Best-Selling Author Jojo Moyes Reveals What Inspired Her To Write ‘The Giver of Stars’

Thanks to best-selling novels including Me Before You and The Girl You Left Behind, British journalist Pauline Sara Jo Moyes is a bona fide literary celebrity. Better known by her pen name Jojo Moyes, the 50-year-old author is one of very few authors to win the Romantic Novel of the Year Award twice.

And there’s further proof of Moyes’ success. Her best-selling book Me Before You was turned into a major motion picture starring Emilia Clarke as Louisa. The 2016 film had mostly favorable reviews, though almost everyone agreed on one universal truth: the book was better.

Now Moyes is back with a brand new book, The Giver of Stars, and fans are so thrilled about it. But the one thing they want to know is where she gets so many great ideas.

Jojo Moyes
Jojo Moyes | Daniel Reinhardt/picture alliance via Getty Images

Reese Witherspoon fell in love with ‘The Giver of Stars’

The Giver of Stars is getting all kinds of attention after being selected as one of Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine book club picks. This prestigious honor is enough to spur lesser-known authors into notoriety. But for Moyes, who already has a huge following, getting Witherspoon’s attention is just icing on the cake.

In an interview for the website, Moyes admits that the most frequently asked question she gets is people wondering how she gets ideas for her books. Her answer to them was a little surprising.

She finds inspiration everywhere

Jojo Moyes started off by joking that she gets ideas from “the ideas store, like all the other writers” before revealing the real source of her inspiration. According to Moyes, she doesn’t limit her creativity to one specific source. Instead, she seeks creative sparks all around her.

“Most of the plots of my books have come from snippets I’ve heard on the news or in magazines,” Moyes revealed to Hello Sunshine. “Sometimes a piece of music will spark an idea, or a painting, or a face I see on the Underground.”

But the source of her latest book was a magazine article.

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Moyes said she had a ‘physical reaction’ to this story of women

The author explained that she saw an article in The Smithsonian Magazine about the Packhorse Librarians of Kentucky who were employed as part of President Franklin Roosevelt’s Works Progress Administration. Moyes said she instantly connected with the tenacity and passion of the women in the photo that accompanied the article.

“Sometimes you want to write something so badly that you have an actual physical response,” Moyes explained. “I looked at these pictures and I had to do it. I had long wanted to write a book about female solidarity and friendship.”

And that’s exactly what The Giver of the Stars really is.

She fell in love with Kentucky

While doing research for the book, Moyes traveled to rural Kentucky several times and says she “fell in love” while there.

“The thing about writing books is that often they change you, and in ways you hadn’t expected. I grew up in Central London, but I fell in love with a tiny corner of east Kentucky,” Moyes said.

While there, Moyes became immersed in the cultures and storytelling, which she says enhanced her storytelling and made the story that much more special.

The Giver of the Stars is available now and is already getting rave reviews.