Ask An Author: Jodi Perry (August 28 – September 1)

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Today we have the first of our Ask An Author segments that will tie in with a Book Club read, so I can’t wait to read the questions that our members have for Jodi Perry.

We extend an extremely warm welcome to the talented Jodi Perry, who has written ten novels yet is releasing a debut this week. My review of Nineteen Letters will be live tomorrow…. if I go and finish writing it.

About Jodi Perry, in her own words

I was born in Sydney, and have lived here my entire life. I’ve always been an avid reader, and secretly hoped to one day write a story of my own—although it’s not something I ever thought I was capable of doing. I left school when I was fifteen, and have had no formal writing training.

My real dream was to become a mother, it’s something I’d desperately wanted since I was a little girl. I always thought that when I was ready to start a family, it would happen. But I soon found out, what comes easy for some, isn’t the case for others. In 2004, after many years of heartache, that dream finally became a reality. I was thirty-three years old.

I gave up my career, and focused all my time on being a wife, and a mother. My son quickly became my life.

Six years passed and he started primary school, and to be honest I felt lost. It took me months to get used to not having him with me 24/7. I think that’s when I realised that I’d lost my identity. I was a wife and a mother, but I wasn’t sure who Jodi was anymore.

With so much spare time on my hands, I decided to finally sit down and write my first story. I had no intentions of ever publishing it, I merely wanted to prove to myself that I could do it. In late 2013, I finished my first full length novel.

In June, 2014, after a lot of persistence from my family, I self-published my first book under the pen name of J.L. Perry. I was 42 years old. Over the next two years I wrote and published another three books, finishing off the series.

In September, 2015, I published my first standalone. It was called Bastard. Like my other four books, it was a contemporary romance … The protagonist was damaged by the effects of growing up as an illegitimate child, hence the title. This story rocketed to #1 after its release, and stayed there for some time. A few weeks later I received an email from publishing giants, Hachette, and by December 2015, I’d signed a five book deal with them. A few months later, I signed foreign translation rights for Bastard, to France and Hungry.

Between mid 2016 and early 2017 I published another four titles, they were all #1 bestsellers.

My tenth novel, Nineteen Letters, is my first novel published under my real name, Jodi Perry. I wanted to distinguish it from my other titles. This story is different, and although still romance, the genre leans more towards women’s fiction. I have already secured a UK publishing deal through Sphere, and an imprint for Little Brown, and signed over foreign translation rights to Germany.

Over the past three years I’ve been lucky enough to travel to the UK and US numerous times, to promote my stories at romance events, and meet my readers.

It’s true what they say, when you do something you love it doesn’t feel like work, but more importantly, I know who Jodi is now … she’s an Author!

 Nineteen Letters Synopsis

The 19th of January, 1996 … I’ll never forget it. It was the day we met. I was seven and she was six. It was the day she moved in next door, and the same day I developed my first crush on a girl.

Then tragedy struck. Nineteen days after our wedding day, she was in an accident that would change our lives forever. When she woke from her coma, she had no memory of me, of us, of the love we shared.

That’s when I started writing her letters.The stories of our life. Of when we met. About the happier times, and everything we’d experienced together.

What we had was far too beautiful to be forgotten.

If you love Nicholas Sparks’ bestselling novel THE NOTEBOOK, you will devour the compelling, emotional storytelling of Jodi Perry’s Nineteen Letters. It will make you laugh, and it will make you cry.

 

For the next week we have Jodi Perry on call to answer your questions, so if there’s anything you want to know about her career or any of her books please write your question in the comments section below and she will get back to you. Please do remember our authors are busy people too so you won’t necessarily get an immediate answer but all questions asked before Friday the 1st of September will be answered.

For more great authors check back in the coming weeks, we will have authors in to coincide with book club reads. If you haven’t heard about our book club you should check out the Beauty and Lace Club.

Nineteen Letters is published by Hachette Australia and is available now from Angus & Robertson Bookworld, Booktopia and where all good books are sold.

31 thoughts on “Ask An Author: Jodi Perry (August 28 – September 1)

    1. We are thrilled to have you. And now I need to drag my head out of the next book and finish your review. 🙂
      Have a great week.

  1. Hi Jodi! Nineteen Letters was such an intense tear jerker, I loved every page and look forward to writing my review. What I want to know is… Is your husband as sweet and romantic as Braxton? Mine isnt! Haha I mean he’s great but Braxton OMG sweeeeet !

    1. Hi Alison. I would love to say yes, but unfortunately the answer is no. He’s a truck driver, and although he can be incredibly sweet at times, he’s worlds away from Braxton. Every woman deserves a Braxton in their lives. Lol

      1. I recently did a video through my publishers where I described Braxton as my future husband. My husband watched it and didn’t talk to me for three days.

        1. This is hilarious – you wouldn’t really want your husband to be exactly like Braxton, would you – it would be so difficult living up to perfection!!!

  2. Hi, Jodi and Michelle,
    I just LOVED 19 Letters and I’m thrilled I was one of the lucky ones selected to receive it. It must have taken lots of research to come up with reality and not just fiction. I’m wondering how you do your research for something like this?

    Review will not be easy because I’d be ready to eliminate anyone who gave away the plot and/or ending, which I loved. I’ve always believed that a book can’t be successful unless the author loves what they do and this is born out in 19 Letters. Thanks SO much.

      1. I have lost track of how many of your reviews I’ve read, Michelle and, in my opinion, there is NO ONE who does a better and more balanced book review than YOU. I’m not trying to get Brownie points, just telling it like it is! You have an incredible gift and we’re lucky to have you.

        1. Thanks Trish,
          I don’t make these comments to fish for compliments either, but sometimes I struggle to get them right. And this one was tough, especially to be careful of spoilers. I think that’s always one of my biggest fears, will I give away something that I shouldn’t.

          1. You never give the plot away Michelle in your reviews. Your reviews ARE fabulous and because they are so good, it makes me want to read most of the books that you do review.

            Accept these compliments 🙂

          2. I’m really pleased you didn’t have your review up before we were able to find out so much more about Jodi, Michelle. It was great feeling as though I knew the author as well as the book before writing my review and yes, once again, you’ve managed to give the essence of the story without giving anything away – a real gift. It’s fascinating but not surprising that all reviewers have given 5 stars. Definitely looking forward to reading other works from Jodi – and the next book!!

          3. Hi Trish, I am going to try and schedule them like this where we have a book club and an Ask An Author, but we won’t always be able to do it before you have been able to read….
            And thanks. I agonised trying to decide what I should and shouldn’t say. 🙂

    1. To be honest, I don’t do a lot of research. I really hate that part … or maybe I’m just incredibly lazy. Haha. What I do, is write from the heart, and about the things I know. There’s a little part of me, and my life, in every story I write. What I loved about Nineteen Letter’s, was that I got to reminisce about my own childhood and first love. In regards to Braxton’s fathers illness, my family recently went through this with my grandmother, so his part of the story was based on what we experienced with her, and Braxton’s feelings were everything I had felt during this time. I’m so glad you enjoyed their story, and I look forward to reading your review. <3

  3. You’re right. It would be hard to live up to perfection. I love my husband just the way he is, but I did tell him I wouldn’t mind if he to took some notes when he listens to the Nineteen Letters audio, haha

  4. I was also one of the lucky participants of getting to read this book. From the first page I was totally absorbed in the pages. Every now and then a book arrives for you to read and you are totally blown away with the storyline. This book has left such a big impression on my heart. It was so beautiful to read.

    I wonder as an author when you write do you actually visualise the story happening in your mind. Hard to explain but when I read a story, I can actually visualise the characters, surroundings and it feels like as I am reading, I am watching a movie at the same time.

    It’s good to know that you are going to use your full name now on your books as everytime I see it on your books, I will always remember 19 Letters. I look forward to reading more of your novels. Take care. 🙂

    1. Thank you so much. I’m so happy to year that you enjoyed this story. It was the easiest and most enjoyable story I’ve written. And yes, the scenes do play out in my head, kind of like a movie you could say. I’ve heard authors say that their characters talk to them, it’s kind of like that for me. I don’t actually hear them speak, but instead I have images or scenarios pop into my head at the most unlikely times. They are usually extremely detailed. Right down to conversations, body language and movements. Even when I’m not thinking about the story I’m currently writing. It may even been further on in the story, and not where I’m up to. When this happens I need to get it down regardless. I’ve learnt in the past, if I don’t I forget. Eg. It’s nothing for me to write chapter nine, when I’m only up to chapter three. I’ve even written the entire ending when I’m only a few chapters in. I know authors that map out their entire story, including characters and chapters. I don’t do this. I never have. Once the story idea comes, it’s usually so strong, I have to sit down and get it out. I just write and write and hope for the best when I get to the end.

      1. So glad you understood what I was trying to say. Even when I have finished a book, I find I can’t start another book straight away as I need to stay with the characters that I have just read about (that is, if the story was so beautiful)..

        I have to stay with Jemma and Braxton and their families for a bit because I have become a part of their family too. I am absorbing all their love for each other.

        1. Aww. I love that, and totally know where you’re coming from. Usually when I finish writing a story I take some time off before I start my next one. When you sleep, eat and breathe your characters for so long, it’s hard to just turn that off. It’s even harder to say goodbye. I miss them. They become like family to me.

  5. Hi Jodi! Thank you for writing 19 letters! Where did you get the inspiration from to get Braxton to write the letters to aid in his wife’s recovery from memory loss?

    1. Hi Katrina. It was actually from a real life event. I saw a story on the today show one morning. A lady had an accident about a week after her wedding. She hit her head on the steering wheel and lost all memory of her wedding day, so her husband recreated their special day. That’s what sparked the idea for me. I was brushing my teeth and thought, that would make an excellent story. But of course I went one step further and wiped her memory completely. Within minutes the story started to play out in my mind, and I thought letters were the perfect way to help remind Jemma of their past.

  6. WARNING – IF YOU HAVEN’T READ THE BOOK THIS QUESTION CONTAINS A SPOILER

    Hi Jodi, as you are aware I absolutely loved this book – and I have already on lent it to a friend.

    I was wondering, how did you get the amnesia stuff so right? gut feeling? research?

    I was particularly impressed with how you didn’t go down the Hollywood route of some miraculous return of memory, because as anyone who has suffered a significant head injury and memory loss will tell you there is always that weird blank where you know stuff should be, but isn’t anymore and can’t be reached no matter how much you try.

    1. My grandmother had it. My mother cared for her for 10 years. She passed two years ago. I based Braxton’s father on her, and everything we went through during this time. Tragically, we found out last week that my father has the early stages of Alzheimer’s. I’m completely devastated by this news because I know what’s ahead. Although I’m 45 years old, I’m still his little girl. I’m not sure how I’m going to cope when he no longer remembers me.

      1. I’m sorry to read about your grandmother, and understand your devastation on finding out your father has early stage Alzheimers – it’s a cruel condition. The only thing I can suggest is that if your father is aware of his condition that you do everything possible to create good memories, photos, audio visual memories etc. Stuff for you to hold onto in the bad times to come x

        But I think you may have misread my question, I was actually asking about how you were able to portray Jemma’s amnesia so accurately, not Braxton’s father’s Alzheimers.

  7. At 42 writing your first book and many more to follow . How do you decide what to write next ? After 19 letters your heart must be full and recovering but happy all st the same time lol .
    Are you an emotional writer cause that book had be sobbing lol

    Any hints to future writers ? Anyone not sure how to sandwich together ideas ?

    Loved 19 letters .. and I had to giggle at your poor hubby’s feeling of betrayal .. hope he’s recovered ok ha ha

    1. I usually write whatever story is strongest in my head at the time. Although, Nineteen Letters was screaming to come out back in 2015, when I first got the idea for it, but my publishers wanted me to finish the other two stories I was writing at the time. It was hard to try and push this one aside. And yes, I am definitely an emotional writer. I write from the heart, and I shed a few tears when I wrote this book.

      And my husband didn’t talk to me for three days, but he’s over it now. Haha.

  8. Hi Jodi

    I loved your book Nineteen Letters!

    I couldn’t put it down and had tears streaming down my face!

    I think I’m in love with Braxton! Ha ha!

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