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  • Lynne Shelby

A Sense of Place #7 Jo Lambert - Summer Moved On -The West Country and Norfolk

Today I'm delighted to welcome writer Jo Lambert, my first guest of 2016.

Me: Hello, Jo, and welcome to Shelby Writes. Would you like to tell us the title of your new novel? And what would be it's elevator pitch?

Jo: Hello Lynne. My new novel is 'Summer Moved On.' The elevator pitch would be 'One summer, one love, one promise.'

Me: It sounds very intriguing, Jo. My debut novel 'French Kissing' is set in London and Paris, and I often find that I’m inspired to write when I visit a new city or country. How important is location in your writing?

Jo: My books have a rural West Country setting so it’s incredibly important to get the feel of village life and the surrounding countryside before I actually get down to writing. I actually live in a village on the outskirts of Bath and our house is located on the side of a hill with wonderful views across the valley. This gave me inspiration for Meridan Cross, the fictitious West Somerset village in my first five books. Although the cast of my novels are village based the main characters do travel to more exotic locations during the course of the stories. So far I have used New York, Bail, Australia, Italy (which I particularly love), Spain and France.

Me: Would you tell us a little more about the setting for 'Summer Moved On?'

Jo: In 'Summer Moved On,' much of the action takes place in South Devon around the Exeter area. We holiday in South Hams every year and I love Dartmouth and Salcombe so the area is well known to me.

When searching for a village for 'Summer Moved On,' however, it ended up being one close to home, in Somerset, just south of the city of Bath. It’s set in a valley and is surrounded by lush green fields absolutely beautiful and so right. There is also a large country house in my fictional village called Lynbrook Hall.

I checked out an estate agent for properties which I thought I might be able to use as a template and struck lucky when I discovered details of a beautiful local Grade II manor house just a few miles away.

And last but not least, for The Black Bull Inn which is a social hub for the village I chose a Wiltshire pub about ten miles away from where we live.

Some of the action in 'Summer Moved On' takes place in Norfolk, where I have also holidayed. In contrast the landscape is very flat and this gives the feel of ‘big skies’. I knew this second location had to be somewhere near Norwich so checked out the countryside on Google Map.

Me: Have you found Google Map a useful tool for a writer?

Jo: I used it in one of my previous novels to ‘walk’ around Verona. It was a place I had previously visited on a day trip while in Italy many years ago. Apart from the Arena and Juliet’s Balcony, I had little memory of the geography of the city. Google Map allowed me a virtual walk around and gave me the ability to create a true feel of the place in my writing. This is an absolutely invaluable site if you want to get a real feel for the places you’re writing about. I think there is only so much you can actually describe from your imagination. In order to make it real, as far as I’m concerned a writer does need something visual to work from. Now whenever I’m on holiday, I make a point of not only taking photos but also jotting down notes about places we visit. I find it’s a great way of keeping useful information for future projects.

Me: Are you working on your next book? And can you tell us anything about it?

Jo: I’m currently working on 'Watercolours in the Rain,' which is the sequel to 'Summer Moved On' and brings the three main characters back together after a six year absence. All have gone through a lot of changes in their lives. Be prepared for more betrayal and deception as I bring the story to its conclusion.

Me: I'll look forward to finding out what happens to your characters, Jo. Thank you for being my guest here today and telling us about your books.

Jo: My pleasure. Thank you for having me.

About Jo Lambert

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 was kept very much in the background. However in 2009 she finally had her first novel, 'When Tomorrow Comes,' published. Three other connected books, 'Love Lies and Promises,' 'The Ghost of You and Me' and 'Between Today and Yesterday' followed. They became collectively known as the Little Court Series.

She describes her writing style as drama driven romance. Jo is married and lives in a village on the eastern edge of Bath with her husband, one small grey feline called Mollie and a green MGB GT. She loves travel, red wine and rock music.

To learn more about Jo Lambert and to purchase her books, please click on the links below:

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