Thursday, 28 April 2016

Wine and Chocolate with Fellow Writer Jo Lambert

From time to time, I’m hoping to have a wine and chocolate (essential tools for the writer!) blog with invited guests. My first guest is Jo Lambert, who writes drama-driven romance. Welcome, Jo, help yourself to a glass of wine and a chocolate. Tell me

- how did you first come to write?

From a very early age I loved writing. I’d create stories and read them to my friends. By the time I was ten, I began writing a book about a girl, her pony and the adventures they had together. I guess you can say that was the birth of my writing career, although it took a good few more years to actually get into print ….

- What genre do you write in?

I’m a romantic novelist. That is, of course, quite a broad banner with many different interpretations. Mine link with drama. My novels deal with relationships and conflict and I also have a signature female antagonist who gives my central characters a lot of problems.

Tell us a little about your current work in progress.

Watercolours in the Rain is the sequel to my current novel Summer Moved On
We catch up with the three central characters six years after the end of the first book. There have been a lot of changes in each of their lives, some quite radical. Quite by chance they are brought together again with some interesting outcomes.

When I began plotting this book, my editor thought it might be interesting if it was written from each of the central characters’ viewpoints. I have written from the first person Point of View in the past so wasn’t sure whether I could work with three characters in that way. Well, I’m pleased to say that I have managed it and it’s been an interesting journey so far, getting inside those three minds.

Do you have a dedicated writing space?
Jo's orderly writing space

Ideally, I would love my own space – a lovely summerhouse (fully heated for the winter, of course) where I could sit and write. At the moment, I have an office which is our third bedroom. It’s very much a shared space, although my husband prefers to use to use the laptop downstairs.

I know you do reviews of other writers’ books. Do you have a particular genre that you prefer to review? Are there any books that have stood out for you in the past year?

I’m pretty flexible with my review reads but prefer not to get involved with Dystopia, YA or Chick Lit. As for memorable reads – The Rest of My Life by Sheryl Browne, The Girl in the Ice by Robert Bryndza and The Ghost Bird by Carole Lovekin are titles that come to mind. All different but totally amazing. My current book – a pre-publication review read – is When I Lost You by Kelly Rimmer which will definitely be joining that special list.

What sort of books do you read for pleasure? Do you have any favourite authors?

As a reviewer and a writer, I very rarely get an opportunity to browse and download something for myself. Being a romance writer, I do like a good love story but crime and mystery are also on the agenda. I’m quite flexible really and it’s all about whether the blurb entices me in rather than the genre.

Back in the 1990s, I read a lot of Wilbur Smith. I know he’s thought of as a man’s author but his earlier novels involved a lot of South African history which I found really interesting. I’ve always loved Philippa Gregory too – her Tudor and Plantagenet novels are brilliant. And what you probably might think of as a quite unexpected choice – George RR Martin. There had been so much publicity about Game o Thrones – a Song of Ice and Fire when it was first published that I simply had to read it – and found myself totally hooked.

Thanks for inviting me Anne.

It’s been a pleasure, Jo. Incidentally, I too am a Wilbur Smith fan, particularly of the South African novels. Although they’re all adventure novels, there’s always some romance in them. As for Game of Thrones, my husband bought me the boxed set of the first four TV series last Christmas. So far, I’ve watched three episodes but I’m reserving judgement ….

Another chocolate before you go?

You can find more about Jo here