When runaway bride Fiona Clutterbuck crashes the honeymoon camper van, embarrassed and humiliated she knows for sure she can’t go home. Fi’s thrown a lifeline, a job on an oyster farm. But nothing could prepare her for the ride ahead or her wild and unpredictable boss Sean Thornton.
As oyster season approaches, will there be love amongst the oyster beds of Galway Bay or will the circling sharks finally close in?
Jo tells us she got the idea for her book, The Oyster Catcher, while enjoying dinner in Galway with her husband. They were in a restaurant overlooking the sea. The candles were lit, the fire was roaring and they were eating Pacific oysters. Both the view and the delicacy inspired her. When we asked how long it took to write she said as long as an oyster takes to grow, some three years.
A keen fan of romance, she grew up with Little Women and Gone with the Wind, later moving on to authors like Christina Jones, Katie Fforde, Carole Matthews, Wendy Holden. Her comment on being asked how it felt graduating from the NWS to full RNA member…“Absolutely delighted. It’s only because of the friendship and faith from others that I’ve finally become a published writer,” a sentiment many will recognise. She was lucky enough to meet her publisher, Hazel, from Accent Press, through mutual friends in the RNA, telling us, “those parties are great for meeting people”.
Jo began writing when she realised as well as reading romance she wanted to create it. At the time she had three children under three but she was able to go to that place in her head, relegating the untidy toys, piles of washing and other housewifely things to a more convenient time. Later, she would drop one child at school, the next at nursery and, when the baby fell asleep in the car she would stop at the first suitable place and pull out her laptop.
Research for Jo must have been a bit of a mixed blessing, eating lots of oysters in restaurants and at home. She bought them at farmers’ markets then went on a seafood cookery course. Returning to Wales she took a weekend off one cold November to visit an oyster farm in Scotland, donning wet weather gear and wading into water, working in a shed, grading and washing the oysters ready for market. Nothing, she assures us, had ever tasted as good as the champagne and the oysters she had herself picked from the sea.
She is already writing her next book, A Festival Fling, about three women who discover that sometimes in life you have to go back before you can move forward.
Jo celebrated publication day having Sunday lunch at her local pub. I wonder what she ate?
Jo Thomas started her broadcasting career as a reporter and co-presenter with Rob Brydon on BBC Radio 5, reported for BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour and went on to produce at BBC Radio 2 working on The Steve Wright Show. She lives in the Vale of Glamorgan with her writer and producer husband, three children, three cats and a black lab Murray. She writes light hearted romances about food, family, friendships and love; and believes every story should have a happy ending.
Facebook: Jo Thomas Author
Thank you for joining us today, Jo.
Compiled by Natalie and brought to you by the blogging team, Elaine Everest, Natalie Kleinman and Liv Thomas
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