Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Interview with Jo Kessel, Author of Weak at the Knees (Giveaway)

Jo Kessel is a journalist in the UK, working for the BBC and reporting and presenting for ITV on holiday, consumer and current affairs programs. She writes for several national newspapers including the Daily Mail, the Telegraph, the Guardian and the Express and was the anonymous author of the Independent’s hit column: Diary of a Primary School Mum.

When Jo was ten years old she wrote a short story about losing a loved one. Her mother and big sister were so moved by the tale that it made them cry. Having reduced them to tears she vowed that the next time she wrote a story it would make them smile instead. Happily she succeeded and with this success grew an addiction for wanting to reach out and touch people with words.

P.S Jo’s pretty certain one of her daughters has inherited this gene.

Other books by Jo Kessel include Lover in Law.

Visit her website at www.jokessel.com.

Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

Hi there, well, what’s to say? I’m from across the pond and live in London. I’ve got a typically British accent, very curly hair (which I spend my life straightening), three small children who keep me on my toes and a passion for romance – hey, that’s what makes the world go round, isn’t it? What would life be without love? Oh, and in true Brit form I’m a big lover of tea. I can’t start my day without drinking a big steaming mug of the brew.

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in London, not too far from where I live now – it’s about a fifteen minute drive. But I have spent a lot of time living and working abroad (that even includes a spell in Boston) in both Belgium and France, and that’s what inspired me to part set my new book in France.

When did you begin writing?

I began writing short stories pretty much as soon as I could put pen to paper, age five. And I’ve just never stopped. I’ve been lucky in that I was able to turn my passion for writing into a career and work as a newspaper journalist in the UK. But more recently I found myself longing to dig deeper and create a full and multi-layered storyline which would take the characters on a much longer journey than a short story will allow. That’s when the novel-writing began. My first novel Lover in Law came out almost a year ago and now I’m celebrating the release of Weak at the Knees.

What is this book about?

Weak at the Knees follows the emotional journey of Danni Lewis after she suffers a tragedy and tries to make sense of her life. It’s very real and raw (I’ve been told that a box of tissues must be on hand when you read it!) and yes, it does deal with the issue of cheating. But like it or loathe it, people do cheat in reality and so this story deals with that, warts and all, and believe me, Danni suffers with the whole moral dilemma/angst of the romance. One reviewer said that it never feels like ‘cheating’ because Danni and Olivier feel so ‘meant to be’, but I guess readers will just have to make up their own minds on this. The book is half-based in France and also gives an insight into life in that beautiful and most romantic of countries.

What inspired you to write it?

I spent a couple of years working as a ski chaperone in the French Alps when I’d finished college, living in a small, village community whose people were very insular and gossipy. The mountains were such a powerful, emotive backdrop, especially for romance, that I knew it would be a great place to base a story – and there’s something about forbidden love (i.e. the cheating angle) that I thought would be fascinating to explore.

Who is your biggest supporter?

I have three big supporters, my children. They all love books and are so proud that their Mommy has written a couple of her own. They handle the paperback versions of my novels with great reverence and are always quick to check out the reference to them in the acknowledgments!

Who is your favorite author?

Jane Austen.

US: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00E4VC70W
UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00E4VC70W

What is up next for you?

I’m working on a sequel to Weak at the Knees which will move the story along as well as including Olivier’s POV so that we will get the chance to hear his side of things.

Is there anything you would like to add?

I’m an unknown author and I would just like readers to take a chance on me. They won’t regret it.

Purchase at Amazon or Amazon.co.uk

Pump Up Your Book and Jo Kessel are giving away a $100 Amazon Gift Card & a French Gift Basket of French gift basket that includes a whole lot of goodies associated with the book, including a bottle of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, a famous wine from the Rhône wine region of southeastern France!

Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $100 Amazon Gift Card and one winner will be chosen to win the gift basket.
  • This giveaway begins October 7 and ends January 18.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on Monday, January 20, 2014.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

1 comment:

GO WITH JO said...

Thank you so much for featuring my new release Weak at the Knees on your blog today - I hope it inspires readers to take a trip to France, which is perhaps the most romantic country in the world!