Jo Reardon lives in Merseyside on the Sefton coast where most of her work is set. A graduate of the Creative Writing MA at UEA, her short stories have appeared in magazines and anthologies including 'The London Magazine' and 'Mafia!' and her short story 'Mr H’s Angels' was runner up in the 2014 Cinnamon Press short story prize; published in the winning anthology, 'Patria & Other Stories' (2015). She collaborates regularly with contemporary visual artists for site specific work - with Iain Andrews where her short story, 'My Mind’s Eye', was displayed alongside Iain’s paintings and published in ‘Mythopoeia’ as part of the 2012 Warrington Contemporary Arts Festival. In 2014, her crime story set on an archaeological dig, 'Still Life with Black Birds', was displayed in Cirencester’s Roman Corinium Museum alongside original linocuts created by Richard Kenton Webb to accompany the text. 'Still Life with Black Birds' will be published in a limited artist's edition by Inky Parrot Press in 2016. Her poetry has appeared in anthologies 'Solstice' (2013), 'Heavenly Bodies' (2014) and most recently, 'My Dear Watson: the very elements in poetry' (2015, Beautiful Dragons Press). She was Literary Manager for the Bush Theatre in London for several years and has written for BBC Radio Drama where she was also a freelance Readings Producer working on new short fiction strand 'Opening Lines'. Jo has a PhD in Creative Writing from Lancaster University and is now an Associate Lecturer for the Open University where she is also a Research Affiliate in English in the Faculty of Arts.
Jo Reardon in 60 seconds
When did you start writing?
What do you love about Short Stories?I love short stories because they are snapshots of a life, or of a moment frozen in time. With the best ones, you can go back and re-read them time and again finding something new each time.
Do you write in other forms?I'm working on a novel at the moment, I also write poetry and radio drama.
What distracts you from writing?Too many things to mention.....family mostly, but in a good way!
Outside of writing, what are your other passions?Music - I sing in a choir, soprano, choral music, aside from writing, I love singing most of all.
What is your favourite book?'The Morville Hours' by Katherine Swift, a book about the creation of a garden which reflects the changing seasons of the year - I've read it over and over
Who are your favourite writers?I don't really have favourites but at the moment, Rose Tremain, Jeanette Winterson and I've also just re-read Olivia Manning's Balkan Trilogy - magnificent.
Where is your dream location?Anywhere by the sea or in the mountains
What one item would you put into Room 101?A very windy day on the coast...
Do you have any advice for new writers?Stick with it, follow your instincts, don't be afraid to listen to constructive criticism and don't be too precious, you need a tough skin.....
ebooks by Jo Reardon :
My Mind's Eye
Anna Maria is an opera singer who, following an accident, has forgotten how to sing. She starts to find her voice again in the most unlikely place and with the most unlikely people, in a place of sanctuary where the strangest character of all is a young boy whom only she can see..... "As I move through the wood, the pylons above my head tick like giant cicadas in the damp late August air. It’s almost dawn, still dark and everyone else is sleeping, apart from the devout few who get up every morning to pray or to do whatever it is they do to save their souls, our souls. We are the outsiders here, the ones who are sick, who came here for healing. I hope they pray for us, I know we need it. Since the accident I feel safer in the dark, before the daylight finds me again. There’s no one here, no sound but my own breath biting back at me, my soft footfalls echoing my thoughts, repeating the fears that haunt me now wherever I go..."
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