Who is Jo Franklin?
My name is Jo Franklin and once upon a time I was a child. I often get asked what I was like when I was growing up, so here’s some details.
This is me when I was five. Do you like my kitten? His name was Sparkie and he was half Burmese. He was called Sparkie because he had a vicious streak and used to bite everyone, but he never bit me.
Sparkie used to torment our German Pointer, Boris, who was much bigger than him but was a soppy coward.
I lived on a farm, but I wanted to be in the Famous Five. I made camps in the woods and played with Boris. My favourite Famous Five book is ‘Five go to Smugglers Top’.
When I was eleven, I went to boarding school. It was nothing like Hogwarts. The food was awful, the uniform was hideous, there was no TV and I could never be on my own because I had to share a dorm with twenty other girls. I hated it! But it did give me loads of time to read and I started making up elaborate stories in my head.
I went to university in London. I was supposed to be studying English but I spent most of my time going to see bands. I was a post-punk Indie rock chick. My all time favourite band is The Smiths, followed by the Arctic Monkeys and Franz Ferdinand.
I had an evening job which paid for my rent, gig tickets and hairspray. There was a very limited selection of hair products back then, but it didn’t stop me having spiky hair.
When I finished my degree, I started to write. My first books were teen, unrequited love stories but they never had an ending.
After a break of ten years, I picked up my pen again and started looking for an agent and a publisher.
Nine books later, I wrote Help! I’m an Alien and now like all true aliens I am hoping for world domination. I am a children’s author.
My favourite book is ‘Member of the Wedding’ by Carson McCullers. It’s the story of 12 year old Frankie, who doesn’t feel she belongs anymore, so she tries to become a member of her brother’s wedding. I cry every time I read it.
My biggest influences are Morrissey and Sylvia Plath.
They both write amazingly astute words about deep feelings with a slightly skewed outlook on life.
Syliva Plath died on 11th February 1963. 11th February is my birthday (different year though) and this gave me a special connection to her.
Morrissey has a reputation for being ‘miserable’. This is utter nonsense. He can be very funny.
I became a vegetarian when I was 17. It was as close as I could get to becoming a member of The Smiths. I’m still a vegetarian now.
I don’t get to see many bands these days because I am busy making camps in the woods with my own children, but I love to meet up with other writers to talk about our books, our successes and our rejections. I also like to meet readers.
Now I am a professional author, I am a member of all sorts of author organisations with fancy names.
Society of Authors – SocA
National Association of Writers in Education – NAWE
Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators – SCBWI
Children’s Writers and Illustrators for Stories and Literacy – CWISL
Contact an Author
If you would like me to come to your school or library, your teacher or librarian can find all the information about my author events and author talks here.