Jojo Moyes was born in 1969 and grew up in London. After a varied career including stints as a minicab controller, typer of braille statements for blind people for NatWest, and brochure writer for Club 18-30 she did a degree at Royal Holloway and Bedford New College, London University.
In 1992 She won a bursary financed by The Independent newspaper to attend the postgraduate newspaper journalism course at City University, and apart from 1994 when she worked in Hong Kong for the Sunday Morning Post, she worked at The Independent for ten years, including stints as Assistant news editor and Arts and Media Correspondent.
She has been a full time novelist since 2002, when her first book, Sheltering Rain was published. She lives on a farm in Essex with her husband, journalist Charles Arthur, and their three children. Her new book, Me Before You, is out now.
Which was your favourite childhood book?
Friday’s Tunnel by John Verney
Where do you write? What objects are on your desk, and why?
Either in the back room at home, or my little office in Saffron Walden. I am a desk slob, so usually 18 books I’ve promised to read, two empty coffee cups, admin, old contracts, receipts I haven’t yet sorted, biscuit crumbs, pens, notepads fuil of incomprehensible plot points and doodles.
Which was the book that changed your life?
Behind The Scenes At The Museum. It made me realise that books could have an actual ‘voice’, and made me want to find my own.
Which writer(s) do you most admire?
It changes month to month, but Kate Atkinson is probably a constant.
Do you have a word or phrase that you most overuse?
Is there a book you were supposed to love but didn’t?
What have you learned from writing?
Everything. As a child, I learned about the world. Now I learn about what’s inside people.
Which book do you wish you’d written?
So many! Most recently, Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn.
Best read of the summer?
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn.
Are there any books you re-read?
I re-read all the time. I don’t understand people who only read a book once. National Velvet is a favourite. To Kill A Mockingbird. Heartburn by Nora Ephron.
How do you feel about the expression ‘chick-lit’?
I hate it. But I love many of the writers who write it.
What are you working on at the moment?
I’m trying to get my new novel off the ground. It’s like feeling around in the dark, waiting for the shapes to take form. I feel like that answer is going to land me in Pseud’s Corner.
If you weren’t a writer, would you be a horsewoman?
I’d love to, yes. My riding instructor would probably disagree.