Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Q&A with Jo Platt, author of It Was You

TITLE: It Was You
AUTHOR: Jo Platt
PUBLISHER: Canelo

PUBLICATION DATE: October 31, 2016

Amazon - Goodreads

Alice Waites has been happily single for almost two years.

But when her close friends in The Short Book Group gently question her current distinct lack of interest in men, she accepts that maybe it is time to deal with the past and open herself up to new possibilities.

Oh yes, the time has come to go dating again.

However, things soon unravel for Alice as she uncovers the secret heartache and hopes of those around her. And her most surprising discovery is the life-changing truth which she has kept hidden, even from herself…




Who do you base your characters on?

None of my characters is based wholly on just one person. Ros’s father in Reading Upside Down is the closest I’ve come to simply writing the person I know (my own father), but even he had some tweaks. The rest are very much amalgamations of friends, family, and sometimes people I have met only in passing. I honestly believe that there is no such thing as a boring person. Someone may lecture you non-stop on themselves and their achievements, or be incredibly reserved and say practically nothing at all. But even those traits can make them fascinating and are something to store away for future literary use!


Who do you think your new novel will appeal to?

Well, the moment anything is labeled a romantic comedy, it is assumed it will appeal primarily to women. But I did hear from quite a few of men who had read, and laughed out loud at, Reading Upside Down. Some had read their partner’s copy, but most had bought it for themselves. I really hope the appeal of It Was Youwill be equally broad and that it will be enjoyed by anyone in search of a funny, fast-paced, relatable read.


Your first novel, Reading Upside Down, was self-published before being picked up by publishers internationally. Would you recommend self-publishing as a route for budding authors?

I absolutely would! Before I self-published I had heard numerous stories about how difficult it was for authors to find an agent and then a publisher, with some people spending years trying to find a home for their writing. Once I felt brave enough to share my novel with people other than family members, I knew that I had to get on with it before I changed my mind. Self-publishing seemed the fastest way to do that and it was zero-cost. It was a terrifying plunge to take and, without a marketing machine behind me, turned into rather a lot of hard work, but it was worth it. It put my work out there and ultimately led me to my endlessly patient agent and my equally lovely publishers.


Is the Bristol setting of It Was You important?

I think the honest answer would be that it is very important for me and probably not at all so for the reader! Whilst I love Bristol, and would highly recommend anyone to visit, I’m not writing a guide book. I set it here because I want to know exactly where Alice’s flat is and which corner of The Cambridge Arms she and her friend, Miriam, are sitting in as they catch up on recent gossip.


Are you working on a third novel?

I am and am still at the wonderful stage of laughing at my own jokes and blissfully ignorant as to whether anyone else will find them funny or not. Oh and it’s about a confused author. Well, you know what they say: Write what you know.


It Was You was published by Canelo on 31st October price £1.99 as an ebook.





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