The Warts ‘n’ All Biography

Eccentric Englishwoman, absent-minded mother, proud bisexual, shameless tea-addict, serial textile craft hobbyist, iconoclastic logophile and writer of homoerotic romance—Josephine Myles is all these things at once. She has always known she was a bit different and spent her school years desperately trying to avoid being labeled the class swot, despite getting As across the board. Her teenage years were a mess of misplaced rebellion, substance abuse, sluttish behavior, body piercings and really silly hairstyles. She had great fun as far as she can remember, and just about the only thing she regrets is the hairstyles (all photographic evidence has since been destroyed)

At the age of eighteen, Jo spent a year at art college where she became proficient at talking pretentious bollocks about sculptures made out of junk, hunting down roadkill animals to sketch, and growing cress on the surface of her paintings. Thankfully she decided not to take the career in dubious conceptual art any further. She then spent a couple of years on a variety of short term, dead-end jobs, because back in those days no decent employer wanted anything to do with a girl who dressed like Tank Girl, had a shock of brightly-coloured dreadlocks, and was perpetually hungover. Fortunately, all that time spent washing up, bar tending, cleaning, litter picking and working in factories and warehouses, has given a middle class girl an understanding of how the other half lives.

As she’s grown older and (possibly) wiser, Jo has managed to hold down some more sensible jobs, such as shop manager, mosaic artist, and English teacher. Probably her all time favourite job was as a student support worker in catering college, though. Being plunged in a hot and sweaty, testosterone-fuelled environment with shouty, sweary chefs and badly behaved teenage boys made her very happy, for reasons she doesn’t want to examine too closely.

Along with her relentless job-hopping, Jo has been unable to settle for any length of time in one place. This restlessness eventually culminated in her buying a narrowboat and living on it for two years. Living on the waterways was fascinating, if somewhat smelly, and she’s now milking the experience for everything it’s worth by writing stories set there. She also finds dropping it into the conversation a great ice-breaker for those occasions when she really doesn’t want to tell strangers she writes gay erotic romance.

Jo can impersonate a wholesome, normal person when she needs to, such as when collecting her daughter from school or having Sunday lunch with her folks. Scratch the surface, though, and she’s still the same reckless, determined and over-imaginative wild child she’s always been.

These days Jo stops herself getting restless feet by travelling into her imagination. For some reason her muse is an impeccably dressed gay man with a bacchanalian wild side. He insists on her pairing up unconventional characters with unlikely matches, and then sits back to watch the sparks fly. He has a love of contemporary settings, but occasionally mutters in her ear about writing him a crazy science fiction or paranormal story. He’s only made her write a historical once so far, for which Jo is extremely grateful.