Jean P. Moore was born in Brooklyn, New York, and grew up in Miami, Florida. She received her PhD in English and began her professional career teaching American literature and writing. She later worked in telecommunications as an executive director of workforce development. Jean has since returned to her first loves: the study of literature and writing. Her work has appeared in newspapers, magazines, and literary journals. Her novel Water on the Moon won the 2015 Independent Publisher Book Award for contemporary fiction. Her poetry chapbook, Time’s Tyranny, published in the fall of 2017 by Finishing Line Press, was nominated for the Massachusetts Book Award, 2018. Tilda’s Promise, a novel, was published in September 2018. Jean and her husband divide their time between Greenwich, Connecticut and the Berkshires in Massachusetts.
For more on Jean, please visit her website.
Biggest literary influencers:
Novelists: Nathaniel Hawthorne, Edith Wharton, and Alice Monroe
Poets: Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, and Elizabeth Bishop
Last book read:
Dinner at the Center of the Earth
The book that changed your life:
Tom Jones by Henry Fielding
My love of literature began early (with Winnie the Pooh, to be exact). I thought the ability to read was the greatest gift imaginable. But it wasn’t until grad school that I began truly to understand the power implicit in the novel. Tom Jones is, for all intents and purposes, a comedy, but oh how it reveals and revels in human foibles and triumphs. An early example of the genre, it was a marvel to me: What a novelist can achieve! Then I began to see that writers held the greatest gift imaginable.
Your favorite literary character:
Hester Prynne, The Scarlet Letter. How did he do it, Nathaniel Hawthorne, create a female character of such depth and grace? Hester is one of the strongest female characters ever created in literature. She withstands the slings and arrows of her fortune with fortitude and incredible compassion. It is as though she understands that fallen angels are first and foremost to be forgiven. Her “sin” pales in comparison to the sinners who forsake her, but she endures. I love how at the end she returns to her cottage, takes up her letter, and counsels other women in need. She was a remarkable feminist when she was created more than a 150 years ago.
Currently working on:
A novel about a woman “scorned” who takes up residence in a quiet New England town and who soon finds local women coming to her for counsel.
Words to live by:
“Think globally; act locally.”
Advice to new and aspiring authors:
Check your purpose before you sit down to write. Are you willing to be absolutely honest? Are you willing to spend hours upon hours writing and revising something that may never be widely read or appreciated? Will you openly seek and consider even painful feedback? Are you willing to admit that all writers want to be read and therefore must put in hours upon hours “marketing” their work? If you can unequivocally answer, “Yes” to these questions, then, my poor friend, you have what it takes—if you also have talent—to be a writer.
Articles / Reviews:
September 1, 2018, Library Journal, Review of Tilda’s Promise.
September 2, 2018, Grand Magazine, “Do You Remember Your First Love?”
“Tilda’s Promise reminds us that just when we give up, life intrudes; and just as we lose hope, we can find it again—if we take a chance. In this heartfelt novel, Tilda does just that, showing us all the power of family and love.”
—Ann Hood, author of The Book That Matters Most
“An unusual parallel coming-of-age story, as grandmother and granddaughter each grapple with loss. Moore writes with a sharp eye for emotional detail and voice, establishing her complex characters as familiar and dear as your next-door neighbor.”
—Ellen Meeropol, author of Kinship of Clover
“An intriguing and intimate account of a woman as she navigates the many challenges after the sudden death of her beloved husband. This authentic read sweeps you along as Tilda rediscovers life’s passion and purpose with some surprising help from her troubled granddaughter.”
—Christine Crosby, Editorial Director, GRAND Magazine