Welcome to 2019 and Jo Lambert’s new novel – Wicked Game
Tell us a little about yourself, Jo
Hi Lizzie and thank you so much for inviting me onto your blog. Well, what can I say about me? I’m a country girl who despite living a few years in the city has now migrated back to village life. I’m married and share our home with my husband’s other ‘love’ a green MGB GT. We live on the eastern edge of Bath so have a great city/country life balance. I worked all my adult life in PA or Office Management roles and after reducing hours for a couple of years, decided to close the door on my 9 to 5 to concentrate on my writing full time. As an indie author I’ve written seven novels, five set in West Somerset and two in Devon. In June 2018 I signed a contract with Choc Lit for my eighth book The Boys of Summer set on the north Cornish coast. I write modern romantic sagas with plenty of drama in the mix.
What would be your typical writing day?
Every day, with the exception of weekends, I take an hour out each morning and walk. My allocated time for writing usually begins after lunch and finishes around five. I rarely set a word count for each day as it depends on where I’ve got to with the WIP. If I achieve 2500+ then I feel I’ve done a good day’s work. It’s very easy to let writing take over your life, and because of that I feel it’s important to have a structured day. So I try to set aside time for non-writing activities – cooking, regular catch ups with friends, lunch out, cinema, theatre, even shopping – the sort of things that get you away from the computer for a while.
Tell us how the writing process works for you …
I have never written a novel which has been fully plotted. Rather I set certain key events and then begin to write. So much can change during the journey from beginning to end and that for me means I have to be flexible – to have the ability to change things that don’t work and if necessary swap characters around or delete them from the story. In The Boys of Summer for instance I ended up swapping my hero and antagonist because the other way round they simply weren’t working. I also find lots of external things influence me as I write. Drama on TV, a book I’m reading, music or even having a conversation with someone. One quite innocent event or remark can take my thoughts off in a particular direction and bring about improvements to the story I’m writing. Although it would be great to be able to simply sit down and write a story from beginning to end, I guess we all write in the way we’re most comfortable with. Me? I take the scenic route. Maybe it takes longer but it works for me.
Who or what inspired you to become a writer?
I grew up listening to stories from my maternal grandfather. He was a grand old countryman who entertained us, his grandchildren, with tales which he tended to embellish – making it even more exciting to our young ears. Maybe this rubbed off on me, who knows, but there was always something there that wanted to tell stories – and not just tell them, write them. As I got older, college, career and marriage all conspired to keep that creative spark in me pushed very firmly to the back of the queue. Eventually a story came into my head and simply wouldn’t go away. Despite having a busy life, including a full time job I managed to squeeze in the time to begin writing. The result was When Tomorrow Comes, the first book in the Little Court series and everything took off from there.
Tell us a little bit about where you set your novels
Growing up on a farm in rural Wiltshire it seemed natural for my books to have country flavour – a case of write what you know. It’s not all about country life though. I have a bit of a ‘thing’ about Italy and various locations there have featured in more than one of my novels.
Please share your favourite reviews from previous books –
Summer Moved On – ‘What I really like about Jo Lambert books is that there are never any dull moments. The drama and romance comes thick and fast. The pace of the book builds up to an amazing story. The characters in the book are so alive and real that you will become emotionally involved and fall deep into the story.’
Watercolours In the Rain –I very much enjoyed Summer Moved On, but Watercolours in the Rain is even better.
Finding out what happened to Jess, Talun and Lily – and all the other minor characters – was like hearing about friends and what happened to them.
I was fascinated to see how Jo Lambert managed to get the “right” ending – very cleverly written, I thought.
Please share the Blurb and link to your current book
Fashion designer Thérèse D’Alesandro has recently moved into Westhead Manor with daughter Felicia and stepson Marco. Joining forces with neighbour Ella Benedict, she is about to open a bridal boutique at Ella’s exclusive wedding venue Lawns at Little Court. Marco has both the looks and charm to guarantee him any woman. Any woman, that is, except the one he wants: Ella’s niece Charlotte. Marco knows he should walk away as not only is she the most exasperating female he has ever encountered she’s currently in a relationship with rock star Christian Rossetti. But the chemistry between them is undeniable and sensing trouble brewing between Charlotte and the egotistical singer he is prepared to wait.
Charlotte’s cousin Lucy has discovered Christian’s guilty secrets – ones he has been keeping safely hidden from everyone. Determined to cause mischief and at the same time settle her own score with the arrogant star, she sets in motion a chain of events which eventually brings Marco and Charlotte together. Rossana Caravello is due to inherit the one of Italy’s premier vineyards on her twenty first birthday in September. Aware this would make an excellent addition to her husband’s international business portfolio, Thérèse plots to push the young heiress and her stepson together. Rossana is already besotted with Marco, but if the plan is to have any chance of success first she needs to get rid of Charlotte…
download Jo’s new book here
Well, that about wraps up this interview. Thanks for appearing on my blog, Jo. I wish you mega success with your new novel and all your writing endevours.
Welcome to Brea Brown, author and fellow Chick Lit Goddess. Hi, Brea – thank you for crossing the pond to be on my blog. I hope you didn’t get too wet on the journey over. Come in, pull up a chair and tell us all about you and your writing while I make the coffee and get the biscuits.
Hello – and thanks, Lizzie for inviting me to First Person Singular! I’m Brea Brown, an indie author-publisher from the U.S. (more specifically, Springfield, Missouri, which is smack-dab in the center of the country)
If I’m being honest, I feel a bit awkward here, because one of my favorite quotes of all time is this one, by Lillian Hellman: “If I had to give young writers advice, I would say don’t listen to writers talking about writing.”
Oh, gosh. I’m about to be one of THOSE authors talking about myself. Nooooooo!!!! Lillian’s right, of course. The young writer has to find her own voice. He has to figure out his own system. She has to find what works for her, not for Stephen King, Jennifer Weiner, or that new phenom everyone’s talking about. That being said, readers tend to want to know this stuff. Sarah Houldcroft, a Goodreads Librarian and Virtual Assistant for authors, said so right here on this very blog. According to her, the most sought-out information by readers from authors is:
What inspired you to write your novel?
How, why and where do you write?
Have you experienced first-hand any of the aspects in your books?
If so, was [one of those people] you?
Since I recently released my eleventh novel, Let’s Be Real, the answers would vary for that first question, but I can fairly easily generalize about my writing process for the other four. How, why, and where do I write? This is my current “office” setup, against a wall in my bedroom.
It’s not the grand office-library I always imagined I’d have, but it actually works okay for me right now. I don’t need anything fancy, just relative quiet, my laptop, my reference books, and the Internet (for impromptu research and fact-checking… because everything on the Internet is true, right?). I write every morning, from 4:30 to 6:30, before getting the kiddos up for school and getting ready for my day job as an administrative assistant for an environmental consulting firm. On the weekends, I sometimes escape to a nearby coffee shop, but that requires wearing a bra and shoes, which is usually not worth the trouble. (Don’t underestimate my laziness.) I don’t set daily word count goals for myself, but I try to publish at least two books a year, which means I can’t mess around. A good, solid weekday writing session is about 1,500 to 2,000 words. When I have longer than a couple of hours at my disposal, I like to double that. But again, not all writing is word production, so if I really nail a certain description or a section of dialogue, or I spend most of that time gathering some excellent data through research, that also makes me happy. As for why I write… it’s just what I do. Like breathing. I love it. And I love sharing stories with people.
Have I experienced first-hand any of the things I put my characters through? Oh, yes. I regularly take things that have happened to me and inflict them on my imaginary friends. I recently contracted strep throat for the first time in my life. It was hell. You better believe I gave one of my characters in my current work in progress that nasty little illness while the trauma was still fresh in my mind. After all, you have to make those things worthwhile.
Do I base my characters on real people, including myself? Of course, I do. Are there any characters in my books based strictly on one person or myself? No. My characters are amalgamations of different personalities I’ve encountered over the years. I don’t write people I dislike into my books only to kill them off (although it’s fun to threaten that).
Most of the time, though, especially with protagonists, I start with a trait I can identify with, one that I can write convincingly (being Type A, for example), and I then add others that may be a bit more foreign to me (like being germophobic), to make things interesting. I’m generally more interested in getting inspiration for characters from watching strangers and wondering what their life is like, then running with my own version of their story. I try to avoid basing any character solely on someone I know, because if it winds up being a less-than-flattering portrayal, and that person recognizes himself or herself, things can get awkward. Plus, it’s a lot more fun to pick and choose traits and make original characters.
If you’d like to explore the products of my process (a.k.a., my books), check out my website. You can also connect with me on social media at the links below. Please say hi if you stop by!
Brea Brown lives in Springfield, Missouri, with her husband and three sons, but her international support network stretches as far as Australia. She’s an administrative assistant at an environmental consulting firm for forty hours a week and a writer all the other waking hours of the week not taken up by motherhood, wifedom, reading, and watching cheesy TV shows like Sleepy Hollow. (That leaves a surprisingly large number of hours, believe it or not.) Her published novels are Daydreamer, The Secret Keeper, The Secret Keeper Confined, The Secret Keeper Up All Night, The Secret Keeper Holds On, The Secret Keeper Lets Go, The Secret Keeper Fulfilled, Plain Jayne,Quiet, Please! Let’s Be Frank, Let’s Be Real. Her twelfth book, Out of My League, is set for a Fall 2015 release.