Tonight, I am thrilled to be joined on the blog for Friday Night Drinks by fellow RNA member, author, entrepreneur, creative mentor and founder of #CreativeBizHour…. Lizzie Chantree.
Lizzie, massive thanks for joining me for drinks this evening. First things first, what are you drinking?
I’d love a Mojito!
Love a mojito, let’s have one (or two!) each. If we weren’t here in my virtual bar tonight, but were meeting in real life, where would you be taking me for a night out?
I’d take you to a lively bar for cocktails and next for a Mexican meal. Then back to the cocktail bar. I really enjoy listening to live music, but a meal is a social place to sit and chat.
Good plan. If you could invite two famous people, one male and one female, alive or dead, along on our night out, who would we be drinking with?
I’d invite Ed Sheeran and Beyonce. I love hearing their new music and am fascinated by how they come up with their lyrics. They are both inspirational and I’d probably wear them out with questions about their craft.
Not had either of them before, so those are good choices. So, now we’re settled, tell me what you are up to at the moment. What have you got going on? How and why did you start it and where do you want it to go?
I published my first book at the age of forty and am now writing my 9th novel. I write contemporary romances about female entrepreneurs with some pretty zany businesses. They get up to all sorts of trouble and have lots of giggles along the way. My books are full of friendship, laugher and sizzling men! I ran my own business for over fifteen years until I began writing, then my new career took over. I now also work as a business mentor.
What has been your proudest moment since you started writing and what has been your biggest challenge?
Seeing all of my published books become international bestsellers and my most recent hitting the #1 spot twice has been amazing. I have had such support from the writing and book loving community, that I can’t thank them enough for their advice and for them picking up my books to read and telling their friends and family about them.
My biggest challenge has been learning about marketing. Even the word used to scare me! Now I really enjoy chatting to readers and give seminars to help other writers move forward in their careers. I also run a networking hour on Twitter called #CreativeBizHour for creative businesses, to help spread the word about their work. We often have millions of views in one hour and #CreativeBizHour has been trending most weeks for over four years now.
What is the one big thing you’d like to achieve in your chosen arena? Be as ambitious as you like, its just us talking after all!
I’d love to see all of my books made into films! That would be a dream come true.
What are you currently working on that you are really excited about?
I’ve just finished a manuscript and it’s in first edits. I can’t wait for it to be ready. I have a new book out with an American publisher next year and I’m waiting to find out what their designers have come up with for the cover. It’s a really exciting time. I currently have both French and American publishers.
I love to travel, and I’m currently drawing up a bucket list of things I’d like to do in the future. Where is your favourite place that you’ve been and what do you have at the top of your bucket list?
I absolutely love being in France or Spain. I have written a lot of my books whilst on holiday there and find the scenery really inspiring. I’m happy anywhere with views and the sea or mountains. I enjoy spending time near the U.K. coastline too. We are lucky that we have such beautiful scenery here. Cornwall is one of my favourites.
Tell me one interesting/surprising/secret fact about yourself that people might not know about you.
I was one of the Female Inventors of the Year as voted by Fair Play London and The Patent Office. I invented a ‘ladder’ or ‘run’ stop spray for hosiery. From this my first customers were two very big high street chains. It was a real experience and a lot of fun. I went on a lot of television shows including This Morning, Sky news and the ITV lunchtime news.
Wow, exciting! Books are my big passion and central to my blog and I’m always looking for recommendations. What one book would you give me and recommend as a ‘must-read’?
Anything by Heidi Catherine. She’s a bestselling author of fantasy books and she has a new novel out soon that I can’t wait to read.
I’ve not come across her before, I shall have to take a look. So, we’ve been drinking all evening. What is your failsafe plan to avoid a hangover and your go-to cure if you do end up with one?
Tea and two slices of toast before bed! Not everyone’s idea of a good idea, but it works for me. Plus drinks lots of water. I’m an absolute lightweight with drink, so I’m giddy after two glasses of wine. It doesn’t stop me from dancing the night away though.
After our fabulous night out, what would be your ideal way to spend the rest of a perfect weekend?
A lie in and then brunch with family or friends would be the perfect weekend for me. Most of my good ideas for a day out include food! ☺
Mine too! Lizzie, thank you for joining me, it’s been great fun and I hope we get to do it for real at this year’s RNA Conference.
Lizzie’s latest book is If You Love Me, I’m Yours, and you can get a copy here.
‘If you love me, I’m yours…’
Maud didn’t mind being boring, not really. She had a sensible job, clothes, and love life… if you counted an overbearing ex who had thanked her, rolled over and was snoring before she even realised he’d begun! She could tolerate not fulfilling her dreams, if her parents would pay her one compliment about the only thing she was passionate about in life: her art.
Dot should have fit in with her flamboyant and slightly eccentric family of talented artists, but somehow, she was an anomaly who couldn’t paint. She tried hard to be part of their world by becoming an art agent extraordinaire, but she dreamed of finding her own voice.
Dot’s brother Nate, a smoulderingly sexy and famous artist, was adored by everyone. His creative talent left them in awe of his ability to capture such passion on canvas. Women worshipped him, and even Dot’s friend Maud flushed and bumped into things when he walked into a room, but a tragic event in his past had left him emotionally and physically scarred, and reluctant to face the world again.
Someone was leaving exquisite little paintings on park benches, with a tag saying, ‘If you love me, I’m yours’. The art was so fresh and cutting-edge, that it generated a media frenzy and a scramble to discover where the mystery artist could be hiding. The revelation of who the prodigious artist was interlinked Maud, Dot and Nate’s lives forever, but their worlds came crashing down.
Were bonds of friendship, love and loyalty strong enough to withstand fame, success and scandal?
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 works as a business mentor and runs a popular networking hour on social media, where creatives can support to each other. She writes books full of friendship and laughter, that are about women with unusual and adventurous businesses, who are far stronger than they realise. She lives with her family on the coast in Essex.
Next week, I will be joined for Friday Night Drinks by author, Diane Saxon, so please do come back then.