About me

Who is Jo Franklin?

my childhood

Jo Franklin with Sparkie Aged 5

Sparkie and Me (aged 5)

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.

Jo Franklin children's author

Boris and Me (aged 10)

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.

becoming an adult

Jo Franklin student railcard

My student railcard

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 as a children’s author.

My Influences

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.

Sylvia Plath

Sylvia Plath

My biggest influences are The Smiths 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.

The Smiths

The Smiths were a massive inspiration to me when I was growing up. I even became a vegetarian when I was 17 because of him. I’m still vegetarian now.

My favourite Smiths song is ‘Big Mouth Strikes Again’


Jo Franklin the Author

Jo Franklin and MickeyI don’t get to see many bands these days because I am busy writing my books and searching the woods for my mad dog, Mickey.

I love to meet up with other writers to talk about our books, our successes and our rejections. I also like to meet readers in schools, libraries, bookshops and festivals.

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.

Now I am a professional author, I am a member of the Society of Authors – SocA and
Contact an Author

I also teach creative writing and mentor adults in writing for children. Details here.