To celebrate the publication of Help! I'm an Alien, I'm pleased to welcome author, Jo Franklin, onto the blog to tell us about her writing habits.
How do you feel about Help I’m an Alien being published?
Excited. It’s like I’ve been queuing for the funfair all my life and now I am at the very top of the helter skelter in my hessian sack, ready to go. Look out world, here I come!
Can you give my readers a one line pitch of the book, so they can get a feel of it?
Daniel knows he doesn’t fit in with the people around him so when his incredibly annoying sister tells him he is an alien, adopted by their parents, he believes her and decides that he must get back to his home planet. So begins a journey with hilarious and unexpected consequences.
When it comes to starting a new project, are you a planner or a pantser?
I'm a converted planner having been caught out so many times with no story arc, story end or sometimes not even a story at all. I am now evangelical about planning because lack of story is the thing I see most in unpublished manuscripts. Having said that, Help I’m an Alien started off as a three day scrawl- fest after the muse struck me like a thunderbolt. But then I stopped writing and sorted out a plot before I carried on.
When and where do you write?
I developed my writing routine by going to Peckham Library for five years. It’s a massive library with over a 1,000 visitors a day so you have to get there early if you want a decent table which helped with my routine. But now I have a dog, I have to stay at home so he doesn’t get into mischief.
I still try and by very disciplined. All household chores are neglected after 8am and I try and leave admin, emails and social media until after Bargain Hunt, lunch but that doesn’t always work out.
Do you have a daily word count?
I’m more concerned about chapters because the writing takes on its own momentum as the chapter progresses. I find it very hard to write a second chapter in a day. It’s some sort of psychological block. I need therapy.
Who are your favourite #UKMG authors?
Cathy Cassidy and Ali Sparkes. I admire their books and their work ethic. I’ve met Cathy briefly but have yet to meet Ali. Maybe I’ll run into her at a Premier Inn one day. She is always on the road. I think that Frozen in Time by Ali Sparkes is my favourite contemporary Middle Grade book.
Which unpublished authors do you think we need to look out for?
I’m a member of an awesome critique group. Two of us are now published – me and
Tasha Kavanagh – but the other three deserve success. Emma Styles, Alli Jeronimus and Jennifer Miles. Also my former crit buddy Matt Totsky who lives in Detroit, is a great writer.
|Me, Tasha, Alli and Jen at Tasha’s launch for Things We Have in Common
Help I’m an Alien is the first in the series published by Troika Books and is available to buy now.
You can find out more about Jo at: