The time it was all women

Posted July 14, 2014 by Stacee in Signings / 7 Comments

I had heard a lot about Jojo Moyes and was interested in her books, so I took a chance and requested it on NetGalley. I was approved and really enjoyed the story, so when I saw that she was going to be at Warwick’s, I convinced Michelle that we needed to go.

We got into La Jolla early and ended up wandering around after picking up our books. We found a great cafe/bakery and bought gourmet treats. Michelle spotted the Kate Spade store and we killed some time there.

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We ended up getting back to Warwick’s around 6:30. The line of women who were attending the signings quickly got pretty long and we were let in at 7pm. Michelle and I had reserved seats, and we ended up in the third row.

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The event started right at 7:30. Jojo came in and said that she was feeling much less frazzled because she was able to get a full day off to spend in La Jolla.

She wrote One Plus One because she wanted to a write a mother who wasn’t a problem. If you read fairy tales, they’re usually dead. In the classics, they’re stodgy like Mrs. Bennet. Wanted something where the relationship between the kids and the mother wasn’t a problem. A family that might not be a conventional unit, but they’re together.

She wanted to touch on the idea of something about the divide of people with income. Writing a road trip is one of her favorite things. She loves the idea of a crazy road trip where the people can’t get away from each other.

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After the synopsis, she mentioned that it was her first number 1 and she was going to LA tomorrow to meet with someone about maybe making movie.

She told a hilarious story about losing a button on her way to a meeting with MGM for Me Before You. She’s been working on the script for the last 9 months and just watched some footage of A list actors being Will.

{Note: I did miss some of the questions and details in some of the answers.  That is entirely my fault.}

Do you know someone like Will?

Yes. He was a bit of a composite. At the time I had two people who needed 24 hour care and was constantly thinking of quality of life. I also have a friend for 20 years and he has a degenerative disease. We always took him out with us and a lot of scenes were things I had to remember. Things like if we were sitting at a bar, his head at to be at the same height or it would look weird.  Or if there were stairs to get to the bathroom, he would have a worse night that if he stayed in because he wouldn’t want to do a fireman’s lift.

How much control do you have over the movie?

So far so good. We’re on draft 11. One of the things in the contract is that the ending stays the same. I know that a lot of people have different experiences in Hollywood, but I’ve been really lucky.

How do you come up with the ideas?

They are everywhere. One of the best things about being an journalist is that I can pull a story out of anyone. I could take the five of you in the front row and talk to each of you for 20 minutes and have a full novel out of you. Everyone has a relative who behaves badly or a best friend who lies all the time and no one confronts her or a family secret that no one talks about.

Some times it comes from the news. I remember hearing about a rugby player who became a quadriplegic after an injury and eventually begged his parents to go to assisted suicide.

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Do you have a favorite book that you’ve written? And favorite author?

For the most fun, Me Before You. I could see the characters so well, that I could put them in any situation and know what they would do.

I love Kate Atkinson and George RR Martin.  If you would have told me that I was going to be reading books about dragons, I would have never believed you.  Now I just need 3 months of free time to read them because they’re so long.  Nora Ephron is my comfort read.

How does the relationship with your editor work?

There is not an original word in my books that has stayed. I edit myself and will work on it until I have the perfect scene. My American editor is the best I’ve ever worked with. If she tells me that something doesn’t work, then it doesn’t.

Something might be grammatically incorrect, but sounds correct. If you were to fix it, it would loose the rhythm, the magic.

When you write your book, do you write with an ear for listening?

No. I write with an eye for cinema. I tend to lay in my office, sometimes I’ll nod off. I’ll play the entire scene in my head and when it’s all worked out, I’ll sit down and write it.

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When you write, do you know where it’s going?

I always have a rough idea, but I always plan for twists. I don’t think you can have these things without knowing about it.

I know authors who will go off and just write, but I would die. Even if it’s just 5 sentences.

Do you have characters who stay with you when you’re done?

I wrote a prequel to the girl you left behind. I so enjoyed revisiting Sophie. Will and Lou have really stayed with me. Maybe it’s because everyone talks to me about them.

Is there a significance to the title?

Partly due to maths and Tanzie.  Also because the story is about two strong, singular people who come together.

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How long does it take to write a book?

It varies. Usually about 3 months of marinating. The Girl You Left Behind was a year and a half. Two days after I turned it in, I took it back and deleted half of it.

Is it challenging balancing kids and writing?

Yes. Yes. Yes. I still don’t feel that I have the right balance. I try not to feel guilty. I have been going through the west coast buying presents and sending them back to the kids.  I’ve been buying $12 of Lego blocks and spending $40 to FedEx them home.

I wake up at 6am up to work. I don’t like it, but it means that I can get 500 words done every day before the kids get up. Sometimes, that’s all there is.

{She then told an adorable story about her husband waking up earlier to make her coffee and putting a pillow behind her head and telling her to go!}

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What does your husband do?

He writes books on technology. I’m not really sure what they mean, but if my Mac breaks down, he can fix it.

After that, we were lined up for the signing.  You handed your book to the events manager and she handed it to Jojo.  When it was my turn, Jojo looked up at me and said hi.  I said hi and thanked her for coming.  When she handed me the book back, she said that she hoped I enjoyed it.

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Jojo Moyes is charming and charismatic.  She can tell a story on the page, or in person and is definitely someone to check out if you get a chance.  I know I’ll be looking into reading her other books.

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7 Responses to “The time it was all women”

    • Stacee

      Thank you! I really love doing it, so I don’t have plans on quitting any time soon.

      I really liked the book, it’s not something I would normally gravitate to, but it was an enjoyable read.

    • Stacee

      I haven’t read any of her other books, but after hearing her talk about them, I want to look into them. Warwick’s is a bit far from me to stop in on a regular basis. They do get some quality signings.

      Thanks for reading!!

  1. I’m so glad you enjoyed this event! She seems really interesting to listen to. We sell ME BEFORE YOU really well at the store, and I love those covers. Hopefully I’ll get a chance to read one day!

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