Somewhere to review books I'm reading without giving away any spoilers!
I am very happy to welcome Jo Johnson here today and thank her for answering my questions and to congratulate her on the publication of her debut novel, Surviving Me. Read on to discover more about this author, her novel and to enter the giveaway associated with this blog tour!
Where did you get the inspiration for the book?
I’m a clinical psychologist so I spend a lot of time thinking about people’s business. I spend even more time in cafes. Over the road from my office there is a traditional tea room called the Vintage Rose. On one occasion, I noticed a middle-aged man, by himself, staring out of the window. I wondered about him and his story. In my head, his name was Tom. This observation inspired the first line of my novel.
‘At this point in time, I can accurately be described as unemployed, impotent, and a liar’.
What is your writing process?
I work full time so I write where and when I can. I do a lot of thinking in the car when I’m driving to see my clients. Then I quickly type out the ideas on my iPad before I forget them.
Do you write using pen and paper or on a computer?
On my ipad but I sometimes scribble ideas on scraps of paper so I don’t forget.
Who is your favourite character out of your story and why?
I love my main character, Tom. He is an over thinker like me and frequently becomes so consumed by his own thoughts and feelings that he forgets the real world. At times, I became so involved with his story, I worried about him and got very behind with my work.
If you were a character in your story, which would you like to be?
I’d like to be Tom’s wife. She is a radio presenter for a local station and gets to interview interesting people and be in a panto. Both those things appeal to me. Like me, she is chaotic and messy but also loyal and kind.
How and why did you choose the names for your main characters?
I have no idea why I chose Tom, I don’t know anyone called that. Selma his wife, was named after Selmeston, a place in East Sussex that I often drive through. Her parents named their daughter after the place where she was conceived. Many of the other characters are named after my family. The psychologist is named after the friend who helped me with the book. My children, husband, a few friends and my parents all have their names in the book. I changed all the names at the end which was fun.
Thank you so much for answering my questions – I wish you great success with your new career as an author and look forward to reading more by you in future.
Here’s more information about ‘Surviving Me’
Deceit has a certain allure when your life doesn’t match up to the ideal of what it means to be a modern man.
Tom’s lost his job and now he’s been labelled ‘spermless’. He doesn’t exactly feel like a modern man, although his double life helps. Yet when his secret identity threatens to unravel, he starts to lose the plot and comes perilously close to the edge.
All the while Adam has his own duplicity, albeit for very different reasons, reasons which will blow the family’s future out of the water.
If they can’t be honest with themselves, and everyone else, then things are going to get a whole lot more complicated.
This book tackles hard issues such as male depression, dysfunctional families and degenerative diseases in an honest, life-affirming and often humorous way. It focuses particularly on the challenges of being male in today’s world and explores how our silence on these big issues can help push men to the brink.
Author Bio –
I’m very excited that my debut novel ‘Surviving Me’ is due to be published on the 14 November. The novel is about male minds and what pushes a regular man to the edge. The novel combines all the themes I can write about with authenticity.
I qualified as a clinical psychologist in 1992 and initially worked with people with learning disabilities before moving into the field of neurology in 1996. I worked in the NHS until 2008 when i left to write and explore new projects.
I now work as an independent clinical psychologist in West Sussex.
Jo speaks and writes for several national neurology charities including Headway and the MS Trust. Client and family related publications include, “Talking to your kids about MS”, “My mum makes the best cakes” and “Shrinking the Smirch”.
In the last few years Jo has been offering psychological intervention using the acceptance and commitment therapeutic model (ACT) which is the most up to date version of CBT. She is now using THE ACT model in a range of organisations such as the police to help employees protect their minds in order to avoid symptoms of stress and work related burnout.
Social Media Links –
Giveaway to Win two signed copies of Surviving Me & five Surviving Me fridge magnets (Open INT)
1st Prize – 2 winners each winning a signed copy of Surviving Me
5 Runners Up – each winning a Surviving Me Fridge Magnet
*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome. Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.
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Many thanks to Rachel’s Random Resources for providing content for this post and organising the tour it is part of. Also, thank you to Jo Johnson for kindly answering my questions!