The Boys of Summer – Location, Location, Location…

In January 2016 I was invited onto writer Lynn Shelby’s blog to talk about the importance of sense of place.  My books are set in the West Country in villages and  provincial towns – some real, some fictional.  With such close knit communities being involved it’s very important to get the location right before I bring my characters to ‘live’ there.

When I chatted with Lynn I had just published Summer Moved On the first of my two linked novels set in South Devon. South Hams, or to be precise the area where Dartmouth, Kingsbridge, Salcombe and Totnes are situated, is a regular holiday destination. Over the years I’ve become familiar with the various places – towns, villages, countryside, and of course the river. This made it easy to visualise places and set scenes.  Last October the second book Watercolours in the Rain brought my stay in Devon to a conclusion.  So where did I plan to set the next book?

I guess it was natural to move on to Cornwall.  North Cornwall in particular had been theannie-spratt-382617 place where we’d enjoyed family camping holidays when I was young.  It meant I’d  become quite used to the unpredictable nature of the weather – waking up one day to brilliant sunshine, the next to rain or even sea fog.  However if the weather was bad on the north coast, it was relatively easy to simply get in the car and drive to somewhere like Fowey, Looe or Mevagissey on the south coast where the sun would almost certainly be shining.

There was also another huge factor influencing my choice of location – Poldark. How could you not fall in love with the coastline after watching Aidan Turner riding across the cliffs each week in a hurry to be somewhere?  The cinematography for the series has been amazing, with sparkling blue seas and the surge of white edged waves against the cliffs. No doubt since the series began it has been influential in luring even more tourists to the county of Cornwall.

So with my cast and location sorted, next I needed to decide where to set my characters. Well this time I wanted to create a fishing port, one which also attracted tourists during the summer months.  Somewhere similar to Mevagissey (below) was exactly the kind of place I had in mind.

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Central to the story was a hotel. This I set on cliffs overlooking the harbour. After working through a series of ideas for a name I eventually settled on the Tarwin House Hotel.  The clifftop inspiration came from the The Headland Hotel and Spa which overlooks Fistral Beach in Newquay (pictured below).

im-von-uns-besuchten-headland-hotel-in-newquay-cornwall-oberhalb-vom-beruehmten-fistral-beach-werden-sogar-spezielle-vintage-tea-parties-veranstaltet-

However, although the setting was just right, the building wasn’t.  For that I had to go back to Richmond upon Thames, where we’d spent some time earlier in the year.  The Petersham Hotel (pictured below), near to where we stayed, ticked all the  boxes and became my muse for Tarwin House.

Richmond-wedding-2(pp_w900_h480)

Everything was now in place for the writing to begin and nearly a year later, the project is almost complete.  It’s been an interesting journey this time around, with lots of stops and starts. Having said that, I have been away a lot in 2017 – a situation which has, at times, proved quite disruptive to the writing process.  With The Boys of Summer almost complete, I’m already turning my attention to the next book. This time I’m heading across the Cornish peninsular to the south coast.  At the moment the characters are still in the melting pot and the story is only a very rough outline.  So it’s very much a case of watch this space!

Coastal shot courtesy of Annie Spratt on Unsplash

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Writing Update: THE BOYS OF SUMMER

thM43O64CFToday 18th August I’m nearly at the end of my first edit of my current WIP The Boys of Summer, a contemporary romance set in North Cornwall.  The new book has 37 chapters and I’m currently working my way through 31.  The edits have thrown up a couple of rewrites on sections which need tidying up but other than that it’s going well. And when I’ve reached Chapter 37 (hopefully by Monday) I’ll be going over the whole thing again. Yes it’s tedious, but such a necessary part of the writing process.

The deadline for handover to my editor is 9th September and I’m currently on target.  I have fought this book all the way.  There were times when I honestly believed it would never be written. Two bouts of a very bad throat virus and moments when inspiration seemed to have deserted me were only two of the huge bumps in the road which I hit on the way to where I am today.  This meant it’s taken far longer to get to this stage than normal.  My original plan was to have everything ready for professional editing by end July/beginning August.  The book thought otherwise. There were times when I was convinced this whole project was doomed; that it wasn’t meant to be.  I tried to brush away the thought that my last book, Watercolours in the Rain, would be it; that there simply were no more stories in me.

For me the translation of the idea into scenes and dialogue is never easy and I do envy those authors who seem to produce books so c2d3ff204460cece31eba2e38ff07217effortlessly.  In the beginning you have your storyline and your characters and off you go. But on the way there are dead ends and elephant pits a plenty and during this writing project I came across more than usual. Some of these really pulled me up and caused me to question whether I should continue.  I think two bouts of a viral infection had really messed with my energy levels over the winter. Where I would usually simply ride out the negative moment, there were times when it caused real problems. Anyway I’m pleased to say I hung on, walking away and abandoning the whole thing when it got too much (sometimes for nearly a week) and coming back when ‘the force’ was with me once more.  Of course as is usually the case there were solutions to each of the problems  I encountered, but on this occasion sometimes they took longer than usual to come to me.

th4JGBSWQYNow, I’m happy to say the story is complete and in another three weeks the MS will be leaving here for  professional editing.  And the most interesting thing of all?  Far from this book being the end, I’m now working on a storyline and characters for my ninth book. My energy and inspiration have returned. Watch this space.

 

A Great Review from The Writing Garnet for Watercolours….

Blurb. What happens to the future when past and present collide? JESS: Six years ago Jess’s relationship with Talún Hansen was torn apart by one night of deception. He disappeared from Lynbrook village and she headed for university vowing never to let anyone break her heart again. Currently teaching in Oxford, Jess returns from holiday […]

via #Review – Watercolours in the Rain by Jo Lambert (@Jolambertwriter) #romance #bookboost — The Writing Garnet

BOOK PROMO: SOUTH DEVON DUO SUMMER MOVED ON and WATERCOLOURS IN THE RAIN – a great double act…

Summer Moved On

After a long-buried secret tears her family apart, Jess Hayden moves to the South Devon a0e31-81imft4sfdl-_sl1500_village of Lynbrook to live with her uncle.   Rufus owns the village pub, The Black Bull, and having visited before, Jess knows the villagers well…especially one of them.

Talún Hansen has a reputation, making him the kind of man no decent girl should get involved with.  Jess, however, has been under his spell from the moment they first met.  Although they always seem to bring out the worst in each other, there is no denying the attraction that simmers between them – an attraction Jess knows she needs to keep under control after repeated warnings from her uncle.

As she settles into village life she begins to learn more about this wild, dark-haired gypsy with the compelling eyes, and realises their lives hold many similarities.  Despite her uncle’s warnings, she begins to spend time with him.  For Jess, the coming summer holds passion; for Talún the hope that he has at last found someone who truly cares for him.

But as autumn approaches, a dark shadow from Jess’s past returns, bringing far-reaching and unwanted changes for both of them.

 

A brilliantly written story…

Rich in interesting characters and an equally interesting plot…

Highly recommended…

The drama and romance come thick and fast..

BUY LINKS:

AMAZON.CO.UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0139IXHZE

AMAZON.COM: https://amzn.com/B0139IXHZE

 

Watercolours in the RainWatercolours in the Rain Cover MEDIUM WEB

What happens to the future when past and present collide?

JESS:  Six years ago Jess’s relationship with Talún Hansen was torn apart by one night of deception. He disappeared from Lynbrook village and she headed for university vowing never to let anyone break her heart again. Currently teaching in Oxford, Jess returns from holiday to an unexpected phone call and life changing news which will eventually bring her back home once more.

TALÚN: Six years on Talún Hawkeswood, as he is now known, is heir to his grandfather’s Norfolk farming empire. When he hears of trouble in the village due to Lynbrook Hall being put up for sale, going back is the last thing on his mind. But staying away is not an option either, not when someone he owes so much to is about to lose their home and their livelihood.

LILY: Splitting with her husband after her son Josh’s birth, Lily now works as part of an estate agency sales team.  She has always held onto her dream of finding a wealthy husband and a life of self-indulgence. When the sale of an important property brings her face to face with Talún once more, she realises despite the risks involved, the night they spent together six years ago may be the key to making those dreams come true.

As Jess, Talún and Lily return to Lynbrook and the truth about what happened that summer is gradually revealed, Talún finds himself in an impossible situation. Still in love with Jess he is tied into a trade off with Lily: his name and the lifestyle she craves in exchange for his son. And when a child is involved there is only one choice he can make…

Strong vividly drawn characters…

A book to remember…

Page turning drama at its best…

An amazingly well crafted tale of love, lies and deceit…

BUY LINKS:

AMAZON.CO.UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01LX4GRE5

AMAZON.COM: https://amzn.com/B01LX4GRE5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IT’S PUBLICATION DAY FOR THE SECOND BOOK OF MY DEVON DUO WATERCOLOURS IN THE RAIN

Watercolours in the Rain Cover MEDIUM WEB

What happens to the future when past and present collide?

JESS: Six years ago Jess’s relationship with Talún Hansen was torn apart by one night of deception. He disappeared from Lynbrook village and she headed for university vowing never to let anyone break her heart again. Currently teaching in Oxford, Jess returns from holiday to an unexpected phone call and life changing news which will eventually bring her back home once more.
TALÚN: Six years on Talún Hawkeswood, as he is now known, is heir to his grandfather’s Norfolk farming empire. When he hears of trouble in the village due to Lynbrook Hall being put up for sale, going back is the last thing on his mind. But staying away is not an option either, not when someone he owes so much to is about to lose their home and their livelihood.
LILY: Splitting with her husband after her son Josh’s birth, Lily now works as part of an estate agency sales team. She has always held onto her dream of finding a wealthy husband and a life of self-indulgence. When the sale of an important property brings her face to face with Talún once more, she realises despite the risks involved, the night they spent together six years ago may be the key to making those dreams come true.
As Jess, Talún and Lily return to Lynbrook and the truth about what happened that summer is gradually revealed, Talún finds himself in an impossible situation. Still in love with Jess he is tied into a trade off with Lily: his name and the lifestyle she craves in exchange for his son. And when a child is involved there is only one choice he can make…

Amazon Buy link:  https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01LX4GRE5

Also available on NetGalley

COMING SOON IN PAPERBACK

WATERCOLOURS IN THE RAIN: So where are we now exactly?

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Today, Monday 22nd August I’m about to begin my final read through of Watercolours in the Rain. The book has been edited, revisions done and it’s almost ready to go off to my beta readers. Once that’s been done and any tweaks necessary undertaken, it will be handed over for formatting.

The cover, which is finished but still under wraps, is amazing.  Jane Dixon Smith has always produced great covers for my books and this time is no exception.

Publication date isn’t fixed yet but I expect the book will be available for purchase in early October.

And then…

I have to admit I’ve got into my normal ‘what happens next…’ mode.  I think this lull once a book has been completed and you’re trying to come up with a new plot is sometimes not only one of the most difficult times, but also the scariest.  There is always this fear that there may not be another book in me.  That I’m all written out.  Reading and reviewing as well as being a writer, alerts you to the fact there is a huge amount of romantic fiction on the market. This means coming up with something that doesn’t trespass on anyone else’s ideas.  For me it’s a bit of a wander in the wilderness for a while until that light bulb moment happens. Not that easy but I think I’ve done it – cue a huge sigh of relief! And the trigger? A song on the morning’s radio breakfast show – yes it was as simple as that. I guess I should have known it would take something like that as music has always played an important role in my writing.

So now it’s all about sorting out characters and fleshing out the story line as I get ready to begin my eighth writing journey this coming autumn.

And as far as Watercolours in the Rain is concerned, I’ll be back with the cover reveal week commencing 26th September. And there will be a book tour kicking off on Monday 10th October, both with Brook Cottage Books.  So see you there…