All good things...

Started by Jo Bannister, September 24, 2021, 08:45:45 AM

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Jo Bannister

...must come to an end, and usually quicker than the bad ones!

It's official: I've retired.  And yes, it was my decision; and no, it wasn't because my publisher dumped me!

Since finishing "China Roses" I'd been wondering if I really wanted to start the whole process again.  Even though I had a new book plotted out in my head, I hadn't the enthusiasm for it that I'd always had before.  I don't think it was the book's fault, I think it's just anno domini.  I've been doing this - professionally, not just for pleasure - for forty years. 

When my editor e-mailed earlier this week to ask if there was a new book on the way, I felt I had to make a decision - or rather, communicate a decision I had already all but taken.  So I spoke to my agent and then to the publishers.  Both were very understanding - my editor emphasised that "Roses" is one of their top sellers in the States at the moment, and left the door wide open in case I change my mind - and we parted on the best of terms.  I feel privileged to have been able to make the decision for myself instead of having it forced on me, and am satisfied that "Roses" was a worthy book to finish on.

So here I am, an ex-novelist.  Beats me what I'm supposed to do now!



And if you ever figure out what you're "supposed to do now", please let us know.

Jo Bannister

Thanks, Russ.  And I will.  Though I've never in my entire life known quite what I was supposed to be doing, so made it up more or less as I went along.  The diff'rent drum and all that.  It makes for interesting music.

Best wishes,




I'm sure the allure of the different drum will soon present you with something to do, something fascinating, or something you skimmed over in the past will come back now you have time to give it more attention.

Best wishes, whatever you do.  And don't be surprised if the door you've closed cracks open and beckons to you again a while hence.


Jo Bannister

Thanks, Gyppo.  Well, you never know; but right now I feel I've said everything I had to say.  I never wanted to get to the point - as so many old writers do! - that readers were thinking, "Well, yes, OK - but didn't she used to be better...?"

Incidentally, got a cracking review for "China Roses" from Booklist.  I'm going to have to assure people I didn't write it myself!


I guess that calls for congratulations, but it's probably also a bit bittersweet.
Enjoy your retirement.
Daan Katz, Author - Where the Magic Happens
Join my facebook group Daan's Magical Worlds

Jo Bannister

Thanks, Dan.  I am doing - more than I expected.  It feels nice having no more expectations to live up to.  My only regret is not getting to trace the fortunes of a new set of characters I'd come up with.  But being able to choose retirement rather than having it forced on you is a privilege to be enjoyed, so I'm going to.


Finally hanging up the pen, Jo? :)  I imagine it will take a while before you can shed that writer skin; looking for characters, plots, etc.  When I left the weather service it took me a couple of years before I could once again see images in clouds. It was nice when I could.  I wonder if reading will become more enjoyable. I hope. I think you might remember me as ST, geez, I've been around for a bit, not so long as you, gypo or lil glo.

I had to come in an wish you well and congratulations on your successes. 

Best day to you.

Jo Bannister

Lovely to hear from you, ST.  Funny what you say about reading: for years I really didn't enjoy it as a pastime.  Only since I started slowing down on my own work did I start to appreciate other people's again.  Now I'm an avid reader once more.

Retirement's a funny old thing too, isn't it?  You're not sure if you should look forward to it or not.  There's a little bit of guilt that you're not Pulling Your Weight any more.  But then, a little bit of guilt can be quite enjoyable too.

Enjoy your cloud-watching.


SUPER late congrats on completing your journey. :) All the best in your future endeavors, and take good care of yourself!

Jo Bannister

Never too late, and very welcome.  Still enjoying the lack of pressure.  I notice that my typewriting skills are deteriorating, though!  Thanks again.

Patrick Wood

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