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Espresso Tales: Coffee with Jess B. Moore

Today on Espresso Tales, my guest is Jess B. Moore, a US-based author whose novel, The Guilt of a Sparrow has recently launched to rave reviews.

Jess B. Moore is a writer of love stories. When she’s not writing, she’s busy mothering her talented and stubborn children, reading obscene numbers of books, and knitting scarves she’ll likely never finish.

Jess lives in small town North Carolina with her bluegrass obsessed family. She takes too many pictures of her cats, thinking the Internet loves them as much as she does. She is a firm believer of swapping stories over coffee or wine, and that there should always be dark chocolate involved.

Megan: Jess, thanks for joining me. Can I get you something to drink?

Jess: I'd love a sugar free vanilla latte with almond milk (I’m one of those difficult people, haha).

Megan: I love a vanilla latte too! Now, tell me about your latest book. I've read it and absolutely loved it, but I'd love for you to tell my readers a little about it.

Jess: The Guilt of a Sparrow is about a young lady – twenty four years old – caught in a trap of grief and guilt. Growing up she learned to be good, to be quiet, to never rock the boat, because her mother had her hands full with her older brother. After her brother’s death, Maggie is all her mother has left, and they slip into an unhealthy relationship. Maggie is still trying her best to please her mother, but now her mother depends on her too much, needing her there all the time to keep her happy. This is something Maggie has to navigate and hopefully find freedom from, or at least some balance.

Meanwhile there’s Cotton, who used to fight with Maggie’s brother, and has a bad reputation – especially with Maggie’s mother. Of course they’re drawn to one another, and a love story ensues. Throw in a meddling best friend, small town gossip, bluegrass jams, and humor for a fun but emotional read.

Megan: I really loved it. It was a gorgeous book. I very much fell in love with the characters but also the town. Might we see it again?

Jess: I'm currently working on my next book, a stand alone romance out November 2, 2018. It’s set in the same small town and there will be a few familiar faces, but it is truly its own story. Annabelle Dare is the music teacher at the elementary school, fighting demons from her past, and determined to avoid heartache. Asher Grace is a steel worker with a motorcycle who pursues Annabelle, although he wants to keep her at arms length as well. It’s a recipe for disaster! But I promise it has a happily ever after ending!!

Megan: I love a happy ending too - in writing and in reading. What about you? Is romance your preferred genre to read?

Jess: Mostly romance. Think Penny Reid, Susannah Nix, and R.S. Grey. Some young adult. My favorite authors are Maggie Stiefvater, John Green, and Colleen Clayton.The occasional thriller. I just read Maisie Porter’s and loved it. Also a lot of classics. When I want to sink into a book, I go for a classic. I read (Natalie Babbitt) every August and never tire of it.

Megan: Maisie's book is next on my list. I've heard great things. How long have you been writing for, Jess? What made you begin?

Jess: Out of desperation. I was a stay at home mom with very little time to myself, and a need to find something just for me. I began writing stories. This was maybe eight years ago. I’ve only just begun to share my work, and honestly I don’t finish most of what I start. But the process is important to me, and it’s still the time I claim for myself in my day-to-day life. I still stay home with my kids, fit in writing wherever I can, and amazingly have two books out in 2018.

Megan: It's quite an achievement! Do you do much planning in your writing?

Jess: When I’ve attempted to be a planner, I’d exhaust all my efforts on the outline, then not want to write the story. My favorite part of writing is seeing what happens as I write – my characters often surprise me.

Megan: Jess, thank you for joining me and best of luck with your upcoming work.

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