I’m out in the garden waiting for one of my Crooked Cat friends to arrive. We haven’t met before but all work very closely on co-promoting each other’s work. Ah- here she comes. Welcome, Lizzie Chantree! Come on over to the table and help yourself to … what would you like to drink?
I drink pots of tea while I’m writing, but a glass of red wine would be wonderful!
Oh good, the grapes for this brand come from our neighbour over the road. How was your trip on the magic carpet?
It was a bit bumpy, but luckily I managed to hang on round the bend! I did bring my dog, Pepper, who is very small and fluffy, but fierce, so she managed to grab the edges of the carpet with her teeth and keep us in the air.
OK, we’ll introduce her to Lilydog and Pistoncat slowly. They are very friendly. They can all play together or ignore each other. I have all kinds of home made cake, jam, bikkies etc – choice?
Home made cakes… what a welcome. Coffee and walnut cake? I love to bake cakes at home, but for some reason they are always enormous! My Grandad ran a tearoom and I think cake making is in the genes.
Let’s start with your books – do you write under just one name or several? How many genres do you cover? How much have you had published including anthologies etc?
I write under my own name. My parents call me Elizabeth when I’m naughty and Lizzie when I’m good. I have written five books so far. They are all romance novels, but one has a magical twist and two have a mystery feel. They all revolve around entrepreneurs and their quirky businesses.
Oh I understand that! My mother only called me Ailsa when she was cross. That’s why I prefer “Otter”. How long have you been writing professionally? I imagine that, like all of us, you wrote all your life before “turning pro”.
Totally. I’ve always loved writing stories. I have been writing professionally for five years. Before that, I ran a retail and wholesale business where I sold my own product designs to other companies. I had this business for over twenty years, but needed a career change when my daughter became unwell, (she’s fine now).
What was your first published work? Short story, magazine article, poem?
My first book with a publisher is my latest novel, Ninja School Mum. Before that, I self-published after seeing a magazine article on the subject, that caught my interest.
What are your ambitions / hopes for your writing career?
I would like to publish more books and help other authors to publish theirs. My main ambition with my own writing is to make readers smile. My first book was written during a tough time in my life and writing it helped me so much. I hope my work makes others feel happy.
Highfive! We do have so much in common. I love helping other writers and I spend most of my day making people laugh.
Lily – be nice. The other doggie isn’t going to attack you if you play nice!
Now on to you, the author. Where do you live and with whom? Describe a perfect day at home for me. (Where else have you lived?)
I live in Essex, England, with my husband of 20 years, our two children and a very fluffy dog. A perfect day at home is a meal with family, ideally by the sea or somewhere with an amazing view. I have lived and worked in London, but otherwise I have always been local to Essex.
Do you have a “day job”?
Writing is now my full time job and I absolutely love it. My daughter tells everyone she helped me start this career and she’s right. I also run a networking hour on Twitter for creatives called #CreativeBizHour every Monday night 8-9pm (GMT). It is a great place to network and support each other in our work. I am a business mentor and it’s really satisfying to see new and old businesses flourish.
Outside of writing and any other work, what is your main passion (greatest pleasures?)
My family and friends are my greatest passion. They make me smile every single day and put up with my daily creative plans for another book or project.
Awww, how lovely. Tell me two or three interesting facts about you that I haven’t asked.
I was one of the Female Inventors of the Year for a product I invented called Runaway Spray. It’s a lipstick size ‘ladder’ stop spray for hosiery. It’s not tested on animals and works a treat!
Wow! That’s impressive!
I’m allergic to chocolate.
Wow, that’s handy! Wish I were.
I designed the crown for Miss Southend-on-Sea for the Miss UK final.
Well aren’t you the inventive and creative one?? Finally and most importantly – Bio and links please.
About The Author
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.
Book link: viewBook.at/NinjaSchoolMum