It’s the eve of the RONAs, tomorrow we will find out who the winners are in all of the categories. One of the nominees shortlisted in the category of Romantic Saga with her novel, Angel of Liverpool, is joining me for a celebratory beverage and chat. It is… Elizabeth Morton.
Elizabeth, welcome to the blog. First things first, what are you drinking?
As it’s a special night, large gin and tonic! Ice and slice.
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 would take you to the Philharmonic pub in Liverpool. Because it’s beautiful, historic, and because I’ve never had a dull night there.
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?
Mmm. I would invite Lily Parr, the first female footballer to be inducted in the Hall of Fame. She was a trailblazer, born in 1905, living through two world wars, her amazing footballing career drawing huge crowds when she seized the opportunity to play when the men were at war, and then going on to nurse. So many stories she must have that weren’t documented. And then I would invite John Lennon to talk to him about the recent Peter Jackson documentary in which I fell in love with him all over again.
So, now we’re settled, tell me what you are up to at the moment. How and why did you start it and where do you want it to go?
I have my fourth book The Girl from Liverpool coming out in May. It’s a love story. It’s set in the outbreak of WW2 and features the sinking of the Arandora star which was a tragic event in Liverpool’s history. Despite that, I hope it will make feel people feel happy and hopeful. I want as many people to read it! I am writing my fifth book and I’m excited to finish and share it with my agent!
For as long as she can remember Peggy O’Shea has been expected to work at the family dairy, look after her younger siblings, and eventually marry cow-keeper Martin Gallagher. And that’s the way it has she meets handsome Anthony Giardano and falls in love.
But there’s bad blood between the Irish O’Sheas and the Italian Giardanos, so when Italy joins forces with Germany and Liverpool turns on its Italian residents overnight, it makes any relationship between Peggy and Anthony impossible . .
What has been your proudest moment since you started writing and what has been your biggest challenge?
Proudest moment has been so far being shortlisted for the RoNA saga award for my book Angel of Liverpool. Such amazing company on the shortlist! Also The Bookseller choosing The Girl from Liverpool as one of the six sagas to look out for this year. Also seeing my book on shelves in book shops supermarkets or libraries. Still have to pinch myself.
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 would like to keep writing as long as I have breath in me and to build up the kind of loyal fan base that writers like Catherine Cookson and Dilly Court have. Having worked as an actress I would like to see my books dramatised in any form, film, tv, or theatre. I think that would be very exciting.
What are have planned that you are really excited about?
Well, I’m so excited about the RoNA Awards, especially as I will meet so many of the writers I read. Also, after covid, I am excited to get back to book signings and book groups. I hate zooming and I am looking forward to getting back into rooms with people!
I think we can all relate to that! 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 recently went to Iceland with my sons, which was amazing. My father- in -law is from Guyana and we are hoping to go there and meet family in the autumn which we have never done before.
Iceland has been a very popular choice on the blog recently! Tell me one interesting/surprising/secret fact about yourself.
Mm. I am the wife of a Time Lord and the step mother in law of another.
How 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’?
If you haven’t already read it, Les Miserables by Victor Hugo. The ultimate epic saga!
Victor Hugo’s tale of injustice, heroism and love follows the fortunes of Jean Valjean, an escaped convict determined to put his criminal past behind him
But his attempts to become a respected member of the community are constantly put under threat: by his own conscience, and by the relentless investigations of the dogged policeman Javert
It is not simply for himself that Valjean must stay free, however, for he has sworn to protect the baby daughter of Fantine, driven to prostitution by poverty.
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?
Eat before you drink. Eggy bread! Dog walk!
After our fabulous night out, what would be your ideal way to spend the rest of a perfect weekend?
Write in the morning, read in the afternoon, dog walk in between, garden. Sofa in the evening watching a great drama on tv with a glass of wine.
Thank you so much for chatting to me this evening, it has a been a great pleasure and good luck in the awards tomorrow.
Elizabeth’s RONA-shortlisted novel, Angel of Liverpool, is available now in all formats and you can buy a copy here.
Her mother called her Angel but now she’s a fallen woman . . .
There are different opinions as to what happened to Evangeline O’Leary’s mother. Her younger sisters believe the story that she’s in heaven. But Evie has heard the gossips – that her ma has upped and left with the man she had an affair with while Evie’s dad was fighting in the war.
As the eldest, Evie has become ‘mum’ to her three siblings, all while holding down a job at the Tate & Lyle Sugar Factory. But when her childhood sweetheart leaves for Canada he leaves Evie with more than just a broken heart. Her father agrees to keep the pregnancy a secret but is determined to marry her off to the first hapless fellow who’ll have her. Evie doesn’t want a loveless marriage like her parents but how long can she keep her baby a secret from her neighbours and the nuns who run the local home for unmarried mothers . . . ?
Elizabeth Morton was born in Liverpool and worked as an actress. She is known for playing Madeline Basset in Jeeves and Wooster and Lucinda in the Liverpool sitcom, Watching. As well as TV, she has also worked in theatre and film. She trained at Guildhall School of Drama and as a writer, with The Royal Court Young Writers’ Group. She is an award-winning short-story writer and has also written drama for TV, film and theatre. In her formative years at convent school, she spent her weekends playing the piano accordion in Northern Working Men’s Clubs. She lives with her husband – the actor Peter Davison – in Middlesex and is the author of A Liverpool Girl and A Last Dance in Liverpool, and Angel of Liverpool.
Connect with Elizabeth:
Facebook: Elizabeth Morton