Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Jo Jakeman Author Interview

Photo Credit: © Ollie Grove

Jo Jakeman was the winner of the Friday Night Live competition at the York Festival of Writing in 2016. Born in Cyprus, she worked for many years in London before moving to the countryside with her husband and twin boys. The Exes’ Revenge is her debut thriller.

Where were you born and where do you call home?
I was born in Cyprus as my father was serving with the armed forces out there. We moved to England when I was five. I’ve lived all over the country and still don’t think I’ve settled. We’re currently living in Derbyshire.

What advice would you give to someone who wanted to have a life in writing?
Keep at it! There will be obstacles along the way but hard work and patience will pay off in the long term.

What were your inspirations for the character development?
I drew inspiration from everywhere I looked. I pinned pictures and quotes on notice boards above my desk. I kept clippings from newspapers about cases of domestic abuse and was lucky that friends were happy to share their experiences with me.

What was the single worst distraction that kept you from writing this book?
My children! I try to only write during school hours but sometimes I need to write in the evenings or weekends. They’re not very good at giving me a quiet half an hour as it becomes imperative that they tell me every little thing about their day. (I wouldn’t have it any other way really!)

THE EXES' REVENGE: can you tell my Book Nerd community a little about it?
The Exes’ Revenge is a story about three women who lock their abusive ex in a cellar. Of course, it’s about a lot more than that. It’s about domestic abuse, female friendships, and how far you’d go to protect the ones you love.

What part of Imogen did you enjoy writing the most?
I enjoyed watching her self-belief grow and her realisation that she was stronger than she believed.

What was the most surprising thing you learned in creating Phillip?
I was surprised by how much I hated him. In an early draft of the book I had a chapter showing his backstory and why he had turned out this way. But then I realised that I was making excuses for his behaviour when he didn’t deserve any sympathy.

What are some of your current and future projects that you can share with us?
I’m currently working on a book about a woman who has been recently released from prison and is trying to piece her life back together - But someone knows who she really is and won’t let her put her past behind her.

What book are you reading now?
I know I’m a bit late to the party, but I am reading Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty.

Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.
I was published in the UK two months before the US, and had an event at the local book festival. I was convinced no one would turn up but the room was packed. It was the first time I truly felt like an author.

If you could live in any period in history, where would it be and why?
That’s a difficult one. I’m going to say New York in the roaring twenties. Music, fashion, and Great Gatsby era parties. Such decadence!

What is one unique thing you are afraid of?
Slugs! Is that weird? I can’t stand them sliming all over the place.

Where can readers find you?
On Twitter as
On Facebook
And if I’m not there, you’ll find me in the cafĂ© at the end of my road, drinking tea and eating gluten-free cake!

Originally titled Sticks and Stones

A wickedly dark debut thriller about three women who've all been involved with the same man and realize the one thing they have in common is that they all want revenge against him...

Divorces are often messy, and Imogen's is no exception. Phillip Rochester is controlling, abusive, and determined to make things as difficult as possible. When he shows up without warning demanding that Imogen move out of their house by the end of the month or he'll sue for sole custody of their young son, Imogen is ready to snap.

In a moment of madness, Imogen does something unthinkable--something that puts her in control for the first time in years. She's desperate to protect her son and to claim authority over her own life.

But she wasn't expecting both Phillip's ex-wife and new girlfriend to get tangled up in her plans. These three very different women--and unlikely allies--reluctantly team up to take revenge against a man who has wronged them all.


“The Exes’ Revenge by Jo Jakeman reads like a darker Big Little Lies with all the female rage of Sharp Objects.” —Bustle

“Hell hath no fury like THREE women scorned.” —PopSugar

“Jo Jakeman’s assured debut is a revenge thriller…a cracking pace, plenty of twists and some well-judged dark humor.” —The Guardian (UK)

“[A] page turning debut…a twisting tale of revenge.” —Mail on Sunday (UK)

“Twists throughout the story and an unexpected ending make this ideal for thriller readers and fans of the movie Panic Room….[Jakeman] has a winner on her hands.” —Booklist

“THE EXES’ REVENGE is a thriller for the #MeToo era. It’s a fast-paced game of cats-and-mouse….This is a modern revenge tale with a beating heart.” —Julia Heaberlin, international bestselling author of Paper Ghosts

“Tight, suspenseful, and satisfyingly dark, THE EXES’ REVENGE uses its deft characterization and tense plotting to keep you turning the pages as fast as you can. Full of twists and surprises, thrilling and often bleakly funny, this is a book you’ll want to swallow in one white-knuckled reading session.” —Simone St. James, award-winning author of The Broken Girls

“Revenge is a dish served with lashings of relish in this vivid, blackly comic suspense novel, as three women fight back against an abusive partner. I cheered them on to the bloody end.” —Louise Candlish, author of Our House

“A cracking book. Darkly funny, yet also touching and emotive. Plus, full of suspense and twists. Buy it!” —C.J. Tudor, international bestselling author of The Chalk Man

“A revenge thriller to make you punch the air in solidarity…. A wickedly sharp, psychologically intense debut which announces Jo Jakeman as a future queen of grip lit.” —Eva Dolan, author of This Is How It Ends

“A brilliant debut from an author with a sharp wit and a keen understanding of human nature. I couldn’t turn the pages quickly enough.” —Fiona Cummins, author of Rattle

“A gem of a debut with its unique premise, tightly-crafted plot and believable characters who get under your skin from the start. Incredibly well-observed and sensitive in its handling of difficult subjects, it is, above all, thoroughly entertaining. Highly recommended!” —Caz Frear, author of Sweet Little Lies

“A deliciously dark and gripping debut.” —Emily Koch, author of If I Die Before I Wake

“A sensational debut—pacy, twisty and darkly funny with well-rounded characters. I loved it!” —Roz Watkins, author of The Devil’s Dice

“A gripping story, sensitively told but also really funny: no mean feat given the subject matter.” —Laura Marshall, international bestselling author of Friend Request

You can purchase The Exes' Revenge at the following Retailers:

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you JO JAKEMAN for making this giveaway possible.
1 Winner will receive a Copy of The Exes' Revenge by Jo Jakeman. 


  1. "Who was the last person you slow danced with?" I'm not sure I've ever "slow danced"! I'm sure it's very nice....

  2. That would be my husband at a wedding! Thank you

  3. The last person I danced with was my boyfriend, now husband.

  4. The last person I danced with was my boyfriend. It's one of my favourite memories.thanks!

  5. It was my brother, Clyde, at my youngest twins wedding.