Jo Reardon is a writer of fiction, poetry and drama. Her short stories and poetry have been published alongside the work of contemporary artists at the Corinium Museum in Cirencester, Warrington Art Gallery and Burgh House Museum in Hampstead and her plays and adaptations have been produced on BBC Radio 4. Her first novel, 'The Weight of Bones', was shortlisted for the Cinnamon Press Debut Novel Award and will be published by Cinnamon's new imprint Leaf by Leaf in Autumn 2020. She is a Lecturer in Creative Writing at The Open University and lives in the North West of England on the Sefton coast. Jo has a blog about writing in 'A Writer Retreats' which focuses on finding retreat and solace in the natural world and how writers find space to write on her website: joreardon.blog
Jo Reardon in 60 seconds
When did you start writing?In Liverpool, where I feel most at home
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?Novels. My first novel, a crime novel, is coming out very soon and I've another almost completed. I also write poetry.
What distracts you from writing?Too many things to mention.....work and family mostly, but in a good way!
Outside of writing, what are your other passions?Music - I sing in a choir and I play golf. Not brilliant at either but they both offer escape from work and feed the writing.
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?Rose Tremain always, Jeanette Winterson and Henning Mankell's crime novels were such an inspiration for me
Where is your dream location?Anywhere by the sea or in the mountains
What one item would you put into Room 101?The selfishness of others, am I allowed that?.
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.....
Work 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..."
Mr H's Angels
London in the eighteenth century is no place to raise a child alone, without money or a place to live. Lili knows that the only hope her son has of living a better life is to take him to the Foundling Hospital where he might, if he's lucky, find a place in Mr Handel's famous choir. "Lili is small and the muscle in her arm stretches and aches from carrying the baby all the way across London. He is tied to her waist by a shawl, the fringes of the cambric blending into her dress so that, from a distance, no one can even see that he is there." ''Mr H's Angels' was shortlisted for the Cinnamon Short Story Prize in 2014
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