“…terrified at what I was doing but unable to stop myself…” - Jeffrey Eugenides
PETA JO has been writing since she was little, plagiarising RL Stine novels in her maths pad and eventually writing her own YA thriller about orphan children being sold on the black market.
But rather than send it to a publisher, she decided to embark on a much-less intimidating career in journalism instead.
She graduated from University of Southern Queensland majoring in journalism and mass communications and was a newspaper editor by the age of 25.
One slow news day, she decided to pen a short story based on all the weddings she had been in. After a creative writing course through University of Queensland, the short story became the start of a full-length novel which won the Queensland Arts Council’s New Regional Writer Scholarship.
She finished her debut novel during a stay at Varuna Writers House and began work on a second.
In between rejection letters, Peta had a couple of children and began writing a blog on her parenting misadventures. One such blog post won her the Kleenex Mums’ inaugural So You Think You Can Blog competition.
At this time, she decided to self-publish her first novel. She launched it on stage before hundreds at Queensland’s largest bridal expo and toured Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria talking at libraries and book stores, blogging all the way.
Now a mother of three, she continues to work on her third book, write a monthly parenting column, review books by other Australian writers and work from home for various newspapers around Queensland and New South Wales.
She still gets sweaty palms sending emails to publishers.
What would you do to help out a mate? How far would you go?
The Crushing Season is the tale of five school friends - the trials they face as individuals is softened by their undeniable bond with each other. But one of them has a secret past that could destroy everything.
This is an engaging story about friendship, family, love and loss. It will leave you in tears but fill you with hope.