Somewhere to review books I'm reading without giving away any spoilers!
I am very pleased to welcome Frances Ive here today and thank her for kindly answering my questions. Read on to discover her answers as well as more about herself and her book, Finding Jo.
Where did you get the inspiration for the book/series?
On reflection I realise that my travel in India when I was in my 20’s has definitely been a background influence for Finding Jo. I feel that some of the work I have done on personal development and the many people I have talked to about life and its ups and downs over the years have inspired the story and characters. I believe that we can make our lives better if we really want to.
What is your writing process?
In fiction I just write to get it down and then go back and change things afterwards. When feeling inspired I feel driven to get it written as soon as possible.
Do you write using pen and paper or on a computer?
Both. I am trained as a journalist to write direct on to a computer, but when something comes to me at night or when I’m out I write it in a notebook or even on a scrap of paper and transfer it to the computer as soon as I can.
Who is your favourite character out of your stories and why?
Jo is the protagonist of Finding Jo and she is my favourite character. Some might say that is because she is a version of me, and in some ways that is true. I feel warmly towards her because she takes a difficult decision to get away from it all – i.e. her family and boyfriend – and leaves the country which is a brave thing to do. She also sticks out for what she wants, which I think is a very good quality. I feel strongly that women need to be assertive and wish it hadn’t taken me so long to get there!
If you were a character in your story, which would you like to be?
I’d always want to be a woman or a girl who stands up to the world and gets on with life. Jo is not that self-assured at the beginning of the story, but she does take risks and attempts to change her life. I admire that so I think the same answer really – it would be Jo.
How and why did you choose the names for your main characters?
Most of the names just came to me as they seemed to be right. I’m not sure why I did this but I named one character after my son, Michael, and two others after my step-daughters. This was just a bit of fun, because none of them are remotely like these characters in Finding Jo.
Thank you so much for answering my questions!
Read on to discover more about Finding Jo and Frances Ive!
At breaking point Jo deserts her dysfunctional family and possessive boyfriend, making an uncharacteristic escape to the Himalayas in a bid for freedom and self-knowledge. The peace she finds there helps her to unravel her turmoil, but unexpected challenges test her new-found equilibrium to the limit.
Finding Jo focuses on relationships between families, lovers and friends, and the resentment and long-held grievances that threaten to destroy them. Jo’s quest for a deeper purpose in life acts as a catalyst to her family, indicating that willingness to change and grow enables people to find happiness.
Frances Ive: A career as a journalist/PR led to health writing for UK nationals newspapers and consumer magazines. Out of the blue I was inspired to write a novel, Finding Jo, which has taken some years to come to fruition, self-publishing in January 2021. I travelled a lot in my 20s and I have drawn on my three months’ trip to India in Finding Jo.