Jojo Moyes

Jojo, 47, is the author of 11 nov­els, in­clud­ing Me Be­fore You, which has sold eight mil­lion copies and was turned into a film. She lives in Es­sex with her hus­band Charles and their three chil­dren

The Sunday Telegraph - Stella - - MY BOOKSHELF -

I grew up as an only child in the 1970s with no tele­vi­sion set in our

home, which meant I spent my time read­ing. By the time I was 12, I’d read ev­ery­thing – from The Bi­ble to The Joy of Sex, and even Catch-22. Even so, I never set out to be­come a writer. To me, writ­ers were slightly hippy. Only later in life, when I be­came a jour­nal­ist at The In­de­pen­dent, did I start to be­lieve I had a right to ap­pear in print.

One day my ed­i­tor asked if I thought we should com­mis­sion a com­edy col­umn, about a young woman

in London. I said yes. The writer turned out to be He­len Field­ing – and the re­sult of that col­umn was Brid­get Jones’s

Diary. I’d have loved to have writ­ten it my­self but she did a far bet­ter job than I ever could.

It took al­most nine years to pub­lish my first novel,

Shel­ter­ing Rain, a love story set in the 1950s and 1980s. I was heav­ily preg­nant and at work when I got the call. I burst into tears – it was the first and only time I cried in the of­fice.

Six pub­lish­ers bid for the

rights to Shel­ter­ing Rain. At first I wanted enough money to re­place our bath­room but as the auc­tion con­tin­ued I re­alised I could give up jour­nal­ism. How­ever, I didn’t achieve any level of recog­ni­tion un­til two years ago, when my later novel

Me Be­fore You [a ro­man­tic drama about a young woman who be­comes a carer for a quad­ri­plegic young man] was turned into a film.

When the film com­pany asked me to write the

screen­play, I felt so pro­tec­tive of the char­ac­ters, I said ‘yes’. It ended up be­ing the most fun I’ve had in my pro­fes­sional life. The first scene I saw be­ing filmed knocked me side­ways. I was on set with hun­dreds of ex­tras, rain ma­chines and food trucks when some­one shouted ‘ac­tion’ and there was Sam [Claflin] as my main char­ac­ter, Will Traynor. I thought, ‘ There he is – not in my head any more, he be­longs to these peo­ple.’

I can’t stand read­ing short

sto­ries with no twist. My new book, Paris for One, is a col­lec­tion of short sto­ries. They’re light and soppy but with a bit of grit… and all of them have a twist.

Paris for One and

Other Sto­ries by Jojo Moyes is out now (Michael Joseph, £12.99)

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