Welcoming a true star…Jo Bartlett

I’m delighted to welcome Jo Bartlett onto my blog today to talk about the inspiration behind her new book, Among A Thousand Stars – AATS%20Coverout on 17 June 2015.

You know one of those hectic Monday mornings when you catch sight of yourself magnified in the rear view mirror of your car and realise your roots need doing but you’ve only got time to colour-in the grey with a mascara wand? Or maybe that’s just me… Either way, I suspect we’ve all had times when we wonder how our lives have turned out to be so ‘ordinary’?

As a ten year old I wanted to be a glamorous air hostess, jetting all over the world, but I grew up to have a hip circumference distinctly incompatible with such narrow aisles. Of course the reality of the job would have been totally different to my childlike imaginings and I doubt there’s anything very glamorous about trying to keep control of a stag-do on a budget airline bound for Benidorm. So I became a university lecturer instead, which is about as glamorous as it sounds.author%20pic

Looking around on one of those hectic Monday mornings I described, I couldn’t help wondering if other people’s lives really are less ordinary. After extensive research, a.k.a. people watching, I’ve come to realise that we all have facets of the ordinary that knit together the foundations of our lives – whoever we are. At my son’s primary school, one of his best friend was the son of celebrity and fashion photographer, Perou. Now there was someone whose life seemed distinctly less ordinary than mine. He’d be heading off to New York to photograph Dita Von Teese, at the same time as I was on my way to a university faculty meeting about student retention. Only by the next week, he’d be back in the thick of it, with the rest of us parents, trying to elbow his way to the front of the school hall to get a good seat for the nativity play. Actually he’s much cooler than that, but I’m sure you know what I mean.

In a roundabout way, that’s part of how the idea for Among A Thousand Stars came about and how freelance photographer, Ashleigh Hayes, found herself in a world of glamour but with plenty of the life more ordinary along for the ride – including a mother who’s only too happy to strip off in front of her friends and an alarming ability to put her foot in it. It’s a story about the insecurities we all carry, the ups and downs of a less than perfect family life and how the right person can suddenly help it all make sense. After all, that’s what makes any life less ordinary, isn’t it? Love. It certainly does for me.








  1. There’s nothing ordinary about you or your writing, Jo! I’m really looking forward to Among A Thousand Stars. As Kerry rightly says, you’re a true star! The airlines’ loss is our gain.
    But doing your roots with a mascara wand…really? Wowsers! :-)

  2. Aw Jo you do make me smile, I often wonder exactly the same when I’m rushing around with greasy hair and haven’t coloured my eyebrows in. Those are the days I bump into every single person on the planet I know. Where are they when I’ve just come out of the hairdressers with a lovely shiny blow dry and glam eyebrows? I can’t wait to read Among a Thousand Stars and wish you lots of success my lovely.

    Helen xx

  3. People watching is so much fun! Thanks for giving us an insight into the story behind your book. I look forward to publication day :-)
    Helen J Rolfe

  4. Deirdre says:

    I always enjoy reading the ‘story behind the book’ and this one is no exception. I like to ‘people-watch’ too, and wonder what is behind the apparent everyday ordinariness. The stories are there, if we have the imagination to tap into them, which Jo clearly does. I’m looking forward to the book, and I know I won’t be disappointed. Good luck, Jo. x

  5. Lovely post Jo and lovely to hear how the idea of Among A Thousand Stars came about. Can’t wait to read it. Xx

  6. What a fun post Jo!! You are so right though, its not exciting things that make the world go round, but the basic, simple, homely is where all the treasure is. I’ll remember that as I wade through a pile of washing the size of Everest today!! :)

  7. Great post, Jo and fabulous book that I’ve already had the priviledge to read. You are heading for the stars!

  8. Reading your post reminded me of a line from the song ‘National Express’ by the Divine Comedy. Not that it’s true about you at all! However I’m very glad that you ended up as a university lecturer and had time to write Among A Thousand Stars. Having had the pleasure of reading it already I know that it’s a wonderful book full of funny, wise and far from ordinary moments! Alys xx

  9. Ha ha Alys – love that song! What an entertaining post, Jo. You’re definitely not ordinary and I love how you’ve described the idea. Excited for the launch of Among a Thousand Stars xxx

  10. Thanks so much Kerry for having me on the blog, and to all my lovely Write Romantic friends for stopping by and commenting. Alys, I know exactly the song to which you refer, and having been marking mountaineering and doing lots of writing, I have been living mainly off muffins of late, so it isn’t far wrong! xx

    • It has been an absolute pleasure and I hope that Among A Thousand Stars finds the success it deserves! xx

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