About Joanna Rees

Emlyn Rees & Josie Lloyd, photographed by Charlie Hopkinson, © 2015

Emlyn Rees & Josie Lloyd, photographed by Charlie Hopkinson, © 2015

Hello! I’m Joanna (aka Jo/Josie) and I’m a busy mum to three gorgeous girls juggling the school run with a full time career as a novelist. I live half my life in a fantasy world of high drama and half in Brighton with my husband and writing partner, Emlyn Rees.

Whilst the kids are at school Emlyn and walk our beloved dog, Ziggy, by the sea, and then spend the days writing at home.  I like to write the kind of books I’ve always loved to read – high octane dramas with plot twists at every turn.  From the very start of my career, my aim has been to grow and challenge myself as a writer with each new book and I’m very proud of them all.  My ultimate goal is for my  readers to feel like they’ve watched an addictive box set by the time they’ve finished one of my books.

Emlyn and I got together through writing – most notably, the number 1 Sunday Times best selling rom com ‘Come Together’ which was translated into 26 languages and made into a film.  We wrote seven novels together, but most recently have turned our attention to parodies of our favourite kids books. After extensive personal research, we came up with ‘We’re Going On A Bar Hunt’, a take on ‘We’re Going On A Bear Hunt’ which we must have read to the kids thousands of times.  We followed it up with ‘The Very Hungover Caterpillar’ and ‘The Teenage Who Came To Tea’.  We were lucky enough to work with the very talented illustrator, Gillian Johnson on these.  We also have ‘Shabby:  The Jolly Good British Guide to Stress-Free Living’ out, which is a parody of all those hygge books.

As a mum of three kids, I feel alarmed at the way technology is taking over our lives and I’m constantly baffled by the selfie generation who spend their lives glued to their phones.  That said, adults are even worse (myself included), so we wrote ‘Switch It Off’, a fun activity book designed to inspire folks to spend less time on their technology and more time connecting with each other face to face.  It’s certainly made me think and stopped me being so addicted to my phone. Do visit our site www.swoffler.com to find out more.

I know how much of a dream it was to have my first book, ‘It Could Be You’ published by Orion nearly 20 years ago now and I love to nurture and inspire new writers. I often teach creative writing in schools and libraries and I am a contributor to radiogorgeous, an on-line radio station for women.

In my spare time (is there ever such a thing?) I like to read and watch box sets and go to the cinema.  I like running and yoga and I regularly swim in the sea, but my great passion is qi gong, which is an ancient form of chinese yoga.  A blast of slow, meditative breathing and movement always sets me up for my writing day.

My blog on the home page of this site, originally called ‘mumwritesbooks’ was named a top ten mummy blogs site for The Saturday Times in 2014.  It’s a sporadic insight into my life as a writer and all the various things I do.

I can’t claim to be a social media guru, but I’m around on Twitter so come and join me @joannareesbooks.  Or like my Facebook page Joanna Rees Books for more information.

9 responses to “About Joanna Rees

  1. Helen Boshier

    Hi Jo, have sent you a message through facebook – could you let me have a number for you, need to pick your brains for visiting Brighton. If Mum phones you for restaurant ideas in the meantime, could you keep schtumm about any involvement from me, as my turning up will be a surprise! Thanks v much. Would be great to see you if possible then too. xx

  2. Robbie Lee

    Thank you Joanna. What a wonderful read, Romy and Thea in A Twist of Fate. I have already recommended this book to so many readers. I shall now look for your books.
    Ciao Robbie in Snug,Tasmania, Australia

    • Hi Robbie – I just saw your lovely message when updating my blog. I’m not sure if I replied before, but I’m so pleased you enjoyed ‘A Twist of Fate’. My new book, ‘The Key To It All’ is out at the end of the month, so I hope you enjoy that one too. Best wishes from the rainy UK. Jo

  3. Hi my name is Sónia Areia and I have a portuguese website http://www.esmiucaolivro.com .Where I talk about books and authors.
    ItI will be a pleasure to do a publication about you, as you can see in the home page of the website. For that i wonder if is possible to you, answer a few questions about your new book thar will came next april in Portugal?


  4. I was browsing for recommendations for my own web site and located
    your own article, “About Jo Rees | Mum Writes Books”, do you care if perhaps I personally implement a
    handful of of your own tips? I am grateful ,Hermine

  5. Katrien Vandekeybus

    Hi, Katrien from Belgium writing. I’m a bookseller and when the Dutch translation of “Twist of fate” came in, I was immediately drawn to it. I finished the book in 3 days, I loved it so much my son was obligated to eat pizza for dinner the night I was about to read the last chapters (not that he minded :-). I recommend your book to all my clients and hope they enjoy it as much as I did. I look forward to your next amazing story!!
    all the best,

    • Hi Katrien – how lovely to hear from you. Your message has absolutely made my day. I’m thrilled you enjoyed ‘A Twist Of Fate’. I loved writing it and getting feedback like yours is just wonderful. I wanted it to be one of those books it was impossible to put down and to hear that you were gripped to the end is just great. I’m just putting the finishing touches to ‘The Key To It All’ which is out in the UK in February and hopefully out in Holland shortly afterwards. I’ll keep you posted. Thank you again for getting in touch. I hope all is well with you in Belgium. With my very best wishes,
      Jo xxx

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