Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Writer’s Wednesday. A Writing Anniversary- Joss Wood

Hello from sunny South Africa!

January four years ago I got the call from Mills and Boon London offering me a two book contract for the Harlequin Kiss line. I was, as you can imagine, utterly ecstatic. Since I was a little girl writing has been my solace and my passion and I’m blessed that it still is. I truly love my job.

 This is me at age five or six. I always, according to my family, had a pencil in my hand. 

In four years I’ve written for three different Harlequin Lines Kiss, Presents and now for Desire—have had 16 books published and 17 accepted, given up my day job, am contracted to write for two other publishers as well as Harlequin (Berkeley Intermix and Tule), have had four different editors, have made a lot of new friends and, to an extent, found myself. It’s been a hell of a journey. 

I'm exhausted. ;-)

And this, after four years (quoting the amazing Oprah Winfrey) is what I know for sure. 

That Ernest Hemingway was right when he said that writing is easy, that you just sit at typewriter and bleed. Or to put it another way, writing falls somewhere between torture and fun. But mostly fun, interrupted by bouts of terror. There’s a reason why only crazy people write! 

I’ve learned that there is a point during every book that I think that this rubbish, that I am rubbish  and that everything I write is, well, rubbish. It’s at this point that I consider leaving the job and going to raise ferrets.  I’ve learned to write through that stage and to trust myself. It will all be okay. I’ve just got to fight my way through it. 

I’ve learned that not everybody will like what I write. And that’s okay.

I now know that you can’t sell, edit or fix a blank page. 

I know that when I'm doing the maths and trying to work out what I'm going to earn from my writing, I divide it by three. Then I divide that figure by three again. When I sigh about the fact that I can't afford to buy an apartment on the Upper East Side of Manhattan I remember that I once did this for free; I woke up at 4 in the morning and wrote for a couple of hours before I went off to work. I used to scratch out time to write and I did it without any expectation of payment. Perspective gained. 

I’ve learned that editors are my best friends and that they make my books better. Every single time.

I’ve learned that there is so much I don’t know and that it’s okay to ask for information/help. 

I’ve learned the only people who understand the life of a writer are, surprisingly –snort—other writers! My husband and my darling friends try to understand and I love them for it but nobody but another writer understands the terror of waiting to hear if you will be getting another contract, the butterflies you feel while waiting for the revisions to land on the first project you’ve written for your new editor/publisher, the disappointment you feel when you get your royalty statement and realize that you can’t make an offer on that Manhattan apartment. Or a doll’s house. 

I know that reviews are subjective. And positive reviews are to writers what crack cocaine is to addicts. 

I know that, like any other job, success takes time, effort and an incredible amount of hard work. 

That working as a full time writer requires determination, grit and a skin the same texture and thickness of an armadillo. 

And I know, I absolutely know to the core of my being, that I’ve never been happier in my life and I plan on writing until I’m an old woman with a dirty mind. 

Happy reading,

With all my love

Taking The Boss To Bed

When producer Ryan Jackson kisses a beautiful stranger to save her from a lecherous investor, he doesn't know she's his newest employee…or that she's also his best friend's little sister all grown up.

Now the only way to save his business deal is a scorching, hands-on, make-believe affair with the one woman who is absolutely off-limits.

So why is he thinking more about seducing Jaci Brookes-Lyon than toeing the corporate line?

When sexual ruse becomes reality, can faking it save his business and lead to love?

Amazon UK
Barnes and Noble

Joss Wood’s passion for putting black letters on a white screen is only matched by her love of books and travelling (especially to the wild places of Southern Africa) and, possibly, by her hatred of ironing and making school lunches.

Joss has written over sixteen books for the Kiss/ Modern Tempted, Presents and most recently, the Desire line.

After a career in business lobbying and local economic development, Joss now writes full time. She lives in Kwazulu- Natal, South Africa with her husband and two teenage children surrounded by family, friends, animals and a ridiculous amount of books.  

Joss is a member of the RWA (Romance Writers of America) and ROSA (Romance Writers of South Africa.)


  1. Loved reading about your journey, Joss - thanks for sharing!

  2. Down payment on a doll's house *snort* Yes - that about sums it up!