Friday, 26 January 2018

Guest Author - Lizzie Chantree

I'm delighted to be joined today by author Lizzie Chantree. Lizzie is the best-selling author of three novels with a fourth published very recently!   

Hi Lizzie! Thanks so much for joining me on my blog today! You are already a successful published author – please tell me about the books you have already had published? 

Thank you for the compliment! My first three books are called Babe Driven, Love’s Child and Finding Gina. They are about the love lives of eccentric entrepreneurs, but are full of friendship, romance and surprises. My aim is to write books that make people smile. I began my first business at the age of 17 and the process of making the ideas work and the creativity and support needed to keep the business alive, fascinates me. Through my writing, I am able to imagine what it would be like to run some pretty crazy businesses! 

Sounds fantastic! You also have a new novel which has just been released. Please tell me a little bit about that.  

My new release is called Ninja School Mum. It’s about a woman who is trying to create a stable environment for her child, but she has a problematic past that keeps crashing into her daily life. The main character, Skye, is obsessive compulsive, she hates other people and yet she’s doing her best to be a better version of herself the sake of her son. She’s a single parent with skills! She starts a new business to try and ease her way into the lives of the local community and then many unexpected things start to happen.

I love the sound of that! I've noticed you have a great online presence. What's your preference - Facebook or Twitter? 

I like both Facebook and Twitter, but my preference is Twitter. You will find me on there daily, as I like to see what everyone is doing and update my readers about my latest work. I run a networking hour for creatives or anyone who enjoys creativity. It’s every Monday and it’s very fast to keep up with, but hilarious! The people are supportive of each other and they enjoy networking, so it’s great fun. 

I will have to log in for that! As for the writing side of things, can you tell me about your writing routine – how do you settle yourself down to write? 

I get very easily distracted by social media and the little notes I write myself and stick around my studio. I’ve now bought a big notepad with 'To Do’ lists in it, to try and be more efficient. It’s working so far! I tend to begin writing at 9am and can still be there until 2pm, when I have family commitments. I work from 6-11pm on a Monday too, on my networking session. I can sometimes write 100 words a day and another time over 5,000 a day for a week. There really is no routine to it. I write in my car while I’m waiting for my children, at a desk while they do sports, in caf├ęs, or anywhere! I don’t have to be in a quiet corner of my studio. 

Sounds very disciplined - good for you! How do you balance your time between writing and marketing? 

It’s tricky. I find marketing can take over, but I love to learn new things about writing and have met some great friends through networking. It takes dedication, but it’s really worth the effort. I try and get writing done first, but always have lists of other jobs to do. My top tip for marketing is that it doesn’t have to cost you money, just a bit of  time. If you are happy to learn, then there is so much information out there to help you. 

What’s your favourite thing about writing/ being published? 

Meeting people who have enjoyed my writing. It’s such a wonderful feeling when someone says they can relate to your story, or that they wish they were friends with the characters in my books! I really enjoy discovering other authors i’ve not met before too. 

Do you have any tips for aspiring authors? 

Get the words onto paper. You can’t edit a blank page. Be more organised than I am! Join book and author groups and make friends. These contacts will support you on your journey to publication. 

What do you love doing when not writing? 

When I’m not writing, I paint huge landscapes. I also enjoy reading anything from design, architectural, fashion, technology, science books, to fairy stories! I absolutely love going to the pictures with friends or family too. 

What was the book you read that made you think “I’d love to write!”? 

The Hobbit. I read it in school and I still remember holding the book and thinking, wow!

Lastly – a fun question – can you tell us about a funny/ embarrassing memory? 

I embarrass my children daily, or so they tell me! 

My daughter had just started a new school and had her first trip. I was going with her and was stressed as I didn’t know anyone yet. I was chatting to a lovely lady the whole way there about life and the children on the bus. As we got off the coach, I asked her which year her children were in. She just looked at me strangely and simply said …’I’m the headmistress.’ 

I’d only seen her from the back of the school hall before and in a suit, so in jeans and a jumper I thought they appeared similar, but then thought nothing more about it. I’ve been on so many school trips in primary school, but the head of the school had never joined us, so it didn’t occur to me they could be there. My daughter rolled around the floor in fits of giggles when I told her, then proceeded to loudly tell all her friends on the drive home how her mum had such a terrible memory, while I cringed in the corner and pretended to be asleep!

Thank you so much for joining me today Lizzie, and wishing you much success with this great book! :) 

Author bio:
Award-winning inventor and author, Lizzie Chantree, started her own business at the age of 18 and became one of Fair Play London and The Patent Office’s British Female Inventors of the Year in 2000. She discovered her love of writing fiction when her children were little and now runs networking hours on social media, where creative businesses, writers, photographers and designers can offer advice and support to each other. She lives with her family on the coast in Essex. 

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  1. Thank you for inviting me onto your fabulous blog today Rose! I really enjoyed chatting with you.

  2. I loved the story about embarrassing your daughter, Lizzie. :) Too funny!