Name Jo Lambert
Where are you from: Currently living in Bath, Somerset
A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc
I’m the eldest of three. I grew up in rural Wiltshire but now live on the edge of the beautiful city of Bath. I’m married, own a small grey feline called Mollie and a green MGB GT. On leaving school I took a business diploma with secretarial studies. Moving from secretarial jobs to PA work and then into management, I’ve worked for the car trade, various international building companies. A large portion of my working life has been spent in the NHS, working as PA/Office Manager in Community Health, Pharmacy and Medical Physics. I’m now working for myself, with a full time writing career.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
I’m busy working on the sequel to my current novel, Summer Moved On, which should be published next summer.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I seem to have been writing forever. Certainly as a small child I loved what was then referred to as ‘composition’ at school and used to create stories and read them to friends. I’ve always been a people watcher too and combining this with a love of telling stories definitely influenced the need to write. During my adult life I dipped in and out of writing and attended several Creative Writing courses. However, I didn’t really settle down to what I call ‘sensible’ writing until the mid-noughties.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I think the defining moment must have been in 2009 when I had my first book When Tomorrow Comes published.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
It was hearing Sting’s Fields of Gold. I grew up in rural Wiltshire and whenever I heard the song, the lyrics always conjured up this romantic story. So I decided to scribble down a few ideas, one of which eventually expanded into a West Country love story set in the 1960s – a time when I was growing up. That book eventually expanded into a series of five novels which became known as my ‘Little Court’ series.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
I decided to use a song title. At the time Fields of Gold had been the name of a recent TV drama so I immediately discounted that. When Tomorrow Comes seemed to fit the book well. I’ve used song titles for my books ever since.
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
I think most writers take elements of things which have happened in their lives and use them in their fiction. I certainly do. I tend to squirrel away things people have told me as well. It’s amazing what comes in useful.
Fiona: What are your current projects?
I’m currently working on the sequel to Summer Moved On. We return to our characters six years later. Lots more heartache and surprises.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
With my writing? It had to be my Dad. Sadly he was killed in an accident just before I was born. He was only 24 so I always had this feeling I had to make up for all the things he never got to do. The writing has done that for me. My first book was dedicated to him.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I think there’s always a feeling that you could have done things differently. I try not to think about it – once the book is published that’s it as far as I’m concerned and I concentrate on writing the next book.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
For research? Well I have used locations abroad for several of my books but usually stay with places I’ve already visited. I don’t think any of my writing so far has had the need to hop on a plane but who knows what the future might bring. In one of my novels I set some of the action in Verona. I hadn’t been there for years so used Google Map to do a virtual tour which was incredibly useful. I now use it regularly. Summer Moved On had scenes in Exeter and I used Google Map for another ‘walk about’ so I could get the feel of the place.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
For my first five books the very talented Jane Dixon Smith and for book 6 Summer Moved On Cathy Helms of Avalon Graphics. Two lovely designers who were a dream to work with.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Definitely editing. It’s really hard work and I’m so pleased I’ve got a brilliant editor for support.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
I remember Janet and John books from my early school days if we’re talking reading and not just looking at the pictures. For a proper read I’d say one of the Famous Five series of books. I loved Enid Blyton and had the whole series in my book case as a child.
Fiona: Is there one person past or present you would meet and why?
I think it has to be Jane Austen. I would love to talk to her about her books, particularly Pride and Prejudice and her inspiration for Darcy.
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies?
I love cooking and read an awful lot too. Also photography – my camera goes with me everywhere.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
The Musketeers [probably because I absolutely adore Santiago Cabrera (Aramis)] The Fall, and of course Downton Abbey. I love Scandinavian detective series like The Bridge too. I also enjoy Have I Got News for You and Room 101. On the big screen, almost anything – crime, political thriller, romance but I do have a particular like for fantasy stuff like The Hobbit or Lord of the Rings.
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
Italian/Green/Rock and love strong female singers like Adele.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
When I was fourteen I wanted to be a window designer. The idea of creating something for display in a big store window really appealed. I think now though, it would probably be a career as a graphic designer.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?