Monday, July 11, 2011

Jojo Moyes "communicates" with us and has some books to give away!

**Giveaway is now closed**

Jojo Moyes grew up in London and had a variety of career stints, such as a typer of braille statements for blind people for NatWest. After obtaining her college degree, she studied journalism as a post-grad and even worked for a newspaper in Hong Kong for a year. She has been a full time novelist since 2002 and lives on a farm in Essex with her husband (journalist Charles Arthur) and their three children.

Jojo's latest novel is "The Last Letter from Your Lover", and she's here today to talk about the inspiration behind this story. In addition, Lindsay Prevette from Viking/Penguin has one copy of this novel to give to a lucky reader in the US or Canada.

If you like what you've read here, follow her on Twitter, visit her on Facebook and check out her blog.

If you are a novelist, the question you will be asked most often (as well as “should I have heard of you?”) is “Where do you get your ideas?” Well, if you are incorrigibly nosy, and have one of those faces that apparently compels people to tell you stuff (I possess both these traits), ideas for books actually stack up like planes waiting to land.
Give me a room of people, and I will give you a novel for every person there; whether it be family secrets, unexplained jealousies, hidden loves or lifelong regrets. The stories are there, all around us, just waiting to be told. And the best ones are always inspired by real life.
And so when I decided to write a book that told the interwoven story of two love affairs through the different means of communication: email and text now, and handwritten love letters in the early Sixties, I knew my starting point should be real life.
Almost on a whim, I put an advertisement in a national newspaper asking for examples of real life Dear Johns; the last communication of a love affair, whether it be written, emailed, or punched with fury into a mobile phone.
What came back to me made me laugh, cry and wince in sympathy. Some of them were frankly brutal.
“You n me finished”, as were the ubiquitous Facebook updates “John Smith is no longer in a relationship”.
Others were equally harsh, while apparently trying not to be.
”Happy Birthday! Enclosed is your birthday present, which I hope you like...I am thinking of you especially today... because I have decided that although I love you I am not in love with you. I don’t feel that you are G*d’s One for me. Anyway, I really hope that you like your present and that you have a fantastic birthday.”
Some were indirect ‘last letters’, as with the woman who opened a letter addressed to her fiancĂ© from his solicitor, only to find that their planned house purchase “was now to be in his name only”.
And others were oddly charming, like this, on a postcard: “Staying in Greece, not coming back to London because you scare me, but in a good way.” And on another postcard, the cheery: “Happy Days Are Not To Be… It Really Isn’t You, It’s Me.”
Some raised more questions than they answered, like this letter, sent to a female recipient in 1960. “There was no affair between us. If you try to suggest otherwise I shall make clear it was all in your imagination.” There’s a short story in that one, if not an entire novel. But when it comes down to it, there is no real way to soften the Dear John. Because however elegantly you put it, you are still saying “I Just Don’t Love You”.
What my motley selection of correspondences brought home intensely was that sense of despair when something is abruptly brought to a halt, either through love, betrayal, or circumstance. In my own book, The Last Letter From Your Lover turns out not to be the last letter after all.
But what these letters also gave me was the sense of what we miss by no longer writing down our true feelings, or at least crunching our emotions into a short, bald text message. Without hearing, in uncomfortable detail, why this is definitely over, it is too easy to read hope into a short message that suggests your lover “see you around”.
Still, sometimes a last letter is the best thing that can happen to you. My own favourite was forwarded to me by a female relative, who had been shocked and dismayed to receive it from her boyfriend of the time.

“There are things that I love about you but there are things I hate too. I guess you should know that I think more and more about the things that bother me about you now.
The time you slaughtered that lobster.
The way you shouted and clapped at those cows to get them out of the road. Why couldn’t we have just waited for them to pass? We could have missed the cinema…
The haphazard way you chop vegetables.
Your constant negativity.
It took me three coats of paint to paint over where you left your phone number on my wall in red pen. I know I was redecorating but it was a complete waste of paint.”
She’s now living with a man who adores her and never questions the way she chops vegetables. Which, in my book, qualifies as a happy ending.

Special thanks to Jojo for sharing her thoughts with us and to Lindsay for sharing the book for the giveaway.

How to win "The Last Letter from Your Lover":
Please comment below with your e-mail address.
(Please note: Entries without an e-mail address will NOT be counted. You can use AT and DOT to avoid spam. Or provide a link to your facebook page or blog if you can receive messages there.)

Bonus entries (can be listed all in one post):
1. Please tell us: Have you ever sent "last letter" to a past lover? (Or were you on the receiving end of such a letter?)
2. Follow this blog and post a comment saying you are a follower (if you already follow, that's fine too).

3. Post this contest on Facebook or Twitter or in your blog, and leave a comment saying where you've posted it.
4. Join Chick Lit Central on Facebook. Edit settings if you don't want to receive a lot of messages at your e-mail account. (If you're already a member, let us know that too.)
5. Add a friend to our Facebook group. (Tell us who you added.) Be sure to remind them to edit their settings.

US/Canada only. Giveaway ends July 17th at midnight EST.


More by Jojo Moyes:



66 comments:

Colleen Turner said...

Wow, I love how the author states she can find a story for every person in a crowd. It is a testament to her talent for story telling that she can find the gem within everyone and turn it into something worth reading.

I have never received or sent a "final love letter". That being said, since you often don't have forwarning when a relationship is going to end, whatever the last letter you sent would technically be the last, wouldn't it?

I am a GFC follower and a Facebook follower of Chick Lit Central (Colleen Turner).

Thanks!
candc320@gmail.com

Gayle Gardner Lin said...

OMG I would love to win this book, but it's on my to-read list regardless.

I have been a sender at age 18 and a receiver at age 69 ... just a few weeks ago:)

I subscribe to CLC
I'm sharing on Facebook

gaylelin@hotmail.com

meandmom said...

Sounds like a good book.

jeryl.marcus@gmail.com

meandmom said...

I have never received nor sent a final love letter.

I am a follower.

I am a facebook fan.

Margaret said...

I haven't sent any last letters that I can recall but I know I've had some last phone calls. Everytime I see the cover of this book it makes me swoon. i so want to read it!

Margaret
singitm@hotmail.com

Margaret said...

I am a GFC follower

Margaret
singitm@hotmail.com

Laura Kay said...

I've never sent or received a last letter from a former relationship, I did receive a few phone calls telling me how I was the one that got away...

Laura Kay
http://anovelreview.blogspot.com/

Laura Kay said...

I am a follower on facebook!

Laura Kay
http://anovelreview.blogspot.com/
anovelreview(at)yahoo.com

cindy r said...

I don't remember receiving a letter from an old boyfriend, but I do recall getting a Christmas card. I think that was a mistake.

I look forward to reading your novel, especially since my friend and one of my favorite novelists, Paula McLain blurbed your book so highly.

I subscribe to CLC and I'm a Facebook follower.

writeoncindy (at) yahoo (dot) com

Congratulations on your novel's great reception!

Best, Cindy

Kim W. said...

1. I gave a "last letter" once when I was 20. I had tried the week before to verbally end things, face to face, but right before my eyes the guy because a sobbing mess (seriously!), and I felt awful (I was 20!) so I didn't actually end things that day. So, a week later, I couldn't take it anymore, I didn't want another sob-fest, so I wrote THE letter. I felt awful.....I don't think I would do things that way again at this stage in my life (and really, I am married to a fab guy so there's no need anyways!).

2. I follow CLC blog

3. I will share this contest on Facebook

4. I am a fan on Facebook

kewalker1972@gmail.com

Nina said...

Have to look up her books! I love the covers! The last letters I have written I've never sent! ;)
nina565(at)aol(dot)com

PoCoKat said...

Thanks for the opportunity to win!

1. No I have never sent nor received.
2. GFC follower
3. Belong to CLC on FB

littleone AT shaw DoT ca

Carol N Wong said...

I haven't ever sent a final love letter. Haven't received a final one either. My experience is that relationships end in person.

CarolNWong(at)aol(dot)com

Carol N Wong said...

I am an old GFC follower of this blog.


CarolNWong(at)aol(dot)com

Carol N Wong said...

I also follow this blog on Facebook.

CarolNWong(at)aol(dot)com

Carol N Wong said...

My Twitter name is Carolee888 and I tweeted:


http://t.co/wpJBdx7Giveaway of " The Last Letter From Your Lover"

CarolNWong(at)aol(dot)com

Amy said...

I have never sent or received a lover letter. This is definitely on my long list of books to read!

I shared on FB.

I am a follower on FB, GFC, and twitter. I also subscribe to blog via email.

Here is my tweet:

http://twitter.com/#!/abbeautycall/status/90522301505867777

Thanks!

amyrbromberg@mgail.com

Amy said...

I have never sent or received a lover letter. This is definitely on my long list of books to read!

I shared on FB.

I am a follower on FB, GFC, and twitter. I also subscribe to blog via email.

Here is my tweet:

http://twitter.com/#!/abbeautycall/status/90522301505867777

Thanks!

amyrbromberg@mgail.com

Tiffany Drew said...

This book looks amazing. Adding it to my wish list right now! I have never sent a last letter (that I can remember lol) but I do remember finding a letter stuffed in a calender a few months after an ex and I broke up. It was pretty simple, along the lines of "I'm the best boyfriend you ever had, but you'll get over it". You bet I did lol.

GFC follower Tiffany Drew
Facebook member Tiffany Drew
Tweeted: http://twitter.com/#!/enterthedrew/status/90539768626155521

jaidahsmommy(at)comcast(dot)net

holdenj said...

I really enjoyed Jojo's comments and think it's great that she can find a story about everyone! Thanks for the info and chance to win.
JHolden955(at)gmail(dot)com

holdenj said...

I am a GFC follower.
JHolden955(at)gmail(dot)com

BRN2SHOP9 said...

Never had a lettersent to me like that.

BRN2SHOP9 said...

I follow via GFC

BRN2SHOP9 said...

I follow via facebook

BRN2SHOP9 said...

I follow via twitter

Sherry said...

mythisis@aol.com

Sherry said...

I've never sent a letter a final love letter or received one
mythisis@aol.com

Sherry said...

I follow on GFC and by email
mythisis@aol.com

Sherry said...

Posted the giveaway on FB
mythisis@aol.com

Sherry said...

Posted the giveaway on FB
mythisis@aol.com

Sherry said...

Shared giveaway on FB
mythisis@aol.com

Heather said...

I have never sent or received a last letter.
ra6352 (at) gmail (Dot) com

Heather said...

I am a follower!
ra6352 (at) gmail (Dot) com

Heather said...

I shared on facebook!
ra6352 (at) gmail (dot) com

Heather said...

I am a member of Chick Lit Central!
ra6352 (at) gmail (dot) com

Linda Kish said...

I have not sent not received a last letter.

I would love to win a copy of this book.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Linda Kish said...

I am a GFC follower

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

StereoQueenBee said...

1. Please tell us: Have you ever sent "last letter" to a past lover? (Or were you on the receiving end of such a letter?)

I once wrote an anonymous one on sothere.com

2. Follow this blog and post a comment saying you are a follower (if you already follow, that's fine too).

Already follow!

3. Post this contest on Facebook or Twitter or in your blog, and leave a comment saying where you've posted it.

Posted on FB (Sabrina-Kate Eryou)
Posted on Twitter (stereoqueenbee)

4. Join Chick Lit Central on Facebook. Edit settings if you don't want to receive a lot of messages at your e-mail account. (If you're already a member, let us know that too.)

Already a member!

5. Add a friend to our Facebook group. (Tell us who you added.) Be sure to remind them to edit their settings.

Added Tiffany Woo.

Anita Yancey said...

Sounds like a wonderful book. I would love to win a copy. Please enter me. Thanks!

ayancey(at)dishmail(dot)net

Anita Yancey said...

I have sent a last love letter, but it was years ago.

ayancey(at)dishmail(dot)net

Anita Yancey said...

Follow on GFC!

ayancey(at)dishmail(dot)net

maria said...

Sounds like a great book!

billiondollarprincesss@hotmail.com

Alison said...

I can't wait to read this book!

alison.fees@gmail.com

Alison said...

I've never written a "last letter" however I have received one :(

I follow on Twitter - bfees2

I follow on FB

I subscribe to email

I tweeted the contest - http://twitter.com/#!/bfees2/status/91139459369795584

Sheila B said...

I have never received nor sent a final love letter. I have been ignored until I got the hint plenty. At least the letter takes some time to write. THis reminds me of Carrie and her post it!

I am a follower.

I am a facebook fan.

sbrennan1955 (at) yahoo (dot) com

Sheila B said...

I have never received nor sent a final love letter. I have been ignored until I got the hint plenty. At least the letter takes some time to write. Reading this brought to mind Carrie and her post it break up!

I am a follower.

I am a facebook fan.

sbrennan1955 (at) yahoo (dot) com

karenk said...

would love to read this novel...thanks for the chance :)

karenk
kmkuka at yahoo dot com

karenk said...

would love to read this novel...thanks for the chance :)

karenk
kmkuka at yahoo dot com

karenk said...

no, i have never sent, nor received, such a letter.

karenk
kmkuka at yahoo dot com

karenk said...

i'm a follower & email subscriber, too


karenk
kmkuka at yahoo dot com

shanaelyse said...

I'd love to read this!


1. I've never received a last letter, but I've written many (though never sent them).
2. I'm a Chick Lit Central follower on GFC.
3. I'm part of Chick Lit Central on FB.

shanaelyse@gmail.com

Susan said...

This is on my list to read this summer - sounds amazing.

Bonus entries
1. I have never received or written a last letter - have never been a letter writer
2. I am a GFC follower
3. I already joined Chick Lit Central on Facebook.

Thanks for the giveaway!
suzebomb(at)gmail.com

Nancye said...

Nope, never sent or received such a letter.

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Nancye said...

Follower

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Nancye said...

Tweet! Tweet!
@NancyeDavis

http://twitter.com/#!/NancyeDavis/status/92436154821001218

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Nancye said...

I posted this giveaway on my Facebook wall

http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/shanna.mcgregor/posts/149738011768000

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Nancye said...

I joined you on Facebook

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Anonymous said...

Yes, I've sent a last letter, I love to write letters, and receive them, although that kind of letter is hard to send or receive! I've written many many letters in my life, and miss those days, although e-mail and texting are the communication of our times and it's so fast and easy, too.
I'd love to read this book, it intrigues me and I love her saying she can find a story for every person, I can see the stories in people sometimes, although not always do I care to see a story, and other times I do.
thanks for the giveaway!
ashersmamaw@yahoo.com

Kat said...

Sounds intriguing!!

ladykathryn@rogers.com

Kat said...

I have never sent nor received a last letter. But this is okay with me. I firmly believe that actions speak louder than words anyway.

ladykathryn@rogers.com

Kat said...

I follow the blog through GFC.

ladykathryn@rogers.com

Kat said...

I am a member of CLC.

ladykathryn@rogers.com

Kat said...

Posted on FB

ladykathryn@rogers.com

krystal_lynn said...

I got a letter from my high school boyfriend after about a year of dating. He had moved to a nearby town and that was enough to break us. I remember the letter had a necklace wrapped up in it and a message saying he would always love me, that kind of mushy stuff. Now looking back at that and looking and what kind of person he grew to become, I don't know what I was thinking! lol

miss_kris_11(AT)yahoo(DOT)com

krystal_lynn said...

I also remember a series of messages that my ex boyfriend and I sent when we ended our relationship a few years back. We pretty much both knew things were over so we communicated through these really long letters, explaining ourselves, listening to each others side of the story and eventually managed to end it without it being a hearbreaking thing. I was actually sort of proud at how civil and nice we were. Would have been a great end had it not been for future events but that's a different story! lol

miss_kris_11(AT)yahoo(DOT)com

France said...

This book will make you crazy. In a good way. The story, which spans forty-three years has the torturous element of switching to a past or future moment just when...just when you finally think something wonderful is about to happen. Moyes makes you live each day with Jennifer, both past and future before she gives you the happy ending that by this point, you simply must have to find peace and fulfillment in your own life. You want this story to turn out perfect. I can imagine that it would even be difficult for a non-romantic to not feel the amazing pull this story has on the heart. It's that powerful. And if you're lacking a little faith in love at the moment, it can heal you.