Thursday, October 10, 2013

# Guest Blog # On Writing

Character Creation with Guest Jo Kessel

~~Today's guest post contains a PG-13 Excerpt~~

I'm pleased to have with me today author Jo Kessel, who is busy with her Weak In The Knees book tour. She'll be awarding a $50 Amazon or Barnes and Noble gift card and more as part of the tour--see the Rafflecopter box below to enter.

Jo, can you tell us a bit about how you come up with your characters?

I love creating my characters. I have a stash of artisan hand-bound notepads that have been given to me as presents over the years.  Whenever I start a new book I select one of these pads and start creating my characters. I go through them one by one. First I give them a name and age and then I begin making notes about their personalities, their backgrounds, their immediate family, their childhood, where they went to school and any defining moments so far in their lives. It all resembles a messy scrawl and is a bit like a family tree, with connecting lines. Nobody else would be able to decipher the mess – but then, it’s for nobody else’s eyes but mine! 

Once I’ve created the heroine I move onto creating their love interest – all my books will always have a love interest, because that’s what I most like to write about. I’m a hopeless romantic. And so the process continues and once the core characters have been created I start to work out how they all interconnect over time. I find this a very exciting process. You have to like your characters as the chances are you’ll have to be in their heads for quite some time. And then if you write a sequel or a trilogy etc you will need to be in their heads even longer. I prefer my characters to be flawed – likable, but flawed. Nobody is perfect and everyone has their faults, so I like to portray that in my stories. Even once I’ve started writing the novel, I keep on using the same artisan notepad by the way. I make notes in it and keep jotting ideas down.

Intriguing! I absolutely love the idea of writing everything in a lovely artisan notebook. Now here's some info on her book Weak In The Knees:

Weak In The Knees
by Jo Kessel
New Adult Contemporary Romance

“We got so busy living life that we forgot to live our dreams.”

Danni Lewis has been playing it safe for twenty-six years, but her sheltered existence is making her feel old ahead of time. When a sudden death plunges her into a spiral of grief, she throws caution to the wind and runs away to France in search of a new beginning.

The moment ski instructor Olivier du Pape enters her shattered world she falls hard, in more ways than one.

Their mutual desire is as powerful and seductive as the mountains around them. His dark gypsy looks and piercing blue eyes are irresistible.

Only she must resist, because he has a wife – and she’d made a pact to never get involved with a married man.

But how do you choose between keeping your word and being true to your soul?


I leaned over, intending to air brush his cheeks with mine, but it didn’t quite happen that way. A stronger, more powerful force than my conscience, a force more powerful than morality, changed my path of navigation at the last second, making my lips meet his, melt deliciously into his, over and over and over again, sending shivers of pleasure through every limb in my body. My skin tingled, my head spun, I felt light-headed even though I was sitting down. That’s all we did for over an hour. Kiss and kiss and kiss, tasting each other, pressing our bodies close and steaming up the car. I didn’t want it to ever stop. I never realized that kissing could be so sensual and powerful and overwhelming. If Olivier and I were to never progress beyond kissing, then it would be enough, as long as I could keep on doing it forever. Finally, when he had to go, he hugged me tight and told me he’d wanted to kiss me since the first time we met, when I lay crashed in a snowy heap at his feet.

About the Author:

When Jo was ten years old she wrote a short story about losing a loved one. Her mother and big sister were so moved by the tale that it made them cry. Having reduced them to tears she vowed that the next time she wrote a story it would make them smile instead. Happily she succeeded and with this success grew an addiction for wanting to reach out and touch people with words. Jo lives in London with her husband and three children where she works as a TV and print journalist. She tells life stories and can often be found travelling the globe researching the next big holiday hotspots for readers to enjoy. Since becoming a mother anything even remotely sad makes her cry. She’s a sucker for a good romance and tear-jerker movies are the worst. She’s that woman in the cinema, struggling to muffle audible wails as everyone else turns round to stare.

P.S Jo’s pretty certain one of her daughters has inherited this gene.   
I love to hear from my readers and they can connect with me on:
My website:
Twitter: @jo_kessel

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Thank you so much for hosting me and my new release Weak at the Knees on your blog today. Hopefully I will inspire readers to dig out any old artisan notepads they may have lying about. Happy reading and writing!

    1. Thank you for being here to share that awesome idea--and your giveaway!

  2. I think this is a sensitive story plot. I really enjoyed the excerpt.

  3. Thanks for sharing the excerpt and the giveaway. Sounds like a great book. evamillien at gmail dot com

  4. Thanks for the excerpt and the chance to win!
    Sounds like an amazing read!!
    natasha_donohoo_8 at hotmail dot com

  5. Thank you so much for sharing with us! :-)



Visits To This Blog: