What can be a better feeling than your first published book in your hands? How about many, many Book Awards! Congrats Jodi A. Wright ….
It sometimes takes the craft of being a writer with a beautiful imagination to create an Award Winning Book. That is exactly what New Zealand Author, J. A. Wright has done with her new release titled; “How To Grow An Addict.” Here are some of the awards she has won so far. So, you know her book is fantastic.
How to Grow an Addict: a novel (She Writes Press)
2016 Bronze Medal – Literary Fiction (IPPY) Independent Publisher Book Awards
2016 International Book Awards – Winner in Addiction & Recovery
2016 Winner NIEA Awards – Addiction & Recovery
2015 INDIEFAB Book of the Year Award – Finalist for General Fiction
2015 USA Best Book Awards – Finalist for General Fiction
2015 Best Book of year – Redbook
Like many authors and writers, Jodi does have a day job. She works and helps put on the The New Zealand International Jazz & Blues Festival … (This is their Facebook page.) Check out their website here: NW Jazz and Blues Festival She is also a mom and lives life in recovery like myself. So Let’s learn more about her writing and an excerpt share of her award-winning book
Targeted Age Group: Women
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
I wanted to write a book that accurately reflects the impact a dysfunctional family can have on a sensitive child. I know many recovering drug addicts and alcoholics who lived in a state of despair for years before hitting bottom and getting help. Most of them came from a family similar to the one outlined in my novel. I’ve been in recovery from drug addiction for more than 30 years, and I’ve had for the past fifteen I could (should) write a story that non-users could relate to, and that problem drinkers and drug users could identify with.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
This might sound weird, but a few of them came to me. I think Randall began talking to me years before I began writing about her. Some of the other characters, such as her father, are based on men I’ve known throughout my life (unfortunately).
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*Book Sample of ~ How to Grow an Addict: An Award Winning Novel*
Excerpt from Chapter 10
Aunt Flo got married again in February of 1989, only this time she married a man with “real money,” according to Dad. Arnold Smythe and Aunt Flo had a Valentine’s Day wedding at a fancy yacht club not far from his house in Malibu. It took an hour and a half for us to get there. That’s an hour and a half of Dad driving while swigging from a fifth of Jack Daniels and listening to his favorite Waylon Jennings cassette so loud that it was almost impossible for me to talk to Mom about why I shaved my legs even though she’d told me not to. I’d been asking her for months about shaving because I knew lots of girls who were thirteen who shaved their legs and underarms, and some who even shaved their privates. I begged Mom to let me shave and even made her have a close look at my legs one day, outside in the sunshine, but she said there wasn’t enough hair on them to shave off. She told me to rub my legs with lotion.
I tried the lotion but it didn’t do much to hide the hairs, and although I did my best to ignore it, I found myself thinking about it all the time. Sometimes at school, I’d sneak off to the bathroom just to have a look at what was happening with my leg hairs. On the morning of the wedding, I found ten new little black hairs on my right shin. I thought about plucking them out like I’d done to the ones on my left leg, but there wasn’t time, so I used Dad’s razor while I was in the bathroom. I’d watched Dad shave a few times, so I knew I was supposed to put shaving cream on my skin first, but the shaving cream can was empty so I just used water. It took forever for the bleeding to stop, and even though I put flesh-colored Band-Aids on the seven or eight places where my skin had come off, red was showing through them. Mom noticed right away. She yelled at me most of the morning. “I went to a lot of trouble and spent a lot of money on that beautiful dress you have on. Now no one is going to notice because they’ll be too distracted by your bloody shin.”
The outfit Mom bought for me was a bright yellow satin midi dress, complete with shoulder pads and puffed sleeves. She got it because she thought it matched the purple satin mini-dress she’d bought for herself. Dad was supposed to wear the tuxedo she rented for him but he didn’t. Instead, he wore his black jeans and cowboy boots and put a brown suit jacket on, but only after Mom insisted he wear one. Aunt Flo gave Dad a dirty look when she saw him and mentioned something about his bad dress sense and bad manners. She loved my outfit, though, said it was a nice style for me. “Not many people can wear lemon yellow as well as you. And with those beautiful earrings you look like a princess.” She also liked my red headband and lip gloss, and she didn’t mention my Band-Aids.
A few people did ask me about my leg, and I told them about a stray dog that had attacked me when I was taking the garbage out the night before. I think they believed me. Even if they didn’t, after my second glass of champagne, I didn’t care. I was dancing by myself next to the bar when I saw Mom motion me over to the reception hall kitchen area. “You promised to help me pass out wedding cake, remember?” she said. “Sure Mom, I’m only here to serve,” I laughed.
I winked at Mom as I picked up two plates of wedding cake and tucked little forks under the cake like she suggested. I was about to walk out to the reception hall to pass them out when I heard her say, “Don’t forget the napkins—and why are you so happy? Have you been drinking?” “Just the glass of champagne Aunt Flo gave me for the toast,” I lied.
Mom gave me her half-grin, eyebrows-up stare, the one she always gave me when she was upset with me, but I didn’t respond. Instead, I picked up a third plate and placed it a bit higher up on my forearm and pretended I was one of the Denny’s waitresses I often admired—the ones who could carry four or five plates at one time, cradling them all the way up their arms. I was doing a pretty good job passing out cake until I slipped and dropped a piece at the feet of Aunt Flo’s maid of honor, Helen, and it got all over her silver shoes. While I was stooped over trying to pick up the cake, I heard Helen tell Aunt Flo that I was either drunk or a complete spastic and that I shouldn’t be allowed to hand out anything.
“I’m sorry, Helen, the plate just slipped out of my hand,” I said.
The next second Mom came running out from the kitchen with a dish towel and bent down to wipe the icing from Helen’s shoes. Helen told her to stop and took over cleaning her own shoes. “You should attend to your daughter. She doesn’t look well,” Helen said. Mom pushed me into the ladies’ room. “What’s wrong with you? No one gets drunk from one little glass of champagne. You’d better not let your dad see you in this condition,” she said.
“He’s too wasted to notice,” I replied. “He might be, but I’m not,” she said.
She made me splash water on my face and said I needed to get something in my stomach, including a cup of coffee.
The buffet table had so many different types of food on it that I couldn’t decide what to eat, so I just stared at the chicken until Mom jerked the plate from my hand, said something about hating being a mother sometimes, and then piled as much food as she could onto it before handing it back to me and telling me to eat every last bite. I took a seat at a table occupied by a really old man who seemed to be asleep. A few seconds later, Mom walked up behind me with a cup of coffee.
“I put three sugars in it, so drink it all. I’ll check on you later, but I need to get back to your dad before he drinks the bar dry,” she said. It took me a while to eat the potato salad, corn on the cob, prime rib, and roasted chicken, but I did. I also finished the half bottle of beer someone had left on the table …
More About The Author:
J.A. Wright was raised in the Pacific Northwest and moved to New Zealand in 1990. With more than thirty years in recovery from drug addiction, she’s been crafting her debut novel How to Grow an Addict for years.
How to Grow an Addict is J.A. Wright’s debut novel. Named best book of 2015 by Redbook/Good Housekeeping magazine and a finalist in both the 2015 USA Best Book Awards and 2015 Foreward Reviews’ INDIEFAB Book of the Year Award and a Bronze winner in the 2016 IPPY Awards for Literary Fiction. (And a few more above).
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I’d been working for years on a way to write a realistic account of how a family that isn’t quite right can influence and nurture an addiction in a child. My hope is that people who read it will gain a better understanding of how a misfit and sensitive child can easily get into more trouble than she ever intended.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
It’s scary and exciting. I’m not always sure what to do or who to approach for promotional help. Entering writing contests has benefitted me and my novel How to Grow an Addict and has joined various online support networks. But there is so much out there about how to publish and promote and hard to understand which way to go.
What do you use?: Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?: Fiction, Faction
What formats are your books in?: Both eBook and Print
Where To Purchase Her Award-Winning Novel:
Links to Purchase eBooks – Click links for book samples and reviews
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