This week’s guest on Books Spark Joy is Jodi Gibson. Jodi is an Australian author of both contemporary drama and light-hearted rom-com. She lives with her family on a mini-farm in regional Victoria where she spends her time running the family business, writing, reading, baking, and tending to farm animals. The Memories We Hide, a contemporary drama released in August 2019, is Jodi’s debut novel.
Where do you keep your books? I have a bookshelf near my work desk that is overflowing with books. I try and clean it out each year, but somehow it always seems to fill up again. I am also building quite a collection on my Kindle. Fortunately, that is much easier to keep neat and tidy!
Do you hoard or pass your books along? I’m in two minds about this. I’m a minimalist at heart, but books are the one thing that bring me joy so I tend to keep them. But, I do like to give books away through my newsletter from time to time.
How do you feel about lending books? Again, two minds. It’s the author thing. Although it’s nice to share books, and of course it makes reading more affordable, I do have in mind that the author doesn’t get anything from sharing books around. I’d rather borrow a book from a library, at least that way the author is entitled to public lending rights.
How does your bookshelf tell the story of your life? I don’t know about the story of my life, but it certainly is a canvas for the type of person I am in that I don’t like to be put into a box. I read widely. From women’s fiction to historical, to rural romance, crime novels, psychological thrillers, some that would be classed as literary novels, and I love a good biography or memoir. But I’m also a realist in life, so fantasy and sci-fi are fairly absent from my shelves. So that pretty much sums me up my personality!
How do you organize your books? I’m one of those who loves aesthetics and so I try to order my books in shades of colour. Yep, I’m one of those! It doesn’t always work out that way, and yes, it does make it hard to find a book If I’m looking for one in particular.
Are you a print or digital reader? Both. I love the texture, smell and tactile nature of a real book. You just don’t get that from a device. But, I do love the practicality of a digital reader, and the fact that ebooks generally tend to be cheaper means I can buy more of them!
Do you write surrounded by books? I wouldn’t say surrounded by them, although it is my goal one day to have my own writing office where I can keep all my books and write overlooking our yard and paddock. For now, they sit near my workspace but I tend to write on my laptop so I can vary where I write. I write sometimes on the kitchen table, sometimes on the couch, but most of all I love writing outside on the back veranda.
Do you read while you’re working on a book and if so what do you read? Usually. Sometimes I find, especially when I’m working on a first draft, that I can’t read as I don’t want to be influenced by what I’m reading and accidentally bring those voices into my story. If I’m redrafting or editing though, yes, I will read as much as I can!
Share a book that immediately sparks joy in you when you hold it? Just one? I’d have to say JoJo Moyes, Me Before You. When I first read it, I barely made it past the first chapter. But then, I came back to it a few months later and I read it in almost one sitting*. I love the character of Louisa Clark. She’s the perfect flawed hero and the voice of the novel is just like a warm blanket. From a craft perspective, I think it could be one of the most perfectly written novels (not that there is such a thing, but if there was, this would be it).
(*might be a slight exaggeration)
I also have to add in here a little-known book by Ryan Quinn, called The Fall. That was a book that I read quite a few years ago, but still to this day the imagery and intricacy of the story is vivid in my mind.
Click here to grab your ebook of The Memories We Hide.
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