Last night, I had the privilege of meeting Jojo Moyes, author of the best-selling books Me Before You and The Girl You Left Behind, among others. She is currently on tour in the U.S. and the Greenwich Public Library in Connecticut was her first stop.
I have not read any books by Jojo Moyes yet, but a few weeks ago I received a copy of The Girl You Left Behind for review and am looking forward to reading it. When I saw that she was going on tour, I knew I had to go see her. Luckily, Greenwich is only about 45 minutes away, so I didn't mind making the trip and I'm so glad I did. The event was held in the library's auditorium and had seating for just over 350 and was packed!
Jojo began by talking a little bit about her book, Me Before You, and how she came up with that story. This was not her first book, but it was her first book to became a best-seller. She had written quite a few books before that, but nothing chart-topping. Now, she's had two back-to-back best-sellers. And, Me Before You has been optioned to be a movie, courtesy of MGM Studios. Jojo is currently working on the screenplay for it - and yes, she is writing the screenplay, so there won't be too many difference.
After her talk, Jojo took questions and some of them were quite interesting. She was asked if she found there to be a difference between British readers and American readers as there definitely is a difference between British writers and American writers. She said not that she picked up on except for the fact that we Americans are much more welcoming and friendlier that the Brits! Sorry Brits - we are a congenial bunch over here! Another question that came up was about the novella she wrote, Honeymoon in Paris. The question was whether it should be read before or after reading The Girl You Left Behind. She said that while she wrote it after writing the book, it can be read either before or after - it works well either way. There were other questions that had to do specifically with the book Me Before You - it seems many book clubs have selected this book as a book club pick and it leads to many deep discussions. Not having read it yet, I only listened with half an ear, but Jojo was very considerate with her answers knowing there were people in the audience that had not read the book yet.
Jojo Moyes is a delightful author with a great sense of humor. She was kind, funny and quite humble about all the praise the audience and her readers have lavished upon her. I am looking forward to reading the two books I now have, signed, on my shelf, and I even purchased the novella this morning.
I love attending author events. I love when we get an insight into the author as a person and enjoy getting the chance to speak with them one-on-one, however briefly that might be, during the signing portion of the event. I'm fortunate that there are quite a few places by me that have author events - some as close as 10 minutes away, and some a bit farther - I've driven as much as two and a half hours to attend an event. I find these events bring more to the reading experience and look forward to attending more in the future.