Writing in the First Person, a Guest Post by Jo Lambert, author of Watercolours in the Rain

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I’m delighted to be working with Brook Cottage Books in welcoming Jo Lambert back to Linda’s Book Bag today to celebrate Jo’s latest novel Watercolours in the Rain. A lovely contemporary romance, Watercolours in the Rain is available for purchase on AMAZON UK and  AMAZON.COM.

Not only do I have a wonderful guest post from Jo Lambert explaining about the challenges of writing three first person viewpoints in Watercolours in the Rain, but there is the opportunity to enter to win a dreamcatcher necklace (UK only) and one of two e-copies of Watercolours in the Rain at the bottom of this blog post.

Watercolours in the Rain

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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. Now a teacher, Jess returns from holiday to an unexpected phone call and life changing news which will eventually bring her back home once more.

TALUN: 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, Talun finds himself in an impossible situation. Still in love with Jess he is tied into to 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…

Voices In My Head…Writing From The First Person

A Guest Post by Jo Lambert

When I began writing Watercolours in the Rain, I knew because this was the sequel to Summer Moved On, I would need to incorporate a certain amount of back story.   I discussed this with my editor, saying I thought it might be a good idea to begin the book with three short prologues from each of the main character’s points of view.  The plan was then to revert to third person narration for the rest of the novel.  We agreed this might be a good place to start, so I went ahead and completed the pieces and submitted them.  I had really positive feedback which was accompanied by the suggestion maybe it would work well if the whole book was narrated from Jess, Talún and Lily’s individual perspectives.  I wasn’t a stranger to writing in this way. Way back, my very first novel had been written through the eyes of a twenty something female. However that was then and this was now and getting into three people’s heads at the same time – and one of them male – threw up a whole host of different issues.  The one positive thing going for all of this was that as I had travelled with them through the first book, their characters were well known to me.

So with the prologue sections completed, I began to work on a task which I realised was very much a gamble…but it was also a challenge and I was determined to give it a try.  Writing from one person’s viewpoint is quite restricting; it narrows your story because you are only seeing what is going on from behind one pair of eyes. Writing from three, allows a broader view and is almost as good as writing from the third person.  However, it goes far beyond that as you are projecting each individual’s thoughts and emotions as well, which in some ways makes the book more human.

After a few initial hiccups, I eventually I settled down and began to enjoy what I was doing. It was great to be able to slip into someone else’s skin – almost like virtual acting. I had great fun with my female antagonist, bad girl Lily.  She was the perpetrator of some awful actions but in the end karma caught up with her.  I think the saying ‘be careful what you wish for’ was very relevant.  She got to live her dream but in the end it all went horribly wrong. I did have to sit for a while though, weighing up what would eventually be her fate. I could also see potential headache writing from a male perspective but then got totally caught up with his story – the discovery of a son he wasn’t aware of, the extremes he had to go to in order to secure him…and the way he became emotionally entangled with Jess. And as for Jess? Well as my central female character she was the easiest of the three characters. But that’s probably because in all my books I’m always very close to my heroine.

Would I do it again? Well I’m not sure. It was quite complex and far more difficult than writing from the third person. I don’t think I would have attempted it had I not had such a close knowledge of my char.  But I have to say it really did work for Watercolours in the Rain.  In fact I don’t think the book would have turned out as well had I written it any other way.

About Jo Lambert

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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.

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In 2013 she decided to give up full time work to concentrate fully on her writing. Two other books have been written since – The Other Side of Morning which is the final book of the Little Court Series and Summer Moved On, a love story set in South Devon. Jo is about to publish, Watercolours in the Rain, and plans to begin work on her new book in early November 2016. 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, rock music and has a passion for dark chocolate…

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You can find Jo Lambert on Facebook, Google+ and her web site. You can also follow her on Twitter and read her blog.

Competition

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For your chance to enter to win a dream catcher necklace (UK only) or one of 2 e-copies of Watercolours in the Rain, click here.

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5 thoughts on “Writing in the First Person, a Guest Post by Jo Lambert, author of Watercolours in the Rain

  1. I’ve just read Beryl Bainbridge’s biography and apparently her book The Birthday Boys took her longer than usual to write because it was written in five first person chapters. The five people being different men who took part in Scott’s doomed expedition to Antarctica. It’s a brilliant piece of writing. As a writer I find the first person both alluring and limiting!

    Liked by 1 person

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