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Jessica Moor
Author Jessica Moor studied English at Cambridge before she completed a Creative Writing MA at Manchester University.

Before this she spent one year working in the violence against girls and women sector, which inspired her to write “The Keeper”. Her job was to secure funding for women’s shelters. She read all of the domestic violence reviews and government policy documents that discussed women either getting beaten up or killed.

One of Jessica’s co-workers that she sat next to had the job of reviewing each and every domestic homicide that occurred in the UK. She sigh and get sad because the men were able to get away with it.

Jessica was reading a book as she was studying for her creative writing degree. The book focused on how novels bring certain things together. Her time at the domestic violence shelter made her think about how the shelters bring folks together with different approaches to life and from different backgrounds. She began thinking about crime fiction and how she wanted to turn cliches on their heads. It was here that things began coming together.

Working in the domestic violence sector was a tough job, because she digested a lot of studies, policy, and statistics about injured or dead women, a good number of domestic homicide reviews. She would look at media coverage of the women being killed by their partners and the headline would be to the effect she had somehow made the guy do it. She’d head home and her run on the treadmill or stand in the shower at home and she wouldn’t be able to think about anything else. Jessica would want to cry but not be able to.

Writing “The Keeper” was a relief for her, a way of metabolizing every bit of the stuff she went through working in domestic violence. Jessica still thinks about it a lot, just not in the same obsessive way that she used to. She didn’t feel the need to step away from it, she felt focused and calmed by the idea of actually doing something with all that sadness and anger.

Jessica wrote the novel with “then” and “now” timelines because she was sick of the dead bodies of women being used as a kickoff for some twisty narrative. There is always a story before the actual story, and it is only by digging into that past that the victim can be centered and her humanity actually get acknowledge. How could she end up like this? Jessica felt that if she was going to write about a dead woman, she would give her a voice.

When she began “The Keeper”, she was 23 years old, and younger than her protagonist. Now she is younger than Jessica, and it makes Jess feel correspondingly protective of her.

Jessica’s strangest job was ghostwriting romance novels because she needed the money. She needed a persona in order to fully get into it. So she would wrap her hair up into a turban, put on a silk kimono, and sweep around her flat pretending to be some kind of mad thirties romance novelist named Norma Dauntless.

As a kid, she read the Harry Potter series so many times that she knows them just about word for word. Now, she listens to the audiobooks that Stephen Fry read in order to fall asleep, and she cannot stop marvelling at the brilliance of J. K. Rowling’s plotting. Jessica feels that these books shaped her idea of just what it meant to deliver for readers and tell a story. She has a dream of teaching a course on narrative that is based solely off of Harry Potter.

Books she loved as she was growing are still the most important books in her life. “Just William” by Richmal Crompton for humor and Roald Dahl for justice. “Little Women” by Louisa May Alcott for the love of everyday life and tenderness. “I Capture the Castle” by Dodie Smith for a sense of place and voice. Lemony Snickett’s “A Series of Unfortunate Events” for its sense of absurdity and the importance of not patronizing kids. Jane Austen and Charles Dickens for everything.

When she had her first job in London, she would head to the Kilburn Library and check out books to read on her commute to the boring office job she had. Jessica would pick up a lot of Jeanette Winterson’s work because they were light and small and she was able to carry them in her handbag. Jeanette’s memoir, called “Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal” changed Jessica’s life.

She noticed that Winterson was the Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Manchester, so she applied to do a Master’s there years later. During this time, she wrote “The Keeper”. Jeannette taught her and it made her feel like she was learning to read all over again, this time as a writer.

Jessica’s debut novel, called “The Keeper”, was released in the year 2020, and was published by Penguin Books. It is from the mystery thriller genre.

“The Keeper” is the first stand alone novel and was released in the year 2020. Katie Straw’s body is pulled out of the waters of the local suicide spot, the cops are ready to write it off as another standard-issue female suicide. The residents of the domestic violence shelter where Katie was working disagree with that assessment. These women spent weeks or years even waiting for the guys they have run from to catch up with them. They know right away that this was murder.

Still, Detective Dan Whitworth and the rest of his team expect this to be an open-and-shut case. Until they find evidence suggesting Katie was not who she appeared to be. Weaving together Katie’s final months with the investigation this novel is a searing examination of violence against women and structures that allow it to continue to happen.

Jessica delivers an insightful, dark, and well written novel that shines a light on one issue that deserves as much coverage as possible. The novel looks at the secretive, tragic, and harrowing complex world of domestic violence, and is an assured and powerful character driven debut novel. Fans found the plot offered up a lot of surprises, and Jessica encapsulates her message in a drama with some fantastic dialogue between fascinating characters.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Jessica Moor

One Response to “Jessica Moor”

  1. Lynn: 3 years ago

    Dear Jessica

    I was able to get away after staying home facing four walls for a year and a half.
    In the beautiful surroundings where I relaxed and unwound, I found your book on a night table. From the moment I picked it up I could not put it down.
    Thank you for unveiling such atrocities to women by their perpetrators and the agencies which fail women. I hope a sequel captures ‘death’.


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