Jo Chumas


In May 2013 Jo Chumas won the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award (ABNA) in the Mystery/Suspense category for her thriller 'The Hidden'. She secured an advance and a publishing deal with Thomas & Mercer (USA). 'The Hidden' was released in October 2013 to much acclaim, in paperback, ebook and audio format. Upon release, it became an immediate number 1 best seller in the US and the UK, and stayed there for many weeks.

The Hidden has become a series which features Book 1 - The Hidden, available in paperback and ebook; Book 2 - The Zephyr; and Book 3 - The Unforgiven. The Zephyr and The Unforgiven will be released in paperback shortly.

Smashwords Interview

Tell me about your three year-old self
From a very early age, say around three, I was very aware of my place in the family.
I was/am the third child of four. I had two older sisters. At the age of three my brother hadn't been born, so at that age I was aware of being at the bottom of the pile.
I remember there being a lot of noise in the family home and I was an observer of the dynamic. I think the dynamic made me recoil into myself and made me a deep thinker. I was aware that I was an uneven number - number 5 in the family - and the symmetry wasn't right. The seeds were also being sown at that young age for my feminism. It was the late 60s and I remember from the age of three being aware of the roles being played out, the father who worked and who arrived home after we children had gone to bed, and the mother who had the household to run. My father was always travelling with his job and I remember this deep fascination with him being away. I didn't miss him as a young child because I didn't know him, but I was fascinated by the concept of being in other places, away from home.
Do you think these memories influenced your decision to become a writer?
Definitely, absolutely. From a very early age I lived 'inside my brain'. My private thoughts became my sanctuary - they still are. I became intensely private, secretive about my feelings and being the odd number in the family, I had to find a strategy for survival. The dynamic became me against the world, and whether this was the case or not, it was how I felt it. This survival involved living 'inside my brain' and inside my diary. I remember feeling - and I still feel this way - a deep connection with my notebook and my pen. It sounds strange, but I got a lot of comfort from the soothing act of taking out a pencil or a pen and striking the page of my notebook with marks that became words and expression, knowing too that nobody would read these words. It was my special place. Everybody needs a special place just for them, not shared with others.
Read more of this interview.

Where to find Jo Chumas online

Twitter: @JoChumas


The Parchment Notebook
Price: Free! Words: 49,720. Language: British English. Published: July 27, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Historical » General, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Spies & espionage
Cairo, Egypt, 1919 Hezba, the rebellious seventeen-year-old daughter of the Sultan of Egypt, lives a life of luxury in a mansion overlooking the river Nile. Locked away in the harem, she has everything she wants, except the one thing that will keep her from madness; her freedom.

Jo Chumas' tag cloud

cairo    egypt    spy thriller    world war 1