Jo Jackson lives in rural Shropshire with her husband, Andy, their dog and five pet sheep. She has a daughter, Olivia, and sons, Matthew and Tom. All are married with families of their own.
Jo was born and brought up on the outskirts of Birmingham. She left home at eighteen to train as a nurse at Guy's Hospital in London. During her training she had the opportunity to take an obstetric course and enjoyed it so much she went on to qualify as a midwife and to practice both in hospital and in the community.
In 1981, together with her husband and young children, she went to live in Cairo for two years. Jo says, 'it was a brilliant opportunity for all of us, to live and experience a culture so different from our own. We loved it and from there came the inspiration for Too Loud a Silence, my first novel.'
On her return she trained as a counsellor for the British Pregnancy Advisory Service. She became increasingly interested in the nature of relationships and how families interact and undertook an MSc in systemic family therapy. For the remainder of her career she had a private psychotherapy practice and worked with doctors, social service departments, schools and other companies. Latterly her work was as a therapist with boys and young men all of whom were on the autistic spectrum. She admits to this being one of her most challenging experiences but also one of the most satisfying.
Jo began writing as a child, her first book, an adventure story was typed and bound and placed in the school library at her junior school. 'I was very proud and it was probably just the encouragement I needed.'
She began Too Loud a Silence thirty years ago but it languished in a cupboard unfinished. Children and a career took priority. After retiring she joined Writers on the Edge, a U3A writing group, and began to write again. 'The events that inspired me thirty years ago remain the basis of my novel but the plot and the structure are entirely different.'
Her second book Beyond the Margin resulted from two short stories she had written. One was set in Ireland and it was whilst she was visiting there for a month in 2017 that she began to write the novel. 'I was steeped in the beautiful scenery of western Ireland and the words just flowed though not in the direction I thought they would.'
She has since written a novella based on a Sicilian proverb, It Can't Get Darker Than Midnight, and a third novel They Speak of Night set partly in India.
As well as writing Jo is an artist, painting purely for pleasure. She likes travelling, walking, philosophy and play reading. She keeps bees and enjoys all aspects of gardening and design.