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 are lucky enough to work with the very talented illustrator, Gillian Johnson and we have two more parodies lined up with Little, Brown this year.
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 last year 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.
As well as writing my own novels, I run a small novel editing business, noveleditors.com working with authors on their manuscripts and helping them edit their work. 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 an ambassador for Kallikids with whom I run a national short story writing competition for children. I am also a regular 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. I have a love/hate relationship with running and with yoga but do both regularly and I love to swim in the sea.
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.