Sunday, February 2, 2020

Beyond the Margin by Jo Jackson - Book Tour + Giveaway

Beyond the Margin

Is living on the edge of society a choice? Or is choice a luxury of the fortunate?
Joe, fighting drug addiction, runs until the sea halts his progress. His is a faltering search for meaningful relationships.
‘Let luck be a friend’, Nuala is told but it had never felt that way. Abandoned at five years old survival means learning not to care. Her only hope is to take control of her own destiny.
The intertwining of their lives makes a compelling story of darkness and light, trauma, loss and second chances.

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Author Q&A
How long, on average does it take you to write a book?
Both of my books, Too Loud a Silence and Beyond the Margin have taken me three years to write. But that’s not writing every day – I am retired, and life is full of interesting things to do! My favourite time of day to write is early morning and I will often get up before dawn and write for two to three hours before breakfast. That way it doesn’t interfere with the rest of the day.
My first novel has an interesting story around how long it took to write because I began it thirty-seven years before it was published but family and career got in the way and It lay in a drawer unfinished. I still have the original handwritten manuscript.
When I began to write again, I didn’t reread my previously written chapters, but the inspiration was the same - two little girls whom we had known when, as a family, we lived in Egypt. They lived in an orphanage after being found on a rubbish dump. It was a story I wanted to write for them.

How do you select the names for your characters?
I find the characters suggest their own names and I rarely change them. Beyond the Margin is set in Ireland and It was important that readers would be able to pronounce them as sometimes Irish names have spellings that bear little resemblance to their pronunciation.

What fictional characters would you want to be friends with in real life.
Can I choose the twins, Maha and Mavette from my first novel Too Loud a Silence? As a family we got to know these baby girls over the two years we were living in Egypt. We used to bring them home every week, bath them, feed them and play with them. In the orphanage they were left in cots most of the time. As a family we became very fond of them. Then, as sometimes happened in Egypt, an unexpected decision was made to close the orphanage to any outsiders. Despite all our efforts we could never find out what happened to the little girls who were now almost two. They were very young, they won’t remember us, but we have never forgotten them.

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
Just write. Don’t be daunted. Learn to see feedback as vital. As an author you are so close to your own story that you fill in the backstories of the characters in your head. If your readers can’t do the same, then something needs to be changed. For me joining a writing group was the best thing I ever did. They are supportive, encouraging and honest. I couldn’t do it without them.

Which book do you wish you had written?
A Suitable Boy by Vickram Seth
For at least three reasons:
1.       It is an beautifully written saga set in India, a country I love. It tackles family relationships at a time of political and cultural unrest. The prose is vivid and sensitive. The author makes you cry and laugh. I felt bereft when I finished this book. It was like part of my family had been torn from me. An author who can make his readers feel like that has an exceptional talent.
2.       I was also lucky enough to see his home when I was trekking in the foothills of the Himalaya’s. I wish I could write there.
3.       Its being made into a TV series. How good must that be to see your characters brought to life on the screen.

Author Bio –
Jo Jackson reads books and writes them too.
Having worked with some of the most vulnerable people in society she has a unique voice apparent in her second novel Beyond the Margin.
She was a nurse, midwife and family psychotherapist and now lives in rural Shropshire with her husband. She loves travelling and walking as well as gardening, philosophy and art.
Her first novel Too Loud a Silence is set in Egypt where Jo lived for a few years with her husband and three children. Events there were the inspiration for her book which she describes as ‘a story she had to write’.

Social Media Links –  Facebook; JoJacksonauthor  Twitter: @jojackson589

Giveaway to Win signed copies of Beyond the Margin and Too Loud a Silence by Jo Jackson. (UK only)
*Terms and Conditions –UK 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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