Friday Friends: Spotlight on Jo Pinto

Ann Barnes

F R I D A Y  F R I E N D S


Jo Pinto
Jo PInto walking with her guide dog on a beautiful autumn day

“Making the Most of Every Day”

About Jo Pinto

My name is Jo Elizabeth Pinto. I was born three months too early in 1971 and lost my eyesight to retinopathy of prematurity. Like many blind children, I grew up on Braille and Talking Books from the National Library Service. I devoured all the great writers children should discover—Dr. Seuss and Roald Dahl, Hans Christian Anderson and Laura Ingalls Wilder, Beverly Cleary and Judy Blume, John Steinbeck and William Shakespeare.

Goal, From An Early Age

I always knew I wanted to be an author. From the time I figured out words could be written down and reread again and again, I knew someday I would write. When I was in elementary school, supposedly studying, I’d often be busy at my Perkins brailler, pounding out poetry or creating title pages and back cover descriptions for books I dreamed of one day publishing.

Origins of The Bright Side of Darkness

My novel, “The Bright Side of Darkness”, began as a short story assignment for a high school English class. I got an A on the assignment and fell in love with the characters who came to life in my imagination.

Dream Continued to Thrive Over Time

I never forgot those characters. In my twenties, needing to learn how to use a word processor, I typed that old short story from high school into my first computer—a DOS machine with 5-inch floppy disks and no Internet. The writing needed a lot of work, but the characters still captivated me. I added to the story, changed and deleted weak parts and moved paragraphs and chapters around. I picked the project up and put it down many times over the next twenty-some years, took advice and editing from countless people, attended writing workshops and critique groups, and never gave up on my dream.

Shock of Mother’s Sudden Death

Still, my dream might have stayed in a drawer forever if my mom hadn’t passed away suddenly in 2014. She was diagnosed with colon cancer, and ten days later she was gone. The shock nearly swept my world off its axis.

Act On Our Dreams

For a while, I couldn’t imagine anything positive coming out of such a horrific event. But gradually, I realized none of us have a clue how many days we will walk upon this planet. What we want to do, we better do in the present. So I gave my novel one last loving polish and kicked it out of the nest. In June of 2015, I finally published my book.

Stretched in a Good Way

As I’ve marketed my novel over the last two years, I’ve met many wonderful people, blind and sighted, and been drawn out of my comfort zone. I’m a natural introvert and a recluse at heart. But introversion and reclusiveness are diametrically opposed to book marketing, so I’ve had my limits stretched in exciting ways as “The Bright Side of Darkness” finds its place in the world.

Blessed by Recognition / Awards

The novel won two First Place 2016 Next Generation Independent Book Awards, one for First Novel Over 80,000 Words,, and one for Inspirational Fiction. It also won several 2016 awards from the Colorado Independent Publishers Association: First Place for Inspirational Fiction, Second Place for Audiobook Production, and First Place for Literary and Contemporary Fiction.

It’s a Wrap

Besides writing, I work from home as a Braille proofreader and hang out with my family, which includes my nine-year-old daughter and her dad, and my guide dog Anlyn.


Jo Pinto
Author Jo Pinto

J.E. Pinto was born in Chicago, Illinois, in 1971 and grew up in Brighton, Colorado. She has a nine-year-old daughter and a guide dog named Anylyn. Pinto graduated in 1992 from the University of Northern Colorado with a degree in Human Rehabilitation Services, and she earned a second degree in 2004 from the Metropolitan State College of Denver in Nonprofit Management. Having been born blind since birth, she is currently self-employed as a Braille proofreader. Prior to that, she worked at a computer lab at Metro State, where she helped college students with disabilities learn to use adaptive computer technology.

As a writer, Pinto realizes the importance of entertaining her readers while giving them something to think about. She wants to empower her readers so they may reach the end of her book knowing the deeds of one person can make a difference. Drawing inspiration from her own experiences, Pinto wishes to show the world that hope is just an action away.

Contact information to Jo Pinto

Author Page on Amazon:

Buying Page on Amazon:

In-depth Author Interview:

J.E.Pinto or authorjepinto

What would you like to know about Jo’s writing routine, awards or writing style? Here’s your opportunity to ask her! Leave a question / comment below.

You have just read “Friday Friends: Spotlight on Jo Pinto.” © November 3, 2017. All rights reserved. Don’t forget to leave a comment for Jo.

If you like learning about the accomplishments of other blind or vision-impaired authors, read more guest posts like Mary Hiland, The Bumpy Road to Assisted Living and Freelance writer and author Ann Barnes. 

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