Question Time – Jo Hoare

Incredibly tongue in cheek and equally hilarious, when we picked up a copy of Jo Hoare’s ‘So You Think You’re a Millennial’ we thought it would be a laugh, which it was. What we didn’t anticipate was finding it quite so relatable, which stung a little… 

 

Your new book ‘So You Think You’re a Millennial’ is out very very soon, and we thought it was hysterical. What inspired you to create this book, and would you say it was satirical?

Thank you! I’ve written a series of books poking light hearted fun at ‘stereotypical’ characters- people you meet in an office job, festival goers, dog owners and with everyone constantly bashing poor millennials they felt like a ripe target. It’s probably more exaggerated sketch type writing than satire and it’s tongue in cheek, hopefully it comes across as kindly piss taking not out and out character assassinations!

Do you feel that the stereotypes of millennials are getting a hard time at the moment?
Definitely , tbh some of them deserve it, the worthy wellness types being smug about chia pudding for example.

Which stereotype within the book would you say you identified with the most?
Well without revealing my age I fall ever so slightly out of the millennial bracket so I’m ‘the one that’s not a millennial at all’ the 30 something who still lives the ‘feckless’ life of Ubers, takeways and running out of money by week three of the month.

How do you think social media has affected the world of the millennial, and do you largely think it’s for the better?
I think it’s too easy to be addicted, I find it impossible to put down my phone and have started trying to instill a two hour rule where I put my phone in another room when I get home around 7 and don’t look at it til 9pm. I think it can be dangerous, it’s so easy to feel miserable about your own life when everyone else’s looks so glam, but that’s cos no one puts up the pics of them in an egg stained pair of leggings, hair scraped back watching five hours of Taboo….I think it can also make you spend too much- you think why’s she got five Diptyque candles on her bedside table? I don’t even have one! Ok I know they’re fifty quid but if I just buy one not five, I’m saving £200…

Before going freelance and kicking ass in the publishing world, you worked at one of our fave magazines Heat. How did you get into journalism?
I fell into magazines, I did a degree and a Masters in English, I knew I wanted to do some kind of writing but wasn’t sure what and I was just bumbling along after uni, earning money as a receptionist in a private hospital (great spying ground for celebs) when I bumped into someone at a party who was the features editor at the time. She asked me to come in for some work experience, from that I started to get freealnce shifts with them then after six months a job came up.

What advice would you give to a budding journalist or writer?
Practice your craft, it’s a bit like going to the gym and exercising your muscles, start a blog, keep a diary, whatever works for you, just write as much as you can. And when you go in for work experience be professional, I used to be amazed at the amount of people that’d come into the office with no idea how to answer a phone, arrive on time or send a business appropriate email. Clue for the first one: just say the name of the business and ask how you can help, don’t just say ‘yeah’ and then put the phone down when you don’t know who to put them through to.

How did you find the transition from editor to freelance? Did you find it a difficult leap?
For the first weeks I got so excited about having no alarm that I totally messed up my sleeping patterns and reverted to uni days, going out as late as I wanted, staying up til 3am and sleeping in til noon. Then I realised I was getting nothing done. It also became very easy not to leave the house, especially in winter, so my trick for that is only buying the smallest bottle of milk, that way I at least have to go to the shop most days! I’m also terrible with finances so keeping on top of invoices and tax can be a bit tricky.

Here at Chapter W we are all about championing women, so who would you say were your female icons?
Jackie Collins. I’m writing a bonkbuster at the moment and I’m really trying to channel her. I was lucky enough to have lunch with her a few years ago and she was every bit as sassy as I dreamt she’d be.

What is a quote you live by?
Get on with it. It works for everything.

What’s next for you, career wise?
I’ve got two more comedy books coming out, one on dogs in September and one I can’t say too much about but it involves taking the piss out of a very popular lifestyle trend. Plus as above, I’m trying to crack a bonkbuster.

Lastly, excluding your own, if you could recommend us one book to devour in the next month, what would it be and why?

I’ve just finished Little Deaths by Emma Flint- normally I’d never carry a hardback in my handbag but I loved it so much and wanted to finish it so quickly that I broke my rule and it came everywhere with me.

Interview by Louisa Davies.

You can purchase the brilliant ‘So You Think You’re a Millenial’ here, and be sure to follow Jo on Twitter here!

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