Today, I have the distinct pleasure of featuring author Lizzie Chantree on this edition of A Perfect 10.
Please enjoy this special installment of A Perfect 10
Does writing energize or exhaust you?
Writing energizes me. It can be tiring when deadlines are looming, but writing a completely fresh story is very exciting and I can’t usually wait to start work each day.
Do you ever write under a pseudonym? If not have you considered it? Why or why not?
I write under my own name. I paint landscapes and I use another name for that, which is Beth Juniper. I did this to keep my writing and art separate and not confuse anybody.
Does a big ego help or hurt writers? Why or why not?
I don’t know many writers with a big ego. Most of us spend so many months and years writing a book and then wait nervously to see if anyone enjoys our work. When they do, it’s such a compliment. Getting good reviews is an empowering feeling, but ego doesn’t come in to it for me. It makes me feel like someone has just handed me a rainbow.
What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?
After editing and proof reading, it would be images for cover design. Without good editing, it’s hard for a book to find the audience it deserves.
What does writing success look like to you? Have you achieved it?
For me success was publishing my first book, Babe driven. I had left the manuscript in a drawer for five years and finally plucked up the courage to self-publish. I was offered a book contract, but decided to publish myself, as I was a bit scared about being offered a book deal and didn’t know any other writers to ask for advice! After two further books and two further book contract offers, I am now publishing my 4th novel with Crooked Cat Books in Jan 2018.
What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book? What sources do you use?
I use my years of running businesses as research. My books are modern romances that are full of friendship and relationships, but they all have slightly zany businesses in them run by entrepreneurs. I began my first business at the age of seventeen, so I use that experience in my writing.
How do you select the names of your characters? Have you ever regretted choosing a particular name? Why?
I often pick quite unusual names. These are the names that come into my head as I’m writing, so I usually stick with them. I really like all of the names and they seem to fit the characters well.
What is the hardest type of scene to write?
Something with painful emotions can take time to write, as there are often so many thoughts going through a characters mind. Getting that onto paper and expressing it with feeling is so important.
If you could have dinner with four people, living or dead, who would they be and what would you want to ask them?
I would invite Ed Sheeran, Adele, Chris Martin and Beyonce to dinner. I am fascinated by the way they tell stories through their music. I would ask about their writing processes, what inspires them in life and if they feel that drive to create new ideas all of the time.
What platform has brought you the most success in marketing your books?
Twitter. I run a popular networking hour on Twitter every Monday evening called #CreativeBizHour 8-9pm (GMT). It’s an hour of networking and is a great way for creatives to support each other. Twitter is a great way to meet other people with similar interests.