Tuesday Toot – Jo Anderton

Tuesday Toot is a semi-regular feature here. An invite-only series of short posts where writers, editors, booksellers and other creatives have been asked to share their stuff and toot their own horn. It’s hard to be seen in the digital morass and hopefully this occasional segment will help some of the quality stuff out there get noticed. It should all be things that regular readers here will find edifying.

This time, it’s Jo Anderton. Take it away, Jo!

Who is Jo?

Apparently, Jo Anderton looks quite normal from the outside. But don’t let this fool you, because she’s actually a writer, and you know what they’re like. Even worse, she writes science fiction, fantasy, and horror. You should feel sorry for her characters.

Jo’s had a few short stories published here and there, most recently in Light Touch Paper, Stand Clear and Epilogue. She won the Australian Horror Writer’s Association short story competition in 2012. Her short fiction has been shortlisted for a couple of Aurealis Awards, and the WSFA small press award. Her first novel, Debris, was published by Angry Robot Books in 2011. It was shortlisted for an Aurealis Award and a Ditmar. Jo won the Ditmar for Best New Talent.

Whenever she’s not torturing characters and cackling manically to herself, Jo works as a marketing co-ordinator for an Australian book distributor. She lives in Sydney with her husband and too many pets.

What are you tooting about?

Suited, the sequel to Debris! This series is set in a world of industrialised magic, where most people can see and manipulate semi-sentient, subatomic particles called pions. Pions can be used to rearrange matter, and the stronger you are or the more people you have working with them, the greater the effects. So you have enormous cities full of impossible, majestic buildings, all powered by massive pion-binding factories. But this comes at a cost. Pion manipulation creates debris — a waste product that destabilises pion bonds. As you can imagine, this could be terribly dangerous for a world built on pions. Most people can’t even see debris, so the ones who do are conscripted by the state to clean it up. Really, they’re nothing more than glorified garbage collectors, over worked, poorly paid and definitely underappreciated.

In Debris we met Tanyana. She starts off as a powerful and wealthy pion binder. But a terrible accident leaves her scarred, and her pion sight gone, replaced with an ability to see debris instead. She’s forced to become a debris collector, with a suit of living metal drilled into her very bones, her income slashed and her life in ruins. The first book is about Tanyana struggling to come to terms with her new identity… but nothing is what it seems. The accident that ruined her might not have been an accident at all. In fact, debris itself might not be the waste product everyone thinks it is. It might be something much more important.

Suited follows straight on from where Debris left off. Tanyana deals with the consequences of the choices she’s made, the alliances formed and the enemies she’s well and truly pissed off. But the hardest battle is within herself.

These books are a little bit science fiction and a little bit fantasy, with influences from anime and video games. I’ve loved writing these books, and I hope readers enjoy them too!

You can find Jo online here.

I should post a caveat here, as Jo is a very good friend of mine, but I can also vouch for the fact that her writing is awesome and her books are well worth the read. I loved them and can’t wait for the third book in the trilogy. If there’s any doubt about her talent, look at it this way – she was nominated for the 2011 Ditmar Award for Best New Talent, and I was nominated for the same award. Jo won it and I couldn’t be happier for her, because she totally deserved that win. (I mean, sure, I wish I’d won a Ditmar, but Jo totally deserved it.) So, go and buy her books. You won’t regret it.

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