Jo is awarding a $50 Amazon GC to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour. So comment today AND follow her tour (if you click on the banner over there on the left, it'll take you to a list of her tour stops) -- the more you read and comment, the better your odds of winning. You could be introduced to a great new author AND win a GC!
Jo was brave enough to share five things we'd probably never guess about her. Take it away, Jo!
5 Things about Jo Sparkes
1) I listen to the NFL channel on my car radio all year long. Kinda sad, really.
2) There is this 'egg phobia'. It's not just that I can't possibly eat them, I hate to touch them or look at them on someone's plate.
When I was a little girl, we raised chickens. My father let me hold an egg in my hand once as we gathered them. The egg hatched – and I held and beheld that miracle of the little chick inside. I wondered if that would happen if we didn't eat the eggs, and my father told me yes, little realizing the effect it would have.
The next morning I ran outside and got all the eggs before he gathered them – and hid them under my bed. Fortunately, my mother found them before the smell got too bad.
To this day, the idea of eating them literally horrifies me.
3) One of my more embarrassing moments was fresh out of college. I was working for a large corporation, and in an office filled with older, wiser folk.
Being a voracious reader, there were words I'd seen often enough to know what they were, but had not heard pronounced. So I' pronounced them my way in my head.
Anyway, in this office with the wiser folk, a woman mentioned her little “faux pas”. The others were smiling and commenting, when I suddenly snapped my fingers – having made the connection – and cried out, “FOX PASS!”
The room burst into laughter, my face went bright red, and it took me six months to live it down.
4) I'm a second degree black belt. Chinese Kenpo.
5) Coffee is a very serious thing with me. I buy Starbucks (Kenya is my favorite), grind it fresh each morning, and insist on natural sugar and cream. Not milk, not half and half. Heavy cream.
Feedback … a kinder word for criticism, is an organic component to life.
When a toddler learns to walk, he falls. He screams, cries – and persists. What would happen to the human race if he gave up after a few bumps?
Before we could read self-help books, before we could understand a language and sit in a classroom, we learned by trial and error. “Feedback” is the natural teaching process. It’s how the creator set it up. It’s how the world actually works.
Here, at last, is a simple process for getting the most from all the feedback the world offers us.
She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Washington College, a small liberal arts college famous for its creative writing program. Years later, Jo renounced life in the corporate world to pursue her passion for writing.
Taking every class she could find, she had the good fortune to study with Robert Powell; a student of renowned writers and teachers Lew Hunter, and Richard Walter, head and heart of UCLA’s Screenwriting Program.
The culmination of those years was the short-film "The Image", which she wrote and produced single-handedly. And in so doing, she became fascinated with the dynamics of collaboration on a project.
Since then, Jo hasn’t looked back. Her body of work includes scripts for Children’s live-action and animated television programs, a direct to video Children’s DVD, television commercials and corporate videos. She's been a feature writer on ReZoom.com and a contributing writer for the Arizona Sports Fans Network; where she was called their most popular writer, known for her humorous articles, player interviews and game coverage. Jo was unofficially the first to interview Emmitt Smith when he arrived in Arizona to play for the Cardinals.
She has adjunct taught at the Film School at Scottsdale Community College, has teamed with a Producer on a low budget thriller, and a Director on a New Dramady.” She went in front of the camera for a video, “Stepping Above Criticism”, capturing a popular talk with her students.
Her new book, FEEDBACK HOW TO GIVE IT HOW TO GET IT, shares her lessons learned with writers, and indeed everyone dealing with life's criticism.
When not diligently perfecting her craft, Jo can be found exploring her new home of Portland, Oregon, along with her husband Ian, and their dog Oscar.
“In her compact, wisdom-charged Feedback Jo Sparkes provides sharp, sharp, cogent, advice not only for writers but for all people who value creativity and seek to lead fulfilled, creative lives.
“This slender volume provides more bang for the buck than far longer, weightier tomes. It is a splendid resource to which writers will refer repeatedly.” - Richard Walter Chairman of Screenwriting, U.C.L.A.
“The lessons contained in “Feedback” are not for the writer who is merely looking for a compliment, but rather for those who are striving for accomplishment.” - Barton Green Author, Screenwriter and long-time friend
"Jo Sparks simplifies the feedback process in this concise easy to implement guide to giving and receiving feedback. As an actress, I believe everyone can benefit from her experience, not just those in the industry." - Tonetta Weaver, Actress