Jo Jo Moyes
Before she became a full-time novelist, Moyes worked as a journalist in England for 10 years. In December, her most recent novel, Me Before You, was released in the United States after being well received in England. Moyes, also the author of The Last Letter From Your Love, continues to write articles for the Daily Telegraph and lives with her husband and three children in Essex, England.
What's on your nightstand?
I'm reading Michael Chabon's The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, having loved Telegraph Avenue, which was the first of his books that I'd read, and which I'd recommend highly. He writes so beautifully that I just used to read bits of his prose out loud to myself. I'm also reading a stack of books for the Women's Prize for Literature. I'm on the judging panel this year. I'm not allowed to say which of those I'm enjoying!
Are there any upcoming American writers that you are enjoying?
I don't know if she counts as upcoming, but my book of the year was Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl. It was so smart and audacious and cleverly written. It actually made me gasp out loud at one point. Even my husband, who doesn't read fiction, couldn't put it down. I also loved Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple, which was funny and unexpected and also made me weep in places. I'm intrigued to know what she'll write next.
When you made the transition from reporter to novelist, what writers did you rely on to help guide your technique?
I'm not sure I relied on any particular writer for technique. I actually wrote three unpublished books while I was a journalist, and it was doing that, painful as it was, that really helped me work out what I should be doing. That and reading, reading, reading. I've carried a lot of habits over from journalism, though. I do a lot of research. I almost never miss deadlines. I write very clean copy, and I love to tell a story, and I'm never short of ideas. Real life is always stranger than fiction.
Piper Castillo, Times staff writer