Buddhism for Meat Eaters… Why I Wrote It

BUDDHISM_FINAL

In just over a month, my second non-fiction title will be on the shelf (2 July). The dilemmas, struggles and answers included in Buddhism for Meat Eaters were ones that had been brewing for around thirty years. I always wanted to be vegetarian (preferably vegan) but my physical body did not agree. I was left with a constant sense of guilt, shame and grief over this struggle–my spirit was willing but my body wasn’t.

For years I kept a journal, thinking I could wrestle out this conflict on the page, until years later I had to accept that I had no answers. I put the journal away, and carried on with my life, never have found the peace I craved.

Then one day, I was lying awake in the middle of the night. It was a full moon and I often struggle to sleep during that lunar phase. I can’t even remember what I was thinking about specifically, but somewhere between midnight and two am, it was like the decades of struggle finally made sense. All the threads came together, and I’d finally begun to find peace in the last place I expected to uncover it: Buddhism.

I jumped up and grabbed by laptop and wrote out a page, then sent it to my agent. This! I wrote. This is what I want to write about! For the record, I don’t actually recommend you send your agent/publisher wild ramblings at two o’clock in the morning as a way of pitching an idea, but in this case, it worked. Haylee said she loved it, asked me to write out some sample chapters, began pitching it before I’d finished writing it, and I was blown away to find that it sold so quickly. Clearly, my struggles with eating meat were not unique to me. There was a market for this book. Certainly, by the number of you who have left me comments saying things like This book was written for me or I need this so much or I can’t wait to read this, I am absolutely not alone in this quandary.

Ultimately, this book is one of hope, of healing and making peace with your body, mind, plate and world. If you are drawn to it, I hope it brings you as much encouragement as it did me.

Jo x

p.s. I love this cover so much. It was designed by Lisa White, who also designed the cover for my first novel, The Tea Chest. I think Lisa truly gets my vibe.

 

100-book Raffle Winners!

Screen Shot 2019-03-06 at 8.28.10 amToday’s the day!
 
The Authors for Townsville Raffle has been drawn.
 
Thank you to all who entered this competition. With your help we raised just over $6,000 for this worthy cause for GIVIT. And a HUGE thank you to the generous authors who donated their books, without which we wouldn’t have had a raffle at all! I’ve no doubt the money will be well used and appreciated by the people who need it most.
 
Winners:
 
1st prize: Janine A
2nd prize: Sarah H
3rd prize: Gillian D
 
I have sent you all an email to let you know and to confirm your postal address.
 
Authors, I will email you as soon as we have address confirmation. X
 
💜

New non-fiction, ‘Buddhism for Meat Eaters’, coming July 2019

BUDDHISM_FINALAnd now for something completely different… Coming in July from Simon & Schuster Australia is my second non-fiction title and they have done a beautiful job with this book. Two books hitting the shelves this year. Lucky me!

The blurb reads:

“An engaging, challenging and contemplative guide on how to live a compassionate life in a consumerist era.

For many years, Josephine Moon struggled with the question of eating meat; fervently wishing to live as a vegetarian yet requiring meat in her diet. From Josephine’s philosophical, spiritual and physical battle with eating meat came, Buddhism for Meat Eaters – a book for animal lovers, the environmentally and ethically conscious, and generally thoughtful people who eat meat but perhaps aren’t entirely comfortable doing so.

Open, honest and utterly without judgement, Buddhism for Meat Eaters encourages readers to be more mindful about their choices, rather than berating themselves for them, and offers ways for people to live ethically, honestly and guilt-free, whether as a carnivore, vegetarian or vegan. This highly practical guide also includes workbook-style activities and topics for consideration to guide you in your own journey to making wiser decisions on how you consume, how you live, and how to change the world around you.”

Researching The Gift of Life: Watching a Heart Transplant to Finding the Silent Story

44816789_351729678931125_4498650910217469952_n

Research is my happy place. I do extensive research for every book I write and it’s where I learn not just technical information but also start to find my character development, settings and plot points too. I get to travel within Australian and overseas for location research, which is a great gift. I interview people, spend hours on the internet, watch loads of YouTube videos and, inevitably, buy a lot of reference books. It is the phase where anything is still possible, ideas are still forming and excitement takes me back again and again for more.

My forthcoming novel, The Gift of Life, is based around organ donation, specifically, heart transplants. I love anatomy (I studied it for two semesters) and Biology was also my strongest subject at school and I then did another semester of it at uni. As a result, I loved brushing up on all my anatomy and physiology and researching the many causes and treatments of heart failure, some of which lead to the need for an organ donation. I even ended up at the cardiologist myself, as I have a long history of arrhythmias and, as I found out in my research, these can lead to heart failure! (Fortunately for me, the type I have appear to be uncomplicated.) My husband, too, also ended up at the cardiologist, then my mum went… It seemed like every time I turned around, ‘hearts’ were the theme of the day.  One thing I learned through all this research was that we are all vulnerable to heart issues, which can come with a long list of complications, which can also lead to a need for a transplant. I really had no idea how common it was.

The amount of personal testimony I came across (both from the point of view of a heart transplant recipient and also from the family of those who had consented to the donation of their loved one’s organs) is significantly higher coming from the USA than it is Australia. This was both tricky–because the USA medical and legal systems are very different to ours–and also an opportunity to hear different experiences and voices from those who’ve gone through the process.

There is a wealth of videos on YouTube and I even came across one that showed a heart transplant operation. That one was a little tough to stomach, to be honest!

I interviewed two Australian heart transplant recipients, which was a fabulous opportunity to hear their stories firsthand. They were both very different people–he a middle-aged man with a wife, children and career–and she a young woman in her twenties with a long life ahead if only she could get the chance. Their experience of the process was vastly different too. The organ transplant process is a gamble at every stage: the illness, the waiting period, the operation, the recovery, the chances of rejection and ongoing complications.

In the end, I had way more information than I could use in the book, which is normal. The Gift of Life starts two years after Gabby McPhee had her heart transplant; therefore much of what I learned about the difficult, emotional waiting stage (and the ongoing physical rehabilitation and care through that period) had to be cut and left out; however, it’s all there in my mind, forming the basis to the background of Gabby’s psyche.

I also became really interested in the more silent half of the story–the experiences of the family members who make the decision to donate. These stories are harder to find, and understandably so, as their experience is rooted in trauma, shock and grief. But as a writer, that ‘silent space’ is the most interesting to me. The possibility of a new, untold story is the one I want to follow. The wealth of information I found on the other side (the recipient’s stories) served to highlight a gap in the narrative that, when voiced through the character of Krystal Arthur, fleshed out the full circle of life.

I loved researching this book. It was utterly fascinating from beginning to end.

 

Win a Manuscript Assessment with Publisher Annette Barlow

Image-6.png

Our third and final generous Australian publisher who has donated her time to raise funds for Buy a Bale and help an aspiring or emerging writer at the same time is none other than Annette Barlow from Allen & Unwin. Here is some information about Annette and what she is offering.

If you have been working on a manuscript and want the chance to win first class feedback and maybe even find your work in front of the right people who can make your dream come true, then make sure you keep following along and bid, bid, bid to win Annette’s attention!

Annette’s offer will be on eBay in the THIRD round of auctions, starting 19 October, 6pm.

Welcome, Annette!

____________________

Bio: Annette has worked at Allen & Unwin as an editor and a publisher for over 25 years. She includes many wonderful fiction writers on her list, for example, Kate Morton, Kirsty Manning, Alex Miller, Louise Allan, Julian Leatherdale, Holly Throsby, Fleur McDonald, Tony Jones and Karly Lane. Annette teaches at Faber Academy at A&U and is in charge of the annual Australian/Vogel’s Literary Award.

Why are you excited to do this? Jo’s desire to support Australia’s farmers spurred me on into thinking what concrete action I could take. I’m very happy to offer my skills in this way.

Genres: I look forward to reading chapters of commercial, literary, rural or contemporary fiction but fantasy, sci-fi, and YA are not my areas.

Submission length: Please send 3 chapters (max 50 pages) and a synopsis.

Communication: Phone and/or email

Reply time: within a month of receiving pages

Auction reserve: $390

_____________________

Interested? Of course you are! Stay tuned by following me on Facebook, Twitter or here on this blog to make sure you get all the news in the lead up to this exciting event!

____________________

AUTHORS FOR FARMERS is an initiative by Australian author Josephine Moon (www.josephinemoon.com) to band together fellow authors from around the country to help with drought relief fundraising for Australian farmers. All money raised goes to BUY A BALE (registered charity, http://www.buyabale.com.au).

(Please note: Ebay charges fees for using its platform and these will be will be deducted from the total donation amount at the end.)

The Nash Agency 2018 Writers Retreat

https---cdn.evbuc.com-images-46356190-244664067268-1-original

I am thrilled to be a part of this exciting retreat, offered by my literary agent Haylee Nash of The Nash Agency.

The Nash Agency Writer’s Retreat 2018

When: Monday 3rd September to Thursday 6th September

Where: Cedar Creek Lodges, Mt Tamborine, Gold Coast Hinterland, Queensland

The Nash Agency is pleased to offer our first writers’ retreat.

Open to aspiring, self-published and traditionally published authors, our writers’ retreat offers the chance to hone your craft through sessions with bestselling Australian authors and experienced literary agents, one-on-one consultations with principal agent and owner, Haylee Nash, and engaging and challenging group workshops, as well as offering the space to focus on your writing in the perfect setting.

Here is just some of what you can expect from The Nash Agency Writers’ Retreat 2018:

* Masterclass with top ten bestselling Australian author, Rachael Johns

* Masterclass with international bestselling author, Josephine Moon

* Learn from Alex Adsett about the role of an agent, the importance of copyright and how to understand a publishing contact

* Hear from Haylee Nash about the state of the Australian book market, current trends in publishing and what publishers are looking for

* Polish your pitch to give your manuscript the best chance of snagging an agent and/or publisher

* Partial manuscript appraisals (on three chapters and synopsis), including a one-page report and 15-minute consultation with Haylee Nash

Click here for more information on ticketing, accommodation and more details about the presenters.

I hope to see you there!

Jo

Win a Book Club in Box set of Three Gold Coins + Wine + Snacks!

Screen Shot 2018-04-18 at 8.22.23 amDo you have a book club? Want to start one right now?

Here is a wonderful opportunity to have your next meeting’s event delivered to your door, with 10 copies of Three Gold Coins, two bottles of wine and quality snacks, as well as reading and discussion notes and advice on how to start a book club if you need it.

Good Reading Magazine says: “Three Gold Coins packs a mountain of heart, an abundance of tortured soul and a banquet of mouthwatering food.”

To enter, simply follow this link.

Good luck!