Interview with Jo Sparkes, author of “The Birr Elixir”

jo sparkes

Today, I’m interviewing Jo Sparkes, author of “The Birr Elixir”. Thanks so much for your time today, Jo!

Leigh: Tell us a little about yourself.

Born in Maryland, I’ve lived in various parts of the U.S. Delaware, Houston, Dallas, Connecticut, Phoenix. I’m in the great Northwest at the moment. Married a Brit, got a dog. Still root for the Arizona Cardinals.

Leigh: How would you define success as a writer?

A good day of writing.

No matter what else happens after that, I still can find my smile.

Leigh: Which writers inspire you the most?

One of my teachers was a man named Robert Day, author of ‘The Last Cattle Drive”. He had such a deep appreciation of people, of characters.

An example is in an article that appeared in the Washington Post, a humorous story about himself. The opening paragraph was along this line (and I’m butchering it horribly):

“My father died when I was 17. Mother kept his ashes on a shelf above the dryer.”

What a wonderful opening.

Leigh: For your own reading, do you prefer e-book or paperback?

Early on I only read paperbacks. My life had enough electronics. But when we traveled to Europe, I realized I could carry all my books in that one slim device. And, when the eyes got a little tired from plane travel, I could magically transform it to bigger print.

And the purse was lighter sans magnifying glass.

Leigh: What advice would you give to your young author self if you could go back in time?

Listen to others, take in all the wisdom and advice to help see the pitfalls and bright spots. But you – and only you – can forge your particular path.

No one may walk another’s journey. And, when it’s all said and done, only our own true path takes us where we truly wish to go.

Leigh: I absolutely love the sport “Comet” in your book. What inspired your design of the game?

There was a time I wrote about NFL Football (the Arizona Cardinals). Competition is inspiring – all the highs and lows, the joy of pushing your limits, and the lessons you discover if you only accept defeat as temporary.

I hoped to find a way to share a little – just a little – of that feeling.

Leigh: What do you think of book trailers? I loved the one for The Birr Elixir. Do you have any other favorites?

For some reason, I’m all about the music. The words are important, of course, but the mood the music stirs makes or breaks it for me.

I had the good fortune of the talented Abhiraj Rajadhyaksha, of Experimental Films, do mine. I’ll confess, I watched it preparing for the books to follow.

Leigh: What are some of your hobbies?

At the moment, yoga and decorating my home. Both leave me twisted into knots.

In the past I’ve skied, scuba dived (dove?), played blackjack and backpacked around Europe.

That last was pure joy to the soul – and fodder to the writing brain.

Leigh: How can readers find out more about you and your work?






Amazon Author Page:

Book Links:







Thank you, Jo, for taking the time out of your busy schedule to take part in this interview.



  1. Pingback: The Birr Elixir by Jo Sparkes | Leigh Holland Writes!

  2. Pingback: The Agben School (The Legend of the Gamesmen Book 2) by Jo Sparkes | Leigh Holland Writes!

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