Interview with Jo Cattell

Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
There are so many that come to mind but the one I think I remember the most is a story called Gypsy From Nowhere by Sharon Wagner. I remember it because my mom and I read it together. It was about a horse and I loved it because it was just after my parents split up and it was my time with my mom.
When did you first start writing?
I have to say 7th grade. We were given an assignment in my English class to write a story about the aftermath of a nuclear war. I didn't do very well on the assignment but I started writing more and more. It became my escape from reality when things were bad in my life. In high school instead of doing my school work I would just sit and write silly stories about my friends. It just grew from there.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
The first story I ever wrote was about the aftermath of a nuclear war. The topic was picked by the class and we all had to write about it. It was really hard for me to do at that age because at the time I was terrified because I thought it would happen. I had to write about the destruction of my home and loss of family and friends. I remember thinking that when I was done that story, I was going to write one the way I wanted to about something happy.
What is your writing process?
Once I come up with an idea, I spend a lo of time playing it out in my head. I have to really think on it and let it brew so to speak. I can't say I really work with an outline. It's more so letting the characters speak to me and tell my their stories. I can't tell you how many time I have been with friends or with my family and just zone out as the story starts to take place.
What's the story behind your latest book?
My brother died when he was 34. I remember someone saying that he passed before his time. That always stayed with me and I started questioning what if you do died before you were actually supposed to? What happens then? Where would you go? Are you there to comfort your family? What awaits you in he afterlife if you can't go to Heaven right away? The story just started to form and then Secrets Of Autumn was born.
How do you approach cover design?
I think this is the part I really like taking part in. My first challenge is finding cover models for the book. That can start when I about half way done. Once I've found who I'm going to use, I pick scenes from the book to use promotion pictures and meet with the models about it. A lot of the time, my models follow me on how the story is going, about the characters they will portray, some will even read the book as I'm writing. When we have or meeting to talk photo shoot I ask them for input. But a lot of the times, while on shoot and watching the models interact with each other, the ideas come and the cover is final born.
Where do you find your cover models an how have they influnaced you?
I usually look for cover models who are natural looking. I've never gone to an agency. I've found a majority through friends, or my photographers. I've even found some at places I've go to regularly, like the gas station or super market. To me it turns into magic when I find the right ones. When I get them together to talk shop or even just to hang out, I get to know their personalities. A lot of the models traits are involved in Secrets Of Autumn. I've done a lot of promoting with this group for different books and when I asked them to be involved I ended up making the characters a lot like each of them.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
The greatest joy comes in many things. I love how supportive my family are about me being an author. It's great to hear my youngest tell people "My mommy is an author." But I think the thing that really inspires me the most is when someone writes a review about my book and how it moved them. I've had reviews where someone said it reminded them of their first love or something they went through as a teen. To me that means I've accomplished what I set out to do, and that's tell a story that has touched someone.
What do your fans mean to you?
My fans, the few that I have are awesome! I love hearing their feed back and if I can, sitting down and hearing what they liked or didn't like about a story I wrote. I'm looking forward in hopefully meeting more fans a I go along in my writing journey.
What's your advice for aspiering authors?
My advice is don't be afraid to take that next step. It's scary but in the end, once you've done it, you don't have to look back and say what if or I wish. Find people who will help mold you into the writer you want to be and never stop learning from others. Most of all, never close your eyes to anything that could lead to inspiration, even if it's a piece of paper on the street. And always try to inspire other wither with your words or actions. You have a chance to touch someone's life.
Published 2015-07-19.
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Books by This Author

Secrets of Autumn
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 83,170. Language: English. Published: September 19, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Supernatural
(5.00 from 1 review)
What happens if you die before your time? Will Autumn Milley's soul be wiped from existence completely?