Name Lizzie Chantree
Where are you from
Lizzie: London. England.
A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc
Lizzie: I studied graphic design and display/design at college and then I attended The School of Communication Arts in London. This was a fantastically creative space where we were able to work with industry experts in the field of design and advertising.
My family are pretty much all entrepreneurs who run their own businesses in a variety of areas. I grew up with two dogs, a cat and a pet peacock! I am married with two children.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
Lizzie: I have just finished my latest book, which is set in a school playground. This novel has just been sent out to publishers. I now have the very daunting task of beginning all over again on my new book.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
Lizzie: I began writing when I was much younger after reading The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien, in English class at my school. I wrote my own first novel when my youngest daughter became unwell, (she’s fine now). I needed to find a way to stay awake at night so that I could hear her breathing. It was a very low point and I decided to write a novel full of sunshine and laughter to keep the tears at bay. Babe Driven took me a year to write and I didn’t publish it for five years until my daughter’s health began to improve.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Lizzie: When readers started to contact me to say that my books made them smile.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
Lizzie: My first book really helped me through a difficult time in my life. Writing about sizzling beaches and exciting business ventures brought some sunshine into my world at a dark time. Once I had completed my first manuscript, I couldn’t wait to write another!
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
Lizzie: I do. I write in A4 green lined notebooks and I always write the first section and chapter ideas by hand. It’s usually between 10-20,000 words. Then I type that up on my computer and the rest follows. I find it inspiring to write in coffee shops or near bustling activity, although it may be just an excuse to drink lots of fragrant coffee and eat cake!
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
Lizzie: The title usually comes to me shortly after I’ve had the book idea. It’s either about the business idea in my book, or focuses on the main character’s personality.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Lizzie: My books are about strong men or women who are learning to be more confident in the face of adversity. Appearances can be deceptive and they all have complex lives. The stories usually focus on a business idea or inventive product as I have 20yrs of experience of running my own creative businesses.
My second book, Love’s Child is about taking care of each other and how important families and friends are to our emotional wellbeing.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Lizzie: My books are based around businesses and romance. I have run various businesses for many years and I love to dream up new ones. These unusual businesses are one’s I’m intrigued about and get to try out through my writing.
Babe Driven has a chauffeur business run by gorgeous security trained women and is the hottest new business in town. Love’s Child has a warehouse centre for troubled teenagers, where the main characters are hiding a secret that could affect the rest of the world. Finding Gina focuses on a woman who is hiding from journalists while secretly helping people who have been hurt by her grandmother. She takes a wrong turn on the road and stumbles into a crumbling estate and events business, which desperately needs her help.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?
Lizzie: I was incredibly inspired by my tutors at The School of Communication Arts. They were all very zany and were very patient and generous with their time and knowledge.
I was also part of The Prince’s Trust and Livewire scheme when I was younger. I won an award and was asked back a couple of times to help judge other businesses, which was a great experience.
I have been influenced by so many talented authors over the years. I enjoy books about tech, travel, business, romance, mystery and design.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest and who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
Lizzie: I love finding books by new authors. Before I wrote my own stories, I tended to stick to what I knew, which was romance. Now I love to read such a variety of genres. My favourite author at the moment is Rebecca Reilly. Her characters are well written and the plots are interesting. She is the author of Haunting Megan.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
Lizzie: I joined a book club called Rave reviews book club when I published my first book. The authors and readers there are so supportive. They share writing tips, marketing news and much more. The readers post blogs and share latest news. It’s amazing! Look them up if you love to discover a new favourite author. They are not a review site, but a genuine book club for people who love to network and read.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Lizzie: Totally. To be an author you have to know how to market your work and connect with readers. This is pretty scary, but once you get used to it can be so rewarding. Meeting readers who enjoy your work is the best feeling. This all takes a lot of commitment and time, so you have to balance, home life, writing and marketing.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Lizzie: No. I wouldn’t change anything. All of my books have been great fun to write. The bit which I find more difficult, is the technical side of formatting, keywords and book links.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
Lizzie: Reading books in school made me fall in love with literature.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Lizzie: My latest book is about a group of school mums, but there is something very different about one of them!
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Lizzie: When I have just finished a book, I find the thought of starting all over again both exciting and terrifying! I tend to procrastinate for a couple of weeks and pretend I’m cleaning the house or walking the dog during the day to put off starting the first line of text. 80,000 words seems like a long way off at that point.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
Lizzie: Not really. I do write while I’m travelling, but have a studio where I work from home.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
Lizzie: I have a background of graphic design and paint huge canvases when I can, so I design my own covers. I enjoy this part so much as it’s a bit like bringing the characters to life visually, after hopefully doing the same with the words in the book.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Lizzie: At the start of this journey it was marketing, but now it’s not letting myself get distracted by biscuits and washing while I should be writing.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
Lizzie: I’ve learnt so much. It has given me a new career. It has made me slow down and look around me more and it’s taught me to believe in my dreams.
Fiona: If any of your books was made into a film who would you like to play the lead?
Lizzie: Someone like Cara Delevingne would be amazing for Babe Driven.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Lizzie: Don’t give up. Put words onto paper, as you can’t edit a blank page. Look for support from other authors and bloggers or book groups, as they have a wealth of knowledge to share.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Lizzie: Thank you for your support and for taking the time to read my work and leave reviews to encourage others to try my novels too. Opening an email or seeing a review that says someone enjoyed my characters or story, is like handing me a rainbow! If my writing makes people smile, then I’m happy with that.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Lizzie: I’m reading a book by Mae Clair called A Thousand Yesteryears.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Lizzie: Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Lizzie: My friends and family. My children cringe, as I often cry at a sad movie.
Fiona: Is there one person pass or present you would meet and why?
Lizzie: I would have liked to have met Charlotte Bronte, but Ed Sheeran and Adele interest me too, as their writing style’s are so eclectic and fabulous!
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why ?
Lizzie: Much loved.
The reason is because I don’t think you need to drag others down to get to where you’re going. Kindness isn’t a weakness. It shows strength and character.
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?
Lizzie: I paint very vibrant canvases and invent new products. I also really enjoy cycling or walking to anywhere with a beautiful view.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Lizzie: Romance films, Sci-fi, Planet Earth and documentaries about life, business or creativity.
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music ?
Colour: Any shade of blue.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
Lizzie: I would like to build a huge creative space for writers and other creative people to meet and work.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
Babe Driven .uk link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Babe-Driven-Driving-straight-paradise-ebook/dp/B00FAUT0SS
Babe Driven .com link: https://www.amazon.com/Babe-Driven-Driving-straight-paradise-ebook/dp/B00FAUT0SS
Love’s Child .uk link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Loves-Child-Power-deceit-betrayal-ebook/dp/B011236ZC0
Love’s Child .com link: https://www.amazon.com/Loves-Child-Power-deceit-betrayal-ebook/dp/B011236ZC0
Finding Gina .uk link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Finding-Gina-sprinkling-stardust-overcome-ebook/dp/B01ETBS782
Finding Gina .com link: https://www.amazon.com/Finding-Gina-sprinkling-stardust-overcome-ebook/dp/B01ETBS782