Like you, I'm a member of The Romantic Novelist' Association and it was through the RNA that I've been able to connect with so many wonderful writers - such as you.
Here are a few questions which will hopefully give your readers an insight into some of the things that matter to you.
Arabella: How did you find your agent or publisher and what are their good points?
Jo: I’ve been an indie writer since 2008 and occasionally submitted to publishers without success. I’d always enjoyed reading novels from Choc Lit authors and decided my writing fitted their remit so submitted to them in February 2018. The Boys of Summer - a contemporary coastal romance set on the north Cornish Coast – was accepted and will be published during 2019. I’m really happy to be writing for a publisher with such a friendly, supportive team and to be joining such a great group of authors.
Arabella: You’ve written several amazing novels and the great reviews speak for themselves. Which is your favourite, and what inspired you to write it?
Jo: I guess for me my very first book When Tomorrow Comes is my favourite and the most special. It marked that defining moment when I produced my first commercial novel. The story begins in the 1960s in Somerset and followed the lives of four girls, Ella, Issy, Jenny and Rachel. Ella and her on-off romance with young talented songwriter Matt Benedict were central to the series. The other three girls had their own romances and all four characters’ stories were connected. I also balanced the story with two of the girls living in the countryside and two in the town.
I’d written for many years, mostly poetry, and the idea of a novel had always appealed. However, it took my grandparents deaths within a year of each other to bring back memories of growing up in a rural environment. They say write what you know and it seemed not only the right theme but also the right time to do it. I had my characters and setting, it was all about seeing where the writing took me. This saga ran into four books, ending in the 1980s with the girls in their late thirties. I haven’t stopped writing since.
Arabella: Do you have a secret indulgence. If so......are you willing to share what it is?
Jo: Chocolate is my total downfall. When I worked full time I used to keep a bar of something in the desk drawer. Now I’m working from home I’ve weaned myself off my daily ‘fix’. Although chocolate is not a regular thing for me anymore I have to confess to sneaking the odd bar or bag back from shopping occasionally. So there you have it, my secret indulgence…don’t tell my husband!
Arabella: We all have a long list of books we keep meaning to read but never have the time for. Which book is a must read for you this summer?
Jo: I particularly loved The Path Keeper by N J Simmonds which was published in 2017 by Accent Press. Natali is now with a new publisher and a revised version of the book (which I have an ARC copy of) is due out in May this year. I’m looking forward to getting reacquainted with the characters. However it’s the second book of the series Son of Secrets is the one I’m really looking forward to reading. This should be out by the end of the year – a long time to wait but well worth it.
Arabella: How do you research your novels and characters?
Jo: Location, location, location. That comes first. I need to know where my story is taking place before I sort out my characters. I think backdrop is incredibly important and my fictitious settings are taken from real places. I don’t think I could sit down and conjure up a place that didn’t exist; it has to be based on somewhere. As for my characters, I use Pinterest, setting up a board for the book and sections for characters (pics of actors/actresses who resemble each one), clothes and a music playlist. I then create the bio for each of the main cast. I have used real life characters for minor roles in the past – for instance in When Tomorrow Comes there was an old village man called ‘Doggy’ Barker who owned a black and white collie called Toby, he came from a childhood memory. Little quirks of character only seem to come into play as I write and very often they’re taken from remembering someone I knew or used to work with. My mind is a never ending source of - probably – useless information, but sometimes it can come in very handy!
Arabella: A walk in the woods, a stroll along a beach to dip your toes in the sea, a day shopping for clothes……or other?Jo: I’ve always been drawn to the coast. I have no idea why. I love water and boats. Dartmouth and Fowey are definitely places I have an affinity with. I never get tired of going back for a holiday or a short break. To me it feels like coming home. So beach and sea definitely.
Arabella: Where do you read? Sofa or bed or ____?Jo: Definitely sofa, although I do occasionally read in bed. Although I’ve not worked for five years, my body clock still tells me I should be getting up at six to get ready for another day in the office. Once I’m awake I find it impossible to get back to sleep so use the time to catch up on reading. Normally though I’m curled up on a comfortable sofa, usually with a coffee and the cat for company…
Arabella: What about your future plans? Any books in the making?Jo: I’m currently waiting for edits to come back for The Boys of Summer and meanwhile I’ve a WIP which will be submitted to Choc Lit – a second book set in Cornwall but this time on the south coast.
Jo, Thank you for joining me on Arabella's Blog and Chit-Chat. It seems as if you are truly drawn to the coast and the sea. No wonder your books are so amazing. And I promise not to mention to your dear husband the secret stash of chocolate you occasionally sneak...
All the best, and happy-ever-after writing,
All the best, and happy-ever-after writing,
About Jo Lambert
Jo Lambert lives on the eastern edge of Bath with her husband, one small grey feline called Mollie and a green MGB GT. She is the author of seven novels. The first five collectively known as the Little Court Series are saga/romances set in West Somerset. For book number six she 'moved' over the border into South Devon. Summer Moved On became the first of two linked contemporary romances. The second, Watercolours in the Rain was published in October 2016. In June 2018 Jo signed to Choc Lit and her eighth novel, The Boys of Summer, set in North Cornwall will be published in 2019. Jo is currently working on another coastal romance, this time set in South Cornwall.When she isn't writing she reads and reviews. She also has an active blog. Jo loves travel, red wine and rock music and she often takes the odd photograph or two.
Wicked Game by Jo Lambert
Book Blurb -
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.
Managing his father’s European restaurant chain, 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 Rosetti. 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.
Thérèse’s husband Gianlucca has invited the granddaughter of an old friend to stay as a house guest while he undergoes heart surgery. 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…
UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Wicked-Game-Jo-Lambert-ebook/dp/B07LD8XF75