Joining me today and answering me Author in the Spotlight questions in Australian author Jodi Gibson. I’m sorry I haven’t had time to fit it in because I really like the sound of it. Hopefully I’ll be able to read it at some point. Over to Jodi to tell us more about her own book and some of her favourite reads.
First of all, would you tell my blog readers a little about yourself?
I’m an Australian author and although The Memories We Hide is my first novel, I enjoy writing across genres. From contemporary drama with a hint of romance, through to more light-hearted rom-coms. I live in regional Australia on an in-town farm with my husband, daughters and a collection of animals.
What inspired you to start writing?
I’ve always loved story and character. Always loved reading and movies. My favourite subjects at school were literature and drama, so I guess you could say it’s storytelling and characterization that drew me in. I had a story in my head that had been swirling around for years, and when I say years, I mean for about fifteen years! Basically, I wanted to get it out of my head so I began writing it! It’s still sitting in the metaphorical bottom draw, but getting it out of my head did two things. One, it allowed more story ideas begin to surface in my mind, and two, it showed me how much I loved writing.
Tell me about your journey to publication
After writing the first story, I went on to write another couple of novels through NaNoWriMo. At first I was writing just for myself and no intentions of seeking publication. But, about six years ago, I changed my mind and decided that I wanted to share my stories. I didn’t know much about the publication process so I did what most do and began querying agents and publishers. I had a few small bites of interest, but nothing eventuated. This was around the time where self-publishing was becoming more prominent and also more reputable. The more I researched into independent publishing the more it appealed to me. I could be in full control (yes control freak here!), and I could get my stories out there and keep writing. So I made the decision to go indie. And although it’s full on being both the author and the publisher, I’m loving it!
In a nutshell, what is your latest book about?
The Memories We Hide is the story of Laura Murphy who returns to her home-town ten years after the tragic death of her boyfriend Ryan Taylor. Upon her return, she finds herself unable to keep the memories she’s hidden for so long from resurfacing. She realises she must reconcile memory and truth and find out what happened the night Ryan died so she can move on with her life and possibly even open herself up to finding love.
How did you come up with the title for your book?
It was one of the hardest things to do! I think I wrote the novel under about three different names during the writing and rewriting phase. It was only during the final draft when the name came to me out of nowhere, but it seemed so perfectly fitting. It was a relief!
How did you celebrate publication day?
It’s not every day your release your debut novel so I gave myself time to enjoy it. I had so many messages and comments and shares on social media, email and personally. It was overwhelming, but in a good way. I received hugs and love from my family, and a big bunch of flowers from my best friend. The night of the release, I also held a virtual book launch party on Facebook Live complete with chocolate and of course some sparkling wine!
Do you have a work in progress just now?
I have a few things on the go right now. Another contemporary drama which is in third draft almost ready to go off to my developmental editor. And I also have a series of three rom-coms which I’m working on. I’m planning on 2020 being a big year of releases!
What’s your favourite book you’ve read in the past few months? Or favourite three if you really can’t choose!
Oh, such a hard question! I’ll have to say three.
I loved The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary. Such a lovely, heart-warming read.
I also loved WildFlower Ridge by Maya Linnell, who is an Australian author of rural romance. This was her debut novel and the beginning in a series and I can’t wait to read the next one.
And another Australian Author Kaneana May released her debut novel The One, which was a fun read too.
What are you reading just now?
I’m currently reading The Mill on Magnolia Lane by Tilly Tennant (and loving it), and also Wimmera by Mark Brandi which is very dark, but hard to put down. (September 2019). I love to read in different genres which I guess is why I write both drama and rom com!
If you were on Desert Island Discs, what one book would you take with you?
Can I take two?
Me Before You by JoJo Moyes and Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman. And I’d sneak in Guilt by Matt Nable too.
Is there a book you’d like to see made into a film? Who would be in your dream cast?
How can people follow you or connect with you on social media?
I’m most active on Facebook and Instagram, and occasionally on Twitter, but you’ll find me on all three under @jfgibsonwriter.
I also have a website and a blog which can be found at www.jfgibson.com.au
And finally, if you could be a character in any book you have read, who would it be and why?
Bridget Jones. She’s unashamedly herself, warts and all!
My thanks to Kelly at Love Books Tours for inviting me to take part in the tour. The Memories We Hide is available now in ebook and paperback and you can order your copy online here: The Memories We Hide
From the back of the book
Can you trust your memories?
Laura Murphy thought she could, but that was before she returned home.
When 27-year-old Laura returns to her home town ten years after the tragic death of her then-boyfriend, Ryan Taylor, she isn’t prepared for the nostalgia and memories that resurface. After discovering a newspaper clipping alluding to the fact that there may have been more to Ryan’s death than first thought, Laura is compelled find out what happened that fateful night.
Reconnecting with childhood friend Tom Gordon, she begins to unravel the blurred lines of truth and memory. But Tom holds a secret of his own. Not only is he facing losing his family farm, but what he knows could destroy any chance of a future with Laura.
Will Laura have the strength to confront her memories? Or will Tom’s secret be the key to unlocking the truth?