What was your inspiration for First Creek Farm?
As the mother of a teenager girl, my daughter is 15, I’m deeply conscious of how society portrays beauty, it’s either lauded or demonized. Beautiful woman are not always bitchy and supposedly plain woman are not always sweet and sincere. I wanted to create a beautiful woman who is down to earth and prosaic about winning the genetic lottery. I always wanted to take Fia out of her comfort zone and give her a place where she could take the time to think about the next chapter in her life so I sent her down to Texas.
What is your favorite holiday tradition?
Christmas in South Africa is hot and the day is normally spent around the pool, drinking gin & tonics or at the dam, water ski-ing with our kids. We don’t have any particular traditions, we just like spending it with friends and family, chilling.
Fia seems like she’s pretty open to new experiences — how does she bring more of that out in Gib?
Gib’s wife was high maintenance and had a ton of baggage so I didn’t want Gib to go through that again – poor guy! Gib, despite being a wealthy has had his fair share of tragedy and I wanted to give him someone who brought light and laughter to his life, instead of pain and trauma. On the surface, Fia and Jillian have a lot in common, they are both beautiful and come from wealthy families but that’s where the resemblance ends. Fia is open and loving and down to earth and with her Gib can relax – he doesn’t have to worry about her or what’ll she’ll do. And yeah, after their HEA, I can easily see Fia leading a walk through an African game reserve or camping under the stars.
Did you have a particular celebrity in mind when you were creating Gib?
Absolutely. Marco Dapper is an American actor, model and painter. He’s a former Martial Arts athlete and has a black belt in taekwondo. Take a look at my Pinterest page for more character and place inspiration.
Lastly, what are you reading now?
I’ve just finished Cut and Run by Mary Burton, one of my auto buy authors. I’m looking for a meaty, funny, emotional book to sink my teeth into so if you have any recommendations, leave them in the comment section below.
Also….might be interesting… In Christmas at First Creek Farm, Fia and Gib’s meeting was inspired by Chris Janson’s song Drunk Girl. The moment I heard this song, I knew exactly how they’d meet.
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.
After juggling a career in business lobbying and economic development with writing, and somehow managing to produce sixteen books, Joss now spends her days creating contemporary fairy tales. She lives in Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa with her husband and two children surrounded by family, friends, animals and a ridiculous amount of reading material.