To Be Oneself Or To Be Someone Else

When I published Nigerian Gems, I used the pseudonym Jo Demmer. People often ask how I chose my pen name. Jo is my middle name, after my great-grandmother, Josephine. Demmer is my mother’s maiden name. The novel I was working on at the time, Sunrise Court, was rife with intrigue and infidelity and I didn’t … Continue reading To Be Oneself Or To Be Someone Else

A Rookie’s Guide to Literary Speed Dating

Authors have a tough time breaking into the traditional publishing world. We send our work via email or online submission portals and rarely meet an agent or publisher face-to-face. Literary Speed Dating is designed to give us an opportunity to pitch in person. The catch? We only have three minutes. Last weekend, I went to … Continue reading A Rookie’s Guide to Literary Speed Dating

Karen Quist: From Beauty Therapist to Copywriter/Photographer

Today, I continue my series of interviews with people I admire—individuals who by changing career path or country, have their own winding narrative. Karen Quist transitioned from beauty therapist to copywriter/photographer and has now runs Lens and Pens Group, a successful web content company. Her enthusiasm and vitality come across as clearly on the page as … Continue reading Karen Quist: From Beauty Therapist to Copywriter/Photographer

Nigerian Gems—In Print At Last

To pick up from where I left off in Tales from Lagos, the publication of Nigerian Gems had stalled. Graphic designer Els Van Limberghen volunteered to do the layout and design; we printed a copy on our home computer and painstakingly glued it together to create a mock up; Judy Anderson, Sara Dobbs and Martha Peterson … Continue reading Nigerian Gems—In Print At Last

Career and the Expat Spouse

The expat financial equation looks healthy for a married couple, but the numbers change dramatically in the case of death or divorce. After I posted Feminism and the Expat Spouse, my dear friend, let’s call her Chloe, shone a light on career decisions from a different perspective. She says, “Giving up our careers, even if it … Continue reading Career and the Expat Spouse

Susan Bradfield: From Physiotherapist to Photographer

To mix things up a bit, I have planned a series of interviews with people I admire—individuals who by changing career path or country, have their own winding narrative. Today, I feature Susan Bradfield, who has transitioned from physiotherapist to photographer and has lived in Melbourne, London, Shanghai and Zurich. Her approach to finding and … Continue reading Susan Bradfield: From Physiotherapist to Photographer

Feminism and the Expat Spouse

When I gave up my job to become an expat spouse, I worried that I'd undermined the feminist cause. I've revisited this decision while writing my book series, because my protagonist, Tara Scott, struggles with the same dilemma. She wonders, “Have I betrayed feminist ideals? All those years, women fought for equal rights, and I … Continue reading Feminism and the Expat Spouse

My Top Four Editing Tips

Editing is both an art form and a numbers game. Writers are constrained by word count, so every phrase must be sharpened and polished like a jewel. My first editing job was Nigerian Gems (see Tales From Lagos). Since then, I’ve spent hours revising my own work, had the opportunity to swap manuscripts with other … Continue reading My Top Four Editing Tips