Today I have with me talented author, Joanna Lambert! Joanna is sharing a little about latest Release THE OTHER SIDE OF MORNING. You’ll be itching to read it when you see the blurb. As for the cover…
…isn’t it just gorgeous? Joanna’s covers are all beautiful. With this one, she has surpassed herself. It really should be framed.
Charlotte Kendrick’s ill-fated relationship with rock star Christian Rosetti still haunts her. The new man in her life, handsome, rich Italian restaurateur Marco D’Alesandro, is everything she wants. But when beautiful heiress Rossana Caravello arrives to spend time with his family as their house guest she wonders whether history is about to repeat itself. Marco insists he loves her and that he has no interest in their guest, but how can Charlotte believe him when everything about his behaviour around Rossana indicates he is lying? Giving him the benefit of the doubt, Charlotte wonders whether his ruthless stepmother Thérèse may be involved, and decides to find out more about the young heiress. However, far from putting her mind at rest, what she discovers leaves her feeling more unsettled than ever about her future with Marco… From rural West Somerset to the glorious rolling landscape of Tuscany and the Italian lakes THE OTHER SIDE OF MORNING is a story of love, betrayal, deception and ultimate sacrifice.
While I had Joanna’s attention, I asked her to share a little about the inspiration behind The Other Side of Morning and also about the way she writes. Take it away, Jo!
The Other Side of Morning, although able to be read as a stand-alone novel, is in fact, the fifth and last book in a series. When I first started writing seriously, I had only intended to complete a trilogy, following the lives and loves of a group of friends through the 1960s into the 1970s. However, when it came to thinking about my fourth novel, I realised enough loose strands had been left at the end of the last book for a sequel. Between Today and Yesterday effectively brought everything to a conclusion – or so I thought. While lying by a pool in Majorca in September 2012 trying to decide what my next project would be I realised there was the potential for one more story in the series. Between Today and Yesterday had certainly seen closure on all the issues affecting the main characters but there was another, younger layer of family emerging with their own story to tell. And so The Other Side of Morning, moving the families into the mid-nineties became the new project with young adults Lucy, Charlotte, Christopher and Kayte providing the drama. At the time I made the decision to write this book I had no idea of the plot, only that it would be a love story.
Now working with familiar characters and settings may seem an easy option but can, in fact, be very limiting. Unlike the other four books, there was no link – this was a completely independent story. It meant I didn’t have as much freedom with the plot as I would have if I had been working with an entirely new set of characters. Everything had to be tailored to fit in with the existing cast. I knew their personalities, how they would react to a situation, so to get this new story right it became a balance between them, the plot and any new characters I was introducing. Thankfully in the end my newbies interacted well with my established cast to produce another great story – a fitting end to the Little Court series.
Once the book was completed and I looked at what I had written I was amazed at the journey which had taken place from that first typed word to THE END. When I started I could never have imagined The Other Side of Morning would develop into such a multifaceted tale. I love books with big casts, twists and turns and drama and I think once again I delivered that plus some unforgettable characters.
My next WIP is well underway and I’m heading in a new direction. It’s another love story but this time I’m working with a smaller cast and giving my total concentration to the two main characters. Wish me luck.
GOOD LUCK, JOANNA! I have to say, writing about new characters within the framework of a previous cast would certainly be a challenge for me. Well done!
JOANNA’S WRITING PROCESS
All writers are different and approach their craft in their own individual way. When I start to write I have a definite beginning and end and work with ‘signposts’ in between. These signposts mark out key scenes or events through the book. However, everything is fairly flexible and can be changed if the need arises. I love the idea that things are not set in stone, that it’s all very organic and fresh ideas can emerge and be added as I write. When I initially set out my plot I’m running a story through my head and visually it’s working. However the acid test is typing up a scene because that is the time that you will see whether what you are viewing on the monitor in your brain actually works or not. Because I have this very loose structure within which to create my story the process tends to take slightly longer that writing to a definite plan. But if the end result is a better book then for me it’s well worth the delay.
Am I organised? Well yes I think I am. I keep my desk free of clutter while writing and at the end of each daily session I set aside time to plan for the next day. I’ve a hard back notebook and log any thoughts into it for the next scene or chapter. It’s almost impossible to hold any ideas in your head; you have to write them down because if you try to recall them sadly they never come back in the way you first thought of them. I also find it useful to keep a card index of characters and settings. Although I find it fairly easy to slip under the skins of my main protagonists, because my books usually have a fairly large cast, there are secondary characters who dip in and out of the story. Therefore I need to make sure I’m consistent with how they look and behave when they appear. I also use the internet quite a lot for researching my locations and obtaining other essential information. In The Other Side of Morning Charlotte spends time visiting the sights in Verona, Italy, when Christian is there on tour. I had visited the city many years before, far too long ago, however, to write with any authority on what I was seeing. Hooray for Google Street View! Using this I was able to ‘walk’ her around the streets as if she was really there.
As far as writing time is concerned, I treat it as a job – a sort of trimmed down nine to five. My daily target is not a number of words but a specific section of the story. I prefer to write after lunch which gives me a clear run of uninterrupted work up to the evening meal. Usually I’m back on the computer from seven to check over what I’ve done and plan for the next day. I find this system works very well. Without it you would probably still find me sitting in front of the computer at midnight!
So for me the process is all about being organised, disciplined and flexible. I need to be ready to make changes when thing don’t work and, of course, be in possession of the most essential ingredient a writer can have – an abundance of patience.
Born and raised in rural Wiltshire, Jo Lambert grew up with a love of books and a vivid imagination. As a child she enjoyed creating her own adventure stories similar to Enid Blyton’s Famous Five. Writing always stayed with her, but college, work and eventually marriage found it kept very much in the background as a hobby. In 2009 everything changed when she decided to self-publish a novel she had completed. After When Tomorrow Comes, three other books – Love Lies and Promises, The Ghost of You and Me and Between Today and Yesterday followed. In 2013 she decided to give up full time work to concentrate fully on her writing. Her fifth novel The Other Side of Morning was accepted by ThornBerry Publishing UK and is now available in e-book form with a paperback version to follow shortly.
Jo is married and lives in a village on the eastern edge of Bath, Somerset with one small grey feline called Mollie. She shares her husband with his ‘other woman’ Bridget – a 48 year old white MG Midget who keeps him occupied while she is busy writing.
Fab post! Thanks for taking part in the promo. x