Monday Mortals: Joanna Lambert


I'm delighted to have the lovely author, Joanna Lambert with me today.

Hi Jo! Can you tell us a little about your latest book. 
This follows on from the trilogy which finished in 1973. We catch up with the characters again in 1990. Matriarch Laura Kendrick, owner of Little Court Manor is dead. As her family grieve they are also trying to come to terms with their own problems.
Nick Kendrick is a bitter and disillusioned head teacher whose deteriorating mental state is giving cause for concern to both his family and work colleagues. Ella Benedict his beautiful, successful sister is concerned about her record producer husband Matt’s pre-occupation with one of his former stars. In Spain, band frontman Christian Rosetti wonders why they are recording in Marbella when Matt promised them New York. Could it be that Marcie Maguire, a woman whose career Matt helped launch many years ago is here performing? And if that is the reason, what makes a woman he has not seen for twenty years so special?
When Ella and her sister-in-law Jenny agree to help a friend trace the lost heir to his fortune, their search takes them to Spain. Joining Matt and the band in Marbella, Ella hopes to end the rumours once and for all and prove to the world that her relationship with him is as strong as ever. But when Jenny is unexpectedly called home, Ella is left alone to face a woman who is not only firmly back in Matt’s life, but is determined to destroy their marriage.

What inspired you to write it?
While I was writing the last book of the trilogy - The Ghost of You and Me – I became aware that there was an opportunity to maybe develop a fourth book. This had not been my original intention but by the time I had finished book three, the feeling I should bring them all back was so strong I decided that is what I would do. Marcie’s revenge which became the centre of the story but there were a whole lot of other issues which I built around this. It worked out so well I knew I’d done the right thing!

Is it part of a series?
Yes, it is the follow up to the trilogy and picks up seventeen years after the trilogy finishes.

If your latest book was made into a movie, who would you like to play the main characters?
When I was writing the book, I visualised Sarah Parish as Ella. Matt - Patrick Baladi. And Marcie - Freema Agyeman

What made you want to become an author?
I guess it was always there. I’d loved reading as a child and was always good at English, particularly essays. I had a very over-active imagination (so I’m told) so I think as I grew older the whole thing transferred itself into wanting to write and create my own stories. My first attempts were when I was twelve years old but a proper attempt at novel writing did not happen until much later. I think writing is either in your or it’s not and also it’s no good being able to write technically well if you can’t story tell. I think the ability to tell a good story is the foundation to good writing. I inherited that from my maternal grandfather who had us all spellbound as children with his tales.
I did travel the conventional route by submitting synopsis and chapters to Agents but the writing industry is such a huge business now and chances of publication for a first time author are few and far between. Indie publishing has really opened the door and means that you can get your work published – I think that was the final nudge I needed. I can’t begin to describe how I felt the day I received a copy of my very first novel but I knew straight away that novel writing was what I wanted to do.

Name one of your all-time favourite book covers? 
Sally Beauman’s Lovers and Liars. It’s the model’s blonde hair, there is so much of it and it has a quite striking impact on the cover.

Name one book that made you think 'wow'? Why did it have such an effect on you?
I really feel Gilli Allan’s Torn was an amazing read. The whole story flowed so well and was written with care, passion and sensitivity. I finished it thinking ‘Gosh I wish I could write like that!’

Who, or what, inspires you?
Places, landscapes, people. I’m lucky enough to live in a designated area of outstanding natural beauty. When I wrote the trilogy, my own village was the inspiration for Meridan Cross. It sits on a hillside under a huge wood and from where I live you can watch the colour of the trees change with the seasons. A fall of snow in winter makes the trees look as if they are dusted with icing sugar and on wet days low cloud threads its way through the wood – it’s so atmospheric and was brilliant in giving my books a sense of place.

Where is your favourite place to write? 
I guess if I’m typing then the office (which is our smallest bedroom) but I do like to sit outside on warm days (or when we’re away on holiday somewhere hot) and write on an A4 pad. When we were in Minorca in 2010 we had a fantastic villa with a cool front loggia. When I’d had enough time around the pool I would sit there with the pad and work on my current novel.

What is your favourite movie that was based on a book? 
It’s got to be Wuthering Heights. There is so much passion in this story.

Who is your favourite author (s) and why?
I love Lesley Pearse – wonderful heroines and great storytelling. I do have quite a varied taste in reading and that’s the excuse I’m giving for currently becoming completely hooked on George R R Martin’s Game of Thrones series. Such a complex story with a huge cast of characters - quite brutal but very compelling. I have the DVDs for the first two series as well and the casting has been really true to the books.

If you could have a dinner party with any authors from any time in history, who would you choose and why?
Definitely Jane Austen. She lived in my home town of Bath for a while and I would love to talk to her about life in the city during her time and how it motivated her writing. Also Thomas Hardy, for the same reason. He wrote so vividly about the West Country, his books a reflection on life during those times. Part of the filming for Far from the Madding Crowd was done in Devizes, the Wiltshire town where I was born and grew up. Emily Bronte is my third historical guest as I’d love to quiz her about Wuthering Heights. And from today’s writers J K Rowling and E L James, authors who have been phenomenally successful with completely different genres.

Tell us a random fact about yourself.
I’m a member of MENSA with an IQ of 151

Tell us something interesting about the area where you live. 
For the last thirty years I’ve lived in Bath. It’s a fantastic vibrant city with a huge span of history, from Roman occupation and the Baths to beautiful Regency buildings like the Circus and the Royal Crescent. On the eastern outskirts where I live the surrounding countryside has been designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty – so we have the best of both worlds!

Twitter: @jolambertwriter
Amazon link to Between Today and Yesterday : 


  1. Lovely interview, ladies. Joanne writes lovely books which deserve more attention and are well worth reading. Can't wait for her next one.

  2. Wow I can see why Gilli said pop over and read it. Wonderful and so interesting. I shall be seeking these books out. As Jo knows I have experience of the Music Biz so I am interested on her 'take' on it and recording etc. I will also check out Gilli and Torn. Thanks for a really interesting and informative interview Suzy.

  3. This trilogy sounds really intriguing. Love the blurb on your latest. Liking those covers, too. Thanks, Gilli, for bringing this to our attention! :) xx


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