Tuesday, October 6, 2015

How Popular Is JoJo Moyes? - Check Out the Crowd from Last Night in Pleasanton

Boy did I have fun last night.  I went to see JoJo Moyes at the Amador Theater in Pleasanton.  The event was co-sponsored by Towne Center Books.  And they had to move the event from the bookstore in downtown Pleasanton to The Firehouse in downtown Pleasanton to the Amador Theater, on the outskirts of downtown Pleasanton.  Do you think they made the right call?

Uh, that would be a resounding YES!  There were hundreds of people there.  One estimate was 350.  A crazy number.  And she was worth it.  Once I got used to her English accent(!), I was fascinated with what she had to say.  She told us that she got the idea for Me Before You when she read about a rugby player who became a quadriplegic.  His parents actually took him to Switzerland, which has legalized assisted suicide.  The book came out in the UK 3.5 years ago (2.5 in the U.S.), and she has now sold SIX MILLION BOOKS (6,000,000, in real numbers)!!!!

During the Q&A, 1 of the 7(!) men in the theater raised his hand and commented that despite the demographic of this particular audience, men really like this book too (do you want to guess who that man was?).  JoJo told a great story.  She said a big burly welder saw his girlfriend reading Me Before You and crying.  He asked about the book and decided to read it when she was done.  So, he's at work on lunch break.  And he's sitting there reading and crying.  His big burly welder buddy comes over to see what's going on.  Next thing you know, both of them are reading at lunch and crying.  Isn't that a great visual?

One more Me Before You note - JoJo had 8 published books when she came up with the idea for MBY.  But her publisher didn't think it was a good plotline.  So JoJo took it to PenguinUK.  They liked it - obviously.  I am reminded of what Julia Roberts told the salesclerks in Pretty Woman after they refused to wait on her.  Remember?  She said "Big mistake.  Huge."  I'm sure that's what JoJo at least wanted to say to her old publisher. Because it was indeed a humongous mistake!

Oh, yeah.  she's on tour to promote her latest book, After You.  It's the sequel to Me Before You.  I got my personalized signed copy and I'm moving it up the TBR pile.  And thanks to JoJo, the Amador Theater, and Towne Center Books for setting up the signing before the formal presentation as well as afterwards.  That was a great bonus for those of us who were able to get our books signed beforehand.  Needless to say, this is one of the better author events I've been to in recent times.

P.S.  (Isn't there always a P.S.?):  After the event was over, the 4 of us (Joni, Phil, and Donna) went back downtown and ate at a Mediterranean restaurant that was recommended by a Pleasanton native that we were talking to in the lobby before the event began.  It's called Lokanta, and it was absolutely delicious.  Ok, now I'm done.


  1. Seeing that kind of attendance at an author event makes my heart sing!