Hello and welcome to my blog, Author Interviews. My name is Fiona Mcvie.
Let’s get you introduced to everyone, shall we? Tell us your name. What is your age?
Hi, I’m Lizzie Chantree and I’m well over 40!
Fiona: Where are you from?
I’m from Essex, England.
Fiona: A little about your self (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
I am married with two children. I ran my own businesses for over 15 years until my child became unwell and I had to have a change of career. Writing meant I could stay at home and be near.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
I have published two books this year so far, with Crooked Cat Books, and both are international bestsellers! My latest book, If you love me, I’m yours, was ranked #1 on Amazon’s Hot New Releases.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I began writing to be able to sit and listen to my daughter’s breathing as she was unwell for seven years. To keep myself awake at night, so that I could watch over her, I began to write books full of the sunshine and laughter that was missing from my own life at that time.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
After people began buying my first book and letting me know how much they loved the stories.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
I was in quite a dark place, emotionally, so writing something full of happiness and light really helped me cope with the depression I suffered when my child was unwell (she’s fine now).
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
The book is about a chauffeur company with gorgeous drivers, which is run by a shy woman who hates the limelight. Her company hits the headlines for various reasons and she has to scoop her sister and friends up and hide them away on an exotic island, while she tries to find out who is sabotaging her business. The book is called Babe Driven. It’s full of sunshine, laughter and sexy band members who are out to cause all sorts of trouble!
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
I write by hand for the first 20,000 words or so. Then I type the rest. I have rough chapter guides, but the story flows from those. I don’t plan every page. The challenging part is reading my own messy handwriting and then typing up the rest of the manuscript. I write quickly, so my handwriting gets even worse.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
I have 20 years of experience of running creative businesses. All of my books have quite unusual businesses in them and a few eccentric characters, which I love. Other than that, I make it all up from ideas in my mind.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
I move around a lot with my family and love taking a pen and paper with me to write. I write anywhere, from the car outside school whilst waiting to collect the children, or in café’s, at the beach, or anywhere with a beautiful view.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
I chose the images and my publisher designs the rest.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Most of my books are about not being perfect and not needing to be. Some of my characters are really troubled and have had difficult pasts, but I try and help them find a light in dark times like I did.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest? Who is your favorite writer, and what is it about their work that really strikes you?
I really admire the work by Isabella May. She writes really fresh and exciting books.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
I am part of a book club called RRBC. There are so many authors there who have helped me and offered support and advice. One in particular, Jan Hawke, sadly passed away recently, but she will never be forgotten.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Yes. I love my new career. It’s my full-time job now, which I find really exciting!
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Not at all. I love my stories and hope readers do as well. The feedback I have received from people who have read it has made me cry happy tears, as it has moved some of them to tears too and made them feel really connected with the characters.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
I learnt to enjoy the whole process and to give myself time to relax now and then, as writing a book and bringing it to market can be exhausting and exhilarating.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
For if you love me, I’m yours, I’d like someone like Margo Robbie to play Dotty.
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
Get words onto paper. You can’t edit a blank page.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
Every time an author is given a great review about a book they have written, it’s like they have just been handed a rainbow. It means the hours of writing were worth it and it makes us want to write more books!
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I’m just about to start reading Chasing the Case by Joan Livingston.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Perhaps not the first book, but I was inspired by J.R.R. Tolkien and Charlotte Bronte in school.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Friends and family. 😀
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
I’d love to meet Ed Sheeran. I’m fascinated with how he writes music. His songs are stories and they evoke such emotion.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
I love to paint huge landscapes. I have exhibited them over the years.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I love reality TV! I work long hours, so seeing people have fun always makes me smile too. I also enjoy going to the cinema to see movies. I have an eclectic taste in films and television.
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors,
Music? Fajitas. Blue. Soul music.
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
Fiona: You only have 24 hours to live how would you spend that time?
With my family. Probably eating a good meal and enjoying the conversation. My family are lively and a bit bonkers.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
Social media links:
Universal book buy link: If you love me, I’m yous: viewbook.at/IfYouLoveMe-ImYours
Universal book buy link: Ninja School Mum: viewBook.at/NinjaSchoolMum
Universal book buy link: Babe Driven: myBook.to/LizziesBooks
Universal book buy link: Love’s Child: viewBook.at/Amazon-LovesChild
Universal book buy link: Finding Gina: viewBook.at/Amazon-FindingGina