Author, baker, sunrise chaser

30 seconds with Jo

I live on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland Australia with my husband, daughter and a cocker spaniel who takes her role as resident flop-dog and guardian of my office very seriously. She has, however, been known to sleep a tad too much on the job – the dog, that is, not me.

An unapologetic daydreamer, eternal optimist, and confirmed morning person, I write contemporary romance, romantic comedy, women’s fiction and what I like to call foodie-lit – which is the perfect excuse to indulge my baking habit in the name of research. My characters cook whatever it is I want to be cooking – or learning to cook. Then there’s their occupations; through my characters I can try out occupations I’d never conceivably do or the business ideas that my husband says, “maybe that needs a little more thought darling.” It’s the daydreaming thing again.

Even though I live in paradise, it’s my travels that inspire my stories. From Melbourne to Queenstown, Bali, Hong Kong and The Cotswolds, you never quite know where you’ll end up, but it will be somewhere that takes you away from your every day.

When I'm not writing or day jobbing, I love baking, reading, long walks along the beach, posting way too many photos of sunrises on Instagram and dreaming of the next destination and the next story. I also dabble (when I have the time) in a little astrology of the make-the-most-of-your-possibilities variety. I love possibilities.

My life goals (apart from being a world-famous author) are to be an extra on Midsomer Murders (perhaps a dog walker in Badger’s Drift), to appear on Desert Island Discs, and to cook my way through Nigella’s books – yes, all of them. 

Coffee or tea: Tea, English breakfast, no milk, no sugar.

Favourite tipple: wine, especially proper champagne, but I’m also a sucker for a good peaty whisky…neat.

Favourite food: Mooloolaba prawns…or maybe dumplings.

Favourite cuisine: Anything South-East Asian. As long as it has chilli, garlic and ginger I’m a happy girl.

Signature recipe: My Lemon Drizzle Cake or my Chocolate Bread and Butter Pudding.

Favourite destination: Please don’t ask me this! It would have to be New Zealand…or maybe France…but I do love Bali and I have so much more I want to see in Britain.

Last holiday: Christmas in England 2019.

Next holiday: Borders permitting, we’re planning to head back to the UK late in 2021

Where do you next want to set a novel? There are more stories planned for Queenstown and the Brookford characters, but I also have an idea for something set in Scotland to do with a whisky distillery and something else set in Burgundy, France.

Mantra or favourite saying: Imagine…