If you like my blog, please subscribe to my list – thank you so much!

I know you’re probably inundated with emails from companies or people you’ve subscribed to in the past, and you’re very rightly reluctant to hand over your email to another person begging for your attention, but please let me explain. I’d be so delighted if you subscribed to my author email list.

I am trying to build an audience of readers and I’d be so thrilled if you were to become part of my list. I often give away novels to my people on my list for free, and you’ll be the first to know when I’ve got another novel coming out.

I promise to not overload you with emails – I usually send an email campaign out every few months – and I promise to hold your email safe, protected from prying eyes, completely legally protected under the new GDPR rules.

You can unsubscribe at any time, but I hope you don’t. I hope you’ll support me, as a writer of novels with soul, and become my friend. Thank you. Jo x – jochumasauthor@gmail.com



Rebel Yell, a word to my younger self

I’ve always been ‘weird’; that’s what my parents and siblings called me growing up. My father told my mother I would ‘calm down’, that the love of good man would quieten me and calm me and make me OK (meaning more feminine), but none of that has happened. 

If anything I have gotten more rebellious as I have gotten older. I have always loved rebellious people, those who jump outside society’s ‘normality’ boxes, those hard lines that define our lives every minute of every day. 

I meet rebels (whether they be quiet grandfathers, old ladies at bus-stops, secret rebels who clothe themselves in the conventional outfit of ‘normal’ life) and they become instant and life-long friends. 

To my younger self I say, life is a bloody roller-coaster but the rebel is still in you, and you’ve gotta live that type of rebel life until the end. 

That rebel life is saying: no, I am not going to accept this or that, I am not going to stop challenging this or that, I am not going to stop being curious and young at heart and determined to make a difference. 

My nine-year-old self wanted to run away and be a gypsy. Decades on, I still want to run away and be a gypsy, and a laptop and social media is my megaphone to the world, so I’ve gotta get this social media thing down, and quit the overwhelm of it all. 


My creativity will cost you!

Girls are always having to justify their existence. From the moment we are born we’re told to ‘shut up’. Being told to ‘shut up’ constantly goes through to your being and becomes part of the fabric of your life. In the fifth decade of my life I am used to it but that doesn’t mean I accept it.

Which leads to being a creative. The message to women is ‘shut up and work for free’. This can mean many things; work overtime for nothing, work in low pay which basically translates as no pay after all living costs have been deducted, do favours for people all the freaking time and do projects for people for nothing because – the line goes – it will help you build your presence, enable you to support other creatives or other charities and you’ll get that warm fuzzy feeling from doing it.

I used to work in Public Relations. I could have gotten very rich from the amount of times people asked me to help them promote their businesses or events – for nothing, based on the fact that a) I am a woman, and b) they thought I was ‘nice’ and c) I could use their project for the purposes of my CV (ha ha). I remember one woman asked me to work for free promoting her art studio and the warm fuzzy feeling I got from telling her – I charge £500 a day for my international PR work (that was true at the time, even though the reality was I was working for one client and I only got two days’ work a month) was priceless. The look on her face said it all. It read: ‘traitor, you want to charge me???  – how dare you?’

Another woman, the boss of a UK language school, roped me into meetings for a PR campaign for her business, then proceeded to tell me she would give me a discount for the language lessons my son was taking there at the time as way of an ‘exchange’. I never spoke to her again after that.

Yet another woman, the CEO of a ‘for profit’ school in the UK that was flying under the radar by masquerading as a ‘charity’, got me in for meetings again to promote her school, and offered me a glass of wine as payment for a campaign. That relationship did not end well. It ended but not well. I was seething.

The same is true of the self-publishing world. It’s great we are able to put our beloved tomes up on Amazon, but the world must pay creatives for their work.

We’re not asking much for the years of hard toil put into novel writing, a few pounds here and there. I hate getting free copies of novels. I always buy them. I also read absolutely everywhere that you simply must give away your novels for free in order to get reviews that will eventually help you sell. Everyone has massive demand on their time and their money these days and not everyone is able to take a risk on a new – read an old writer who’s been writing for twenty years –  by buying their novels, but surely we must not race to the bottom and bury ourselves in FREE.

Creatives must be paid for their work – whatever type of creative you are. We need to celebrate creativity as seriously important for a life well spent, a happy life. People spend money on creative content every day, either by paying for subscription TV, watching films at the cinema or any other means. Writers need to be paid and this FREE mentality in order to build platforms is distressing and outright WRONG.Jo Chumas, author of The Hidden I’ve often thought about whether I should give away all my novels for free as a way of promoting myself, but I just can’t do it. This is a long conversation and the world should be having it. Please connect, comment and share your thoughts. Jo xx