Welcome to CentreStage!
CentreStage showcases fabulous authors from around the world. These authors might tell you about their books, their lives, their pets, children or canal boats… or their inspiration. Inspiration is quite a popular theme, as it is one of the most frequently asked questions for any author. “What inspired you to write…”
Today, the fabulous Jo Lambert talks about an unexpected (by me, that is) combination of inspiration. Jo and I have known each other in Cyberspace for… oooh…. eons! It wasn’t until I moved to Lincoln that I discovered that Jo practically used to live round the corner from me (relatively speaking) down in Bath. We missed the chance to meet and rock out together to one of our joint favourite bands, so Jo is visiting virtually today to make up for lost time. Take it away, Jo!
Whatever captures my imagination…
Great to be here and many thanks for inviting me to join you on Centre Stage. As you know we have two big things in common – a trilogy (although I’ve already finished mine) and a love of modern music. So I thought while I’m here I’d chat about what have been for me two very important influences.
Whoop! I’m all ears.
I don’t think the Behind Blue Eyes trilogy could have been written without the aid of all the great music from that the sixties – a time I was also growing up in a provincial town much the same as Ella and Matt. A lot of the trilogy is therefore autobiographical and was easy to write. Of course it was an extra-ordinary decade too, a cultural revolution – the clothes, the new-found freedom young people were experiencing, not forgetting the music. Because one of the central scenes for thebooks is a club called The Mill, the trilogy is peppered with references to popular songs of the time and creating a playlist to use to accompany my writing also provided me with an instant personal connection.
For instance, ‘Hello-Goodbye’ by the Beatles, brought back memories of a twenty-first birthday party I attended and ‘My Generation’ by The Who reminded me of my college days. With all this music going on in the club, it wasn’t surprising, therefore, that I soon decided to incorporate a rock band into the storyline. A natural development as it seemed to me that romance and music were beginning to go hand in hand.
Between Today and Yesterday, the sequel to the Behind Blue Eyes trilogy, set in the late eighties, featured another rock band called Rosetti, but this time I kept song references to a minimum. If there were any, they were purely fictitious ones which were performed by the band. Somehow it seemed this story did not need the same treatment as the trilogy as all the principal characters were mature grownups. My playlists were there, of course, full of songs I had picked out which were relevant to the narrative, only now the music was purely for listening purposes. Once again romance and music were combined in this story, albeit in a slightly different way.
For my fifth novel – The Other Side of Morning – which I’m currently in the process of writing, I’m still in music mode – If I had to describe it I guess I would call it the sequel of the sequel. We’re now in the mid-nineties and this time Rosetti’s front man has become a big solo star with an ego to match. The music is still there but the story itself has been influenced by – you’ll never believe it – E L James! No, I’m not about to write a novel about BDSM, but I did read ’50 Shades’. It was Christian’s intense possessiveness with Ana that made me want to write a novel which dealt with obsession. And so the new book centres on a three-way love affair, one woman loved by two very different men and an obsession so strong that it ends in devastating consequences for all three of them. Once again music tracks get only a rare mention in the book, the playlists I listen to, as with Between Today and Yesterday, are the key to the writing and one of the main influences has been a band I know you’re a great fan of – Dare.
*Nicky cheers and dances* Indeed!!!
And the future? Well at present my energies are totally taken up with writing the current book. However, there will obviously be another book in the pipeline by this time next year. Whether it will be a continuation of the lives of the families who live in Little Court Manor or something completely different I’m not sure, but one thing I can guarantee is that it will definitely involve romance and music!
Excellent news! Just my cuppa, then. Rock on!
Once again thank you Nicky for having me here and good luck with Sophie’s Run.
Why, thank you, Jo, it was my pleasure having you here today. Thank your for a fabulous post and I adore all your covers, btw. You have such a strong brand: totally awesome.
About Jo Lambert
Jo Lambert lives in Bath, Somerset with her husband, small grey cat Mollie and Bridget, a white MG Midget affectionately known as her husband’s ‘other woman’.