Tuesday 8 October 2013

ACRBA tour The Inheritance by Jo-Anne Berthelsen with Author interview

Posted by Jenny Blake

7 - 11 October


(Even Before Publishing September 2013)


Jo-Anne Berthelsen

About the Book:

Michael Trevelyan is determined to claim his inheritance at all costs. Bitterness consumes him and he refuses to forgive those who have betrayed him. Yet, when he meets Alexandra Hope, things begin to change. She challenges his views but also listens while he shares his pain. Can Michael move on from the past and learn to forgive? Can Alexandra hold onto her faith in God as she deals with their deepening relationship? Can they both learn to trust each other - and God? The Inheritance is a stirring story of family secrets, forgiveness and faith - of leaving behind a dark, painful legacy and walking into the light of God's eternal inheritance. 

About the Author:
Jo-Anne Berthelsen lives in Sydney but grew up in Brisbane. She holds degrees in Arts and Theology and has worked as a high school teacher, editor and secretary, as well as in local church ministry. Jo-Anne loves communicating through both the written and spoken word. She is the author of five published novels – Heléna, All the Days of My Life, Laura, Jenna and Heléna’s Legacy, with a sixth, The Inheritance, due for release in 2013. Her first non-fiction work Soul Friend: The story of a shared spiritual journey was released in October 2012. Jo-Anne loves music, reading, mentoring younger women, and sharing with community groups about writing. She is married to a retired minister and has three grown-up children and three grandchildren. 
For more information, please visit or

 Interview with Jo-Anne

1.       Can you tell us something interesting readers may not know about you?
Many years ago, I majored in German and Japanese at Queensland University and later taught these subjects in high schools. During my second year at uni, I studied Classical Greek as well—plus I met my future husband in that Greek class!

2.       Where did you get the inspiration for your novel The Inheritance?
The idea for The Inheritance came during a week-long writing course I attended at the NSW Writers’ Centre a few years ago. One morning, our facilitator took us through a visualisation exercise in which we were asked to imagine a particular room in all its detail, as well as the people present there. This became the basis of our writing that day, as we were encouraged to unfold the story further. I kept what I wrote and eventually edited it to form the first chapter of The Inheritance, with the male character I visualised in that room developing into my main male protagonist in the novel.

3.       In your research did you find any interesting titbits that surprised you?
For one part of the novel, I had to find out how my main male protagonist would regain the use of his hand after it was badly burnt and crushed. A kind professor from the Concord Hospital Burns Unit here in Sydney helped me out, and one interesting thing I discovered was that there are such people as ‘hand therapists’ around—physios and occupational therapists who specialise in this area. I hadn’t known such people existed prior to that!

Also, at one stage in the novel, my main female protagonist heads to Ethiopia to undertake medical aid work, which meant I needed to research the type of diseases prevalent amongst children in that country. The sad fact I discovered here is that so many children still die there from diseases that are entirely preventable these days.

4.       What would you like readers to take out of reading your novel?
The Inheritance is essentially a story about forgiveness and about reconciliation with God and with others. The key verse I had in mind while writing it was Hebrew 12:15—See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many. Therefore, I hope that, as my readers follow the ups and downs of Michael and Alexandra’s journey with each other and with God, they will be strengthened to forgive those who have hurt them in any way and come to enjoy the freedom God’s grace can bring us.

5.       A fun question to end: If you were to recommend somewhere in Australia or New Zealand for readers to visit where would it be?
Having spent this morning sitting in the sunshine with a friend outside the Armoury Cafe at Blaxland Riverside Park beside the beautiful Parramatta River in western Sydney, I would have to say this area not far from the Olympic Games site at Homebush is well worth a visit!

6.       Where can we find you on the web?

Thanks Jo-Anne for sharing with us.


  1. Having read several of Jo-Anne's other books, I have no hesitation in recommending this one even though I haven't read it yet. It's definitely on my "want to read" the moment I only have three others on it, so it shouldn't take too long. I tend to read one fiction and one non-fiction at the same time (well, sort of the same time :-D )

  2. Jo-Anne & Jenny, great interview! It's fascinating to hear that your story idea started from a writing exercise during a writing course.

  3. Interesting interview. looking forward to reading this book.

  4. I enjoyed reading 'Soul Friend' and cannot wait to read 'The Inheritance'. The theme of forgiveness can never be sufficiently stressed.
    Loved the interview.
    Hazel Barker

  5. Great interview, I love how the writing exercise planted a seed which grew into a novel. :)


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