|Intro||British novelist and journalist|
|Is||Journalist Writer Novelist Scholar|
|Field||Academia Journalism Literature|
|Birth||4 August 1969, Londinium, UK|
Pauline Sara Jo Moyes (born 4 August 1969), known professionally as Jojo Moyes, is an English journalist and, since 2002, a romance novelist and screenwriter. She is one of only a few authors to have twice won the Romantic Novel of the Year Award by the Romantic Novelists' Association and has been translated into twenty-eight languages.
Life and early career
Pauline Sara-Jo Moyes was born on 4 August 1969 in Maidstone, England. Before attending university, Moyes held several jobs: she was a typist at NatWest typing statements in braille for blind people, a brochure writer for Club 18-30, and a minicab controller for a brief time. While an undergraduate at Royal Holloway, University of London, Moyes worked for the Egham and Staines News. Moyes won a bursary financed by The Independent newspaper which allowed her to attend the postgraduate newspaper journalism course at City University in 1992. She subsequently worked for The Independent for the next 10 years (except for one year, when she worked in Hong Kong for the Sunday Morning Post) in various roles, becoming Assistant News Editor in 1998. In 2002 she became the newspaper's Arts and Media Correspondent.
Early in her writing career, Moyes wrote three manuscripts that were all initially rejected. With one child, another baby on the way, and a career as a journalist, Moyes committed to herself that if her fourth book was rejected, she would stop her efforts. After submitting the first three chapters of her fourth book to various publishers, six of them began a bidding war for the rights.
Moyes became a full-time novelist in 2002, when her first book Sheltering Rain was published. She continues to write articles for The Daily Telegraph.
Moyes' publisher, Hodder & Stoughton, did not take up the 2012 novel Me Before You and Moyes sold it to Penguin. It sold six million copies, went to number one in nine countries, and reinvigorated her back catalogue resulting in three of her novels being on the New York Times bestseller list at the same time. Moyes would later write two sequels starring Louisa Clark, the protagonist of Me Before You: After You in 2015 and Still Me in 2018.
In 2016 the film adaptation Me Before You was released and the screenplay was written by Moyes.
Moyes now looks back on those first seven novels written prior to Me Before You, and how it was discouraging to have seven novels in the market that were not doing well. After Me Before You took off, Moyes says that "people turned to the backlist" (those first seven books) and began purchasing and reading them as well, giving Moyes a sense of satisfaction and fulfillment.
In 2020, Moyes attended the launch of the Quick Reads which she supported with £120,000 of her own investment where she spoke to Ikon London Magazine about the Quick Reads initiative.
Awards and achievements
Moyes first won the Romantic Novelists' Association's Romantic Novel of the Year Award in 2004 for Foreign Fruit and again in 2011 for The Last Letter From Your Lover. She is one of few authors to have received this award twice.
Me Before You hit the New York Times bestseller Top Ten chart in 2016 and spent 19 weeks on the chart.
Me Before You was nominated for Book of the Year at the UK Galaxy Book Awards.
The Giver of Stars was shortlisted for the 2020 Fiction Book of the Year in the British Book Awards.
As a child, Moyes remembers reading National Velvet by Enid Bagnold and how that book made her feel that, as a child, she could achieve things greater than she thought possible at the time.
Behind the Scenes at the Museum by Kate Atkinson is a book that Moyes cites as one that really changed her feelings about writing as she matured and grew into her career. She cites it as being one of those books that keeps readers invested, and it was one that she said pushed her to become a better, stronger writer.
Moyes cites Nora Ephron's use of wit to display the business of love and being human.
Marian Keyes and Lisa Jewell are two authors whom Moyes cites that are often referred to as "chick-lit" authors, but whose writing is well-refined and goes beyond the "lightweight" implications of being labelled a "romance writer".
Jonathan Tropper is a writer whom Moyes cites as someone she admires hugely, noting that she tries "to read authors who are better than [she is]" because it pushes her to be a better writer.
Jane Austen is an author whom Moyes admires for her ability to write about what truly influences love and what makes a love story realistic (i.e. what pushes them apart, not what brings them together).
Moyes lives on a farm in Great Sampford, Essex, with her husband, journalist Charles Arthur, and their three children. She enjoys riding her ex-racehorse, Brian, as well as tending to the numerous animals on her family's farm, including Nanook, or 'BigDog', a rescued 58 kg female Pyrenean mountain dog.
- Me Before You (2016), film directed by Thea Sharrock, based on novel Me Before You
- Im Schatten das Licht (2020), TV-film directed by Vivian Naefe, based on novel The Horse Dancer
- The Last Letter from Your Lover (TBA), film directed by Augustine Frizzell, based on novel The Last Letter from Your Lover, distributed by Netflix