Jo Seysener and I met on social media. She’s from Australia which is one of my favorite places and one I want to visit.
Tell us about yourself.
Jo Seysener is a mum of three crazy kids and a rambunctious, 32kg lapdog. When she’s not exposing her kids to cult stories from her childhood, she can be found attempting to re-life browning herbs and tortured orchids. She writes picture books for children through Library for All – a non-profit organisation encouraging literacy in third world nations. She also writes speculative fiction for adults, collecting a growing number in anthologies. Jo lives with her husband near Brisbane, Australia. She adores alpacas.
I’m a SAHM of three amazing, young children who both give me joy and test my love daily. I live near Brisbane, Australia with my husband and 32kg lounge shark and muse. My kitchen shelf is decorated with tortured orchids and herbs in their umpteenth season of browning off. I adore alpacas.
When did you know you wanted to be an author?
Like so many authors, I wrote from a young age. Then I graduated, began working several jobs to pay rent and survive uni…began working on my career. Writing suddenly wasn’t so significant.
At 34 I had my second child, and as a stay at home mum I have time (you, hearing those scoffs in the back ground – with kids, how do you have time?). I found it when the kids had an afternoon nap on hot days, hiding beneath ceiling fans away from the sun or on fresh mornings waiting for dance lessons to finish. Plus, we worked hard and were triply blessed with three sound sleepers just after my third child arrived.
I got involved with local groups, slammed myself with my first NanoWriMo and joined a stack of groups on social media. Suddenly I was in my element writing every day, and loving it.
What genres do you like to read? Are these the same genres you write in?
Writing – I write picture books for Library for All, a not-for-profit Brisbane based organization who aim to increase literacy in third world nations. They are wonderful to work with and always looking for new authors. http://Libraryforall.org
I also write speculative fiction for adults and am dabbling in romance this November for NanoWriMo.
I love to read college romances, dystopia and post-apocalyptic (Hugh Howey is my spirit animal). I adore historical fiction with an enormous word count that takes an age to finish, and I hate book hangovers ( thanks so much, Sarah J. Maas).
Is your book for adults, young adults or children?
I write for all – titles like Greg and the Egg and duology Shari’s Busy Family & Feeding Shari are aimed at younger children and families; Veritas’ Ark and Sideshow Alley are speculative fiction for the New Adult market and adults. Next year will see more in the YA market.
What is your current release or project?
Sideshow Alley is on preorder now. It’s my first shot at publishing an anthology. A few years ago when I began meeting local authors, the wonderful ladies at the Springfield Writers Group helped get me on my feet and steer me in the right direction. I was blessed to be in their first two anthologies, and it made me realise I needed to give back. I fell into a group of uncertain and emerging local writers and decided to offer them the same opportunity as I was given. This morning I created a pre-order link, announcing 16 new author’s first publication. Cue mass celebration.
Tell us about the key characters.
Sideshow Alley is an anthology based around the magic and mystery of the carnival – and those who live there, focusing on both the light and dark side of surrealism.
Veritas’ Ark follows a young woman in search of herself in a punishing environment. Far in our future, the Earth has rebelled against humanity’s abuse. One wrong move – a sin – could be devastating to the community. Veritas is great at ignoring the rules, though Jase usually keeps her on track. Mind, they get into their fair share of trouble, with Jase’s younger brother Nestor, who seems determined to make Veritas’ life hell, as the catalyst.
Share an excerpt
His frame filled the doorway; one hand holding the door open, the other braced on the door frame. Lean muscles bunched beneath the soft fabric our weavers made, tendons lacing tanned forearms. He looked too big for such a fragile place but I knew he wouldn’t break anything. After all, he was the one who built the greenhouse.
His lips parted and he inhaled sharply. “V, what did you do?”
The words came out fast, breath hissing along with it. My grin faded and I followed his gaze as it swept the room with precision, missing nothing.
The greenhouse was a long, slim building, the delicate glass panes held firm by giant buttress roots Jase had encouraged to grow, thick trunks that framed my gardens. Where light normally shone through was covered with dark green foliage, the heart shaped leaves overly large just the way I had designed them. But that wasn’t what held his attention.
Plants grew out of control all the time. It was the Earth’s prerogative. I was allowed to cultivate, even cross a few plants together. Pollinate what the insects couldn’t. But that was where it ended. I wasn’t allowed to Create; certainly not like this.
Tiny, glowing balls hovered in the air, suspended on thin vines almost invisible in the dim light. One of the Sky People had described a sun to me and I had been determined to make one, even though I knew it would get me into strife.
Jase stared at the mini suns, his hand drifting up to touch one. It bobbed against his skin and he grinned. I sighed with relief until his eyes flashed at me. I gulped.
“You shouldn’t have done this,” he growled, voice low enough to send sparks up my spine. I shifted uncomfortably. I hated Jase being angry with me. The corner of his mouth tugged us as he continued playing with the plant. It wrapped his around his arm, crawling up to his neck. He batted it away.
“This is too much,” he murmured. “You’re pushing it too far.”
Do you have a favorite scene?
Later in the story there is a community dinner scene at the edge of the clearing. Jase and Veritas disappear into the trees to a favourite rock where they watch twilight fall over the frozen skyscape where rainbows dance above them. Veritas watches Jase flirt with another girl after an enormous day, wondering if he should be spending more time with someone far more normal that her.
Through her bluster – the great ‘fake it ‘til you make it’ attitude – Veritas shows a vulnerability she usually hides from everyone – including herself.
Social media links:
Blog link www.fourquills.com