Monday, June 23, 2014

Interview with Jojo Moyes and giveaway for "One Plus One"

Photo by Charlotte Murphy
In honor of Jojo Moyes' latest novel, One Plus One, publishing on July 1st, Viking/Penguin did an interview with the author. We're sharing some of it here, along with a giveaway of TWO copies for some lucky readers in the US and/or Canada!

Synopsis:
Suppose your life sucks. A lot. Your husband has done a vanishing act, your teenage stepson is being bullied, and your math whiz daughter has a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that you can't afford to pay for. That's Jess's life in a nutshell--until an unexpected knight in shining armor offers to rescue them. Only Jess's knight turns out to be Geeky Ed, the obnoxious tech millionaire whose vacation home she happens to clean. But Ed has big problems of his own, and driving the dysfunctional family to the Math Olympiad feels like his first unselfish act in ages . . . maybe ever.


Your characters are fun and quirky and so real. Tell us a little about where your ideas for your characters and their stories come from.
Thank you! Most of my books are inspired by different snippets of things, whether they be news stories or things people have told me. In the case of ONE PLUS ONE I’d wanted to write a road trip for ages—and then when I started thinking about the differences between today’s haves and have-nots, it suddenly seemed like the perfect thing to put some very different people together. Anyone who has sat next to a stranger on a long haul flight knows that there’s no better way to really find out who someone really is than to be shoved together in close confines travelling for any length of time.


ONE PLUS ONE is a novel in a contemporary setting, just like Me Before You and some of your other novels are historical, such as The Girl You Left Behind. Do you prefer writing one over the other? How do you decide where and when to set your books?
I often write one in reaction to the last. So The Girl You Left Behind was a huge, sprawling romantic epic that crossed a century and took all sorts of historical research. After that I just wanted to write a tight little emotional comedy set in the modern day with very little research in it.  It’s entirely possible that in a book or two I’ll be back to doing something on an epic scale again.


Like Me Before You, ONE PLUS ONE has a love story between two people of very different socioeconomic backgrounds. What draws you to explore that disparity?
Well, Me Before You was basically about class and aspiration. Lou came from a background where you were encouraged to have little of either. ONE PLUS ONE, on the other hand, is simply about money. I’ve been watching the difference between rich and poor in society grow ever wider, and with ONE PLUS ONE I guess I wanted to ask: what happens if you have the aspiration, or the talent, but simply don’t have enough resources to be able to climb up to the next rung of the ladder? We’re always being told you can have anything if you work hard enough. Well what if the deck of cards is really stacked against you? Does that truism still stand?

ONE PLUS ONE has such a cinematic feel, it would translate really well to film. You wrote the screenplay for Me Before You. Did that experience change the way you write novels? Do you imagine how they would work as a movie as you write?
It certainly made me realize how much slack we leave in them! I have always written ‘visually’—i.e. I have to play a scene out in my head, almost as if I’m acting it, before I write it, to see if it works. I don’t think the way I write books has changed, as I still do the same thing, but I do perhaps make every scene work a bit harder—asking myself: does it move the story forward? Does it tell us something about the character?

There are some steamy scenes in ONE PLUS ONE! How do you approach writing sex (or near) scenes?
Well, if my editor had got her way, they would have been a fair bit steamier. I do struggle with sex scenes, mostly because of the language. Either you employ biologically accurate terms, which tend to pull the reader up short, and can sound a little startling, or you go with awful euphemisms that make your toes curl. I’m getting a little braver with every book—but it’s hard when you live in a small village. Everyone assumes that you base the scenes on your own life… weirdly. they never do that with anything else I write about.


What do you hope readers will take away from ONE PLUS ONE?
Firstly, as with all my books, I hope it just gives them a few hours’ escape to somewhere they hadn’t expected to go—that’s certainly what I want from a book. I hope very much it makes them feel something, whether it’s laughter or tears. On a wider note, perhaps they might not judge or dismiss those around them quite so swiftly—I heard a really good saying the other day, along the lines of “be kind, for everyone is battling something you don’t know about.” And I suppose I’d like my books to have a similar message. Although saying my books should have a message makes me sound unbelievably pompous. So maybe just a good read….

Thanks to Viking/Penguin for sharing their interview and the book with our readers.

How to win: Use Rafflecopter to enter the giveaway. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us.


a Rafflecopter giveaway


US/Canada only. Giveaway ends June 29th at midnight EST.

42 comments:

pascale said...

dividing fractions! Failed a test very young: will never forget.

Jojo Moyes is a fantastic author: cannot wait to read this book. I LOVED me before you.

pascale said...

dividing fractions! Failed a test very young: will never forget.

Jojo Moyes is a fantastic author: cannot wait to read this book. I LOVED me before you.

TinaB said...

I still use my fingers to count! Lol

Janine said...

I was never really good at math. A calculator is my best friend when I need help.

Bonnie Franks said...

I still use fractions (which I hated) when I bake!

JJT said...

The ability to estimate.

Suzanne said...

My calculator! No kidding, still have mine from my sophomore year of high school!

Heather said...

Mean, median, mode, and percentages.

Ro said...

About the only thing I use is fractions... In baking ,hanging pictures etc. also a calculator.

Katherine Ivan said...

While I remember the Pythagorean theorem (a squared + b squared = c squared), I haven't had occasion to determine the length of a triangle's hypotenuse since high school (and, omg, Suzanne ... I still have -- and use! -- my Texas Instruments scientific calculator which is nearly *30* years old). All those advanced math classes yet my mother is the one who can accurately figure out tax, tip, and discount percentages whenever we go shopping and grab lunch.

Jennifer Huelsebusch said...

I still use the multiplying by 9 trick on your hands! Just read my first JoJo Motes book "last letter from your lover" and absolutely loved it. Looking forward to this one!

jpetroroy said...

Angles and types of triangles

Tami said...

Long division. Never really came in handy but I can still remember how to do it:-)

S.Sabia said...

Math was my worst subject in school. Of course I remember the basics that I need in everyday life but that's about it!

Bonnie K. said...

The good old basic arithmetic is used daily plus I've been good at rounding up while shopping so I know about how much my total will be by the time I get to the cash register. I was a whiz in math class during my elementary years. By the time I got to trigonometry, I became less enamored by math. Calculus was a killer. My husband finds it very useful in land surveying.

susieqlaw said...

Percentage calculation

Mary Jo Burke said...

I love numbers so I went into Accounting

Kimberly V said...

What I remember from math class is how to figure percentages off when I shop sales.

Colleen Turner said...

I always have to calculate percentages on my job! Very glad I learned some helpful tricks in math class :)!

Kristen said...

I do math in my head all the time - I'm the best tip calculator you'll meet. :)

Carl Scott said...

Not much, I'm a word guy. But I do remember Pythagoras' Theorem, never use it though. Thanks

Vivian Vereeke said...

I only remember and use basic math skills. I was very good at math in school (a very long time ago), but have discovered the "use it or lose it" rule :)

Linda Kish said...

I don't use it a lot anymore but I always calculated dosages and IV rates and drip rates in my head when I worked. I still can but I don't have to anymore. I also love statistics.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Cher B said...

Calculating percentages is something I do all the time and I try to do math in my head most of the time and avoid using calculators in an effort to stay somewhat sharp.
I loved Me Before You and also enjoyed The Girl You Left Behind, so One Plus One has been on my to-read list for months! Thanks for the chance to win!

jodi marinich said...

i can calculate number in my head and that is about it

Anita Yancey said...

I hated math! I still use adding, substracting mostly. The one thing I remember about math class is if the boys in the class hadn't helped me I would have failed. I would love to read this book. Thanks for having the giveaway.

Glenda said...

Not much. ;-) I did learn that they now teach a lot of the maths way differently than they did when I was in school. I had to look things up on the internet at times on HOW to do the problems they way the teachers wanted them done. *SIGH*

rubynreba said...

measurements

Chanpreet said...

Lots of things. I can do lots of algebra. :)

Erica said...

Wow ... pretty much nothing I am sorry to say.

wordywon at gmail dot com

Carol Fragale Brill said...

I couldn't get the infinity part of geometry until a teacher suggested thinking of it as "tabletop" instead of infinite. Made more sense, a good lesson to apply to many things in life.
best,
carol

Hailey Fish said...

I don't use anything from math class. It was my worst subject.

Mina said...

I am a mother of two kids in elementary grades...I have to go through all I have learned in math on a daily basis in order to keep up with their homework. Thank you for the giveaway opportunity!

Maureen said...

I used fractions when cooking.

Mary Mac said...

How to use a good calculator.

Karen Hambly said...

Multiplication tables

Laura Bryant said...

I always remember that I learned to add and subtract when I was living in Venezuela. When I moved to the United States and would take math classes, I always did my addition and subtraction in my head in Spanish as opposed to English. To this day, I still do that.

Laura Bryant said...

I always remember that I learned to add and subtract when I was living in Venezuela. When I moved to the United States and would take math classes, I always did my addition and subtraction in my head in Spanish as opposed to English. To this day, I still do that.

Meg Munson said...

Percents...use them all the time to figure out sales!!! LOL

Cindy Crawford said...

To always learn about where to look for answers/info that you need

bn100 said...

basic math

AiringMyDirtyLaundry said...

I still remember how to multiply. That's something ;)

I so want to read this book! Me Before You is one of my all time favorites.