I’m working on a contemporary romance with sexy men and coffee titled Brewing Joe. I mean seriously, does it get any better than that? My two favorite things lol.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
Stubbornness! I really am and hate to be told I can’t do something. While it’s true I’m stubborn, Scotty Cade has been my rock. He’s been in my corner for the past five years cheering me on and inspiring me.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career
Absolutely. I quite my day job two years ago and work as a writer full time. BEST JOB EVER!
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Nope. I hear a lot of people say they would change something they wrote. I look at each book as a process, a personal growth and learn from each one, the good parts and the bad.
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Yeah, I suck at grammar. I have now learned to embrace my shortcomings and trust that my editors will make my stories shine.
Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
Ugh! I hate this question. There are so many amazing authors out there, but I think if I have to pinpoint only one, I’d have to go with Margaret George since she wrote one of my all-time favorite books – The Autobiography of King Henry VIII
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
No, but I wish I could afford to visit all the places I write about. *Sigh* Perhaps one day.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
I am very much a control freak when it comes to covers. Often times I will find the photo I want and lucky for me DSP has been able to obtain the rights to the photo as they did with Plan B, My Hometown, and Ruin Porn. I’ve worked with many great cover artists but mainly Paul Richmond and Reese Dante.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Trying to force it to meet a deadline. If I’m in a great mode and need to write a angst filled scene it’s nearly impossible. The same is true for when I’m grumpy and cranky and have to write sweet fluff. Needless to say, I’ve been late on many of deadline lol.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Write from the heart and for yourself. The thing is, some will love your books, some will hate them, but a lot will like them. Be sure you’re in the “Love them” group.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
I LOVE YOU!!! I have been blessed with some of the greatest readers EVER. Many have become good friends and I can’t thank them all enough for all the support and allowing me to do something I love!
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Dick & Jane? See Spot run… hehehe
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
I’m a total sap and may have gotten teary eyed watching a commercial. The thing that makes me laugh the most is myself. I mean I’m hilarious. Plus if you can’t laugh at yourself then….. well, just do it. I promise your day will be much better.
Fiona: Is there one person pass or present you would meet and why?
King Henry the VIII. I’ve been fascinated by him since I was in high school. I mean talk about absolute power corrupting absolutely. He changed the entire religion of his country, killed an untold number of people, all so he could boink his mistress.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why?
“It was a hell of a ride.” I’ve learned to live my life to the fullest. Good and bad, I wouldn’t change a thing about my past and looking forward to the ride the future has in store for me.
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?
I love traveling, history and gardening. I used to do a lot of crafts, but I’ve been so busy with writing this past year I haven’t had the chance. Maybe I’ll pick them up again.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I don’t watch a lot of TV, but have it on 24/7. I like the background noise and sleep to Forensic Files. Weird I know but the host has this really calm soothing voice. When I do get a chance to sit down and watch a show it’s Walking Dead or Ripper Street.
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
Chicken Alfredo is my all-time favorite food, love the color blue and Music is anything and everything, especially Bastille.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
I would love to teach World History, unfortunately they don’t pay that great so history will have to stay a hobby.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
I run Between the Covers with Scotty & Jo with my BFF Scotty Cade.
Here is the link: http://scottyandjo.blogspot.com/
Buy Link for BOUND: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=7534
Author Arcade: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/AuthorArcade/sjd-peterson
Meet Jo Peterson
SJD Peterson, better known as Jo, hails from Michigan. Not the best place to live for someone who hates the cold and snow. When not reading or writing, Jo can be found close to the heater checking out NHL stats and watching the Red Wings kick a little butt. Can’t cook, misses the clothes hamper nine out of ten tries, but is handy with power tools.