If you’re the type of reader who’s into dramatic stories and swoon-worthy romances, try to reach for a novel by Jojo Moyes the next time you’re looking for something to read. Once a hard-core journalist, romance author Jojo Moyes has entranced millions of readers worldwide with her international best seller Me Before You.
Pauline Sara-Jo Moyes, better known as Jojo Moyes to her readers, was born in Maidstone, England. Moyes always knew that she was going to be a writer and had already done different writing and writing-related jobs even before she entered university. She used to work as a Braille typist and as a brochure writer at Club 18-30. Moyes continued on her path to becoming a professional writer, studying at the University of London and working for the Egham and Staines News at the same time. After completing her bachelor’s degree, she was also able to attend a postgraduate journalism course at City University, courtesy of a subsidy provided by The Independent. This allowed her to pursue a journalism career at The Independent, and she worked there for nine years. She took on various roles with the publication, including Assistant News Editor in 1998 and Arts and Media Correspondent in 2002. She worked in Hong Kong for a year at the South China Morning Post.
While pursuing a career in journalism, Moyes tried several times to become a published author. She submitted various completed manuscripts to publishers, which were unfortunately rejected. By the time she completed her fourth manuscript, Moyes decided that this was the last one she’ll be submitting. Should it be rejected, she would take it as a sign to give up on becoming a published author. She submitted three chapters of the fourth manuscript to different publishers. As luck would have it, six publishers she submitted the manuscript to bid for the publication rights.
Finally in 2002, Hodder & Stoughton published her first novel, Sheltering Rain. The novel is about twenty-one-year-old Joy, who meets a naval officer in Hong Kong. Within the same year, Moyes shifted to becoming a full-time author, while continuing to contribute for The Daily Telegraph.
Her next novel was Foreign Fruit, published in 2003. The novel follows Lottie and Celia as they fall into the traps of a bohemian lifestyle that infiltrates their town of Merham.
Her first two novels were followed by several more, including The Peacock Emporium (2004), The Ship of Brides (2005), Silver Bay (2007), Night Music (2008), The Horse Dancer (2009), and The Last Letter from Your Lover (2010).
Her next manuscript after The Last Letter from Your Lover was rejected by Hodder & Stoughton. Determined to get the manuscript published, she sold it to Penguin, and the novel was published in 2012. The manuscript was for Me Before You, Moyes’s best-selling novel to date.
Me Before You is a novel about Louisa Clark, a working-class girl who ends up working for a successful, wealthy, and paralyzed man named Will Traynor. Initially, Clark had difficulties with Traynor, who became bitter and resentful after the accident that caused his paralysis. Eventually, the two of them start to fall in love, but things start to get blurred once more when Will opens up about wanting to undergo assisted suicide. The novel sold six million copies worldwide and was a New York Times best seller, as well as a number one best seller in nine countries. The novel was adapted into a film in 2016, starring Emilia Clarke and Sam Claflin, and with Moyes writing the screenplay
The novel received a sequel called About You in 2015, which followed Clark after the events in Me Before You. The series continues with Still Me, published last January, in which Clark meets a different man and is reminded of Traynor’s wish for her to live her life well.
Moyes has won several awards for her work as a romance novelist. She won the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s Romantic Novel of the Year Award twice, in 2004 for Foreign Fruit and 2011 for The Last Letter from Your Lover. Me Before You was also nominated for Book of the Year at the UK Galaxy Book Awards.
Today, Moyes lives in Essex with her husband, journalist Charles Arthur, and their children.