Hello, and welcome to “WHO’S ON THE SHELF?” with yours truly, Nonnie Jules! Since we are a book club, we had to offer something that included a book shelf. A lot of interviews merely cover an author’s work or an individual’s career stories. Here on this “SHELF,” we get down and dirty and ask the questions no other interviewer dare ask. We ask the questions that you want to open up a book and find the answers to on your favorite authors and fellow book club members, but no one has dared to cover them. WE get personal! Because when you sit on the RRBC “SHELF,” YOU are an open book!
Today, I have with me on the “SHELF” Current “SPOTLIGHT” Author, Lizzie Chantree!
NJ: Before we get started, how does the “shelf” feel to you, Lizzie? Is it comfy?
Lizzie: It feels warm and well supported! Is there a radiator underneath this shelf? I don’t like heights, but I was hoping someone might have left some food up here for me.
NJ: Food? There is absolutely no eating allowed on this shelf, Ms. Lizzie. Now let’s start by confirming whether or not your author name is your birth name or a pen name?
Lizzie: It’s my married name, which is Elizabeth Chantree. My closest friends and family have always called me Lizzie. I also paint under the name Beth Juniper, which is an abbreviation of my maiden name.
NJ: Tell us where you were born? Do you still live there now? If not, what city and state are you calling home these days?
Lizzie: I was born by the coast, in a town called Southend. I don’t live there now, but it is only a short drive away. I live on the outskirts of London.
NJ: Yes, we could tell from your interview earlier today that you were mighty “Brit” as we say on this side of the pond. (At least the side that I live on). Are you married or single?
NJ: Kids or no? If yes, how many? Sons or Daughters?
Lizzie: I have two beautiful daughters, who are energetic and fill me with inspiration every day.
NJ: Oh well, you must read THE GOOD MOMMIES’ GUIDE TO RAISING (ALMOST) PERFECT DAUGHTERS by that uber-Mommy, Nonnie Jules! (By the way , I shall remain in this uber state until my children write that tell-all, they keep threatening me with.)
So, Lizzie, out of those two amazing daughters, which one is your favorite? (And be honest…I’m sure they’re not reading this interview):
Lizzie: I really don’t have a favorite. They are both so different. One was poorly for many years when she was very young and still smiled through it all, and the other went through long periods of worry about her sister, but stayed strong and has grown into an amazing young woman. They amaze me!
NJ: Young woman? You look like the young woman! I imagine you to have toddlers! My goodness, you girls age so well. OK, moving right along…any pets in the Chantree household? If so, what kind? (I sure hope it’s a dog).
Lizzie: A very fluffy dog named Pepper. She is a cross between a Poodle and a Spaniel. She is an allergy dog, which means she doesn’t drop hair or cause breathing problems for anyone. She carries stones around with her all day and sleeps on my feet, even if I stand still for just a few minutes! I have fallen over her many times. She follows me everywhere.
(Woo Hoo! She has a dog!)
NJ: Lizzie, what is your favorite food?
Lizzie: All food! My absolute favorite is nachos with chilli con carne, sour cream and cheese.
NJ: You are much too tiny to love all food. Honey, this is me loving all food…
So, I think it’s safe to say that I definitely don’t love all food. What’s your favorite color?
Lizzie: Blue. Every tone of blue.
NJ: OK. What about your favorite sport?
Lizzie: Athletics. But I enjoy lots of different sports.
NJ: This next round of questions will go really fast. You have to be quick in your responses, or you’ll miss something. Favorite TV Show…
Lizzie: I love reality TV. I find it all so funny!
NJ: Favorite Actress/Actor:
Lizzie: Meryl Streep.
NJ: Couch potato or workout nut? Be honest .
Lizzie: I’m not a couch potato, I move around too much. I love working from anywhere, so I walk to a coffee shop, or go to sit by the sea to write. I love exercise, but I should do more than I currently do.
NJ: Biggest pet peeve that makes you want to stomach-punch somebody?: (For the record, NJ does not condone violence but she does believe in being honest so she has to admit that there are times when she feels like some friendly stomach-punching is a little necessary).
Lizzie: People who put other people down. This really, really, annoys me! I don’t believe that kindness is a weakness. In fact it makes you stronger. You don’t have to drag anyone else down to get where you’re going. Lift others up and help them along on their journey. A little kindness goes a long way.
NJ: Good response. Are you neat or messy?
Lizzie: I’m a neat, messy person. I’m creative! Are there any obsessively neat creative people out there? I love clean surfaces, as I then have a lovely space to sit or work, but open a drawer and you will either find an array of papers, paints and goodness knows what else, or my various flavors of bubblegum, which I hide from the children in my office. I love bubblegum!
NJ: Obsessively Neat? ME! Creative? ME! ME! & ME! So there! Facebook or Twitter?
Lizzie: Twitter. I think it’s fabulous. Plus, with 140 characters, you have to be creative about your wording or photos. It’s a brilliant way to connect with readers and authors. I have met so many people who run businesses, sculpt, photograph, travel, design and simply enjoy interacting with others on Twitter. I rarely automate my account as it is full of things I discover daily that interest me. It is time consuming, but productive.
NJ: Yes, Twitter is my thing, too. Name two of the most supportive people you’ve met on either Facebook or Twitter? Hurry and tell us so we can become their friend.
Lizzie: Only two? There are so many great people out there! Gordon Bickerstaff / @ADPase is a huge support, as is Jan Hawke / @Jan Hawke. I met them through RRBC, both are friendly and give their time to tell the world about other author’s work, mine included.
NJ: Nonnie Jules or Wonderwoman? Be honest.
Lizzie: You are a bit of a Wonderwoman to be honest, Nonnie! My sister and I used to love watching Wonderwoman as we were growing up. She represented a strong woman with a busy life, who still took the time to help others. Sound familiar…..
NJ: Of course, it does. Thanks, Lizzie! I also watched her as a child and whenever there are re-runs on of the show, I still stand up (look around to make sure no one’s watching) and I spin and spin and spin, until I have on my imaginary WW attire! Takes a lot more spins than it did when I was younger, and could spin faster but… anyway. So, everyone knows the names Mark Twain and Stephen King but how about you give us two names of some INDIE authors that you favor:
Lizzie: I must admit my kindle is jammed packed with indie author’s books I have not tried before, from RRBC. Before joining, I used to pick my favorite genre, which is ChickLit. Now I have stories from all walks of life that I haven’t read before.
NJ: After you read books, do you post reviews?
Lizzie: Yes. As long as I finish reading the book. As an author I know how important it is to have reviews.
NJ: What do you think readers should base their reviews on?
Lizzie: Their enjoyment of the story and how they connect with the characters or theme.
NJ: Are you one of those who are afraid to be honest in their reviews lest the author gets upset with you, or is honesty your best policy, especially in reviews?
Lizzie: Lol! I’m not afraid of being honest. I won’t review anything I don’t enjoy, though. I don’t see the point of putting someone else’s work down. I just don’t say anything. I know many people feel a bad review is constructive, but some people take this to the extreme and I don’t think it’s necessary. A good review for a book you loved is just as honest as saying nothing for one you don’t. If I gave a book I was bored with a top review, then I could see the issue.
NJ: Yes, some people do take this to the extreme but you don’t have to tear anyone down to give a poor mark on a review. I think all are necessary, as long as you’re being honest. Read any poorly written books lately?
Lizzie: Yes. I have read a few that I started and then didn’t finish.
NJ: Are you an author?
NJ: How long have you been writing?
Lizzie: I started writing as a teen and I have loved reading since I discovered The Hobbit at school. I wrote my first novel, Babe Driven when my daughter was unwell, to keep myself awake at night. I didn’t publish it until her health started to improve, five years later. I didn’t approach any publishers at that time. I read an article about an author who had self-published and the whole process fascinated me. Babe Driven is full of the sunshine and laughter I didn’t have in my life at that time. I was just a whole ball of stress!
NJ: WOW. I can’t think of a better way to pass the time, or to relieve stress than writing, myself. So, what books have you written?
NJ: Which one do you think is the best?
Lizzie: I love them all, but BABE DRIVEN holds a special place in my heart because I was under so much pressure when I wrote it, but I still finished the story. I may have been a hysterical wreck by that time though!
NJ: Lizzie, do you have a blog or website?
Lizzie: I do.
My blog is: https://lizziechantree.com
My website: https://writewithsydney.co.uk
NJ: Name three great online resources or organizations that every author should belong to…
Lizzie: RRBC! I’m sure everyone must say that!
I think that other author’s blogs are a valuable resource for writers. Kim Cox https://kimwrtr.wordpress.com and Author Central on Amazon is also a great resource. You can ask questions and join chats/forums if you have queries about anything to do with your work.
NJ: Which online resource or organization has helped you as an author the most?
Lizzie: RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB! I cannot thank Jason Zandri enough for introducing me to this book club, just as I had published my first book, Babe Driven. I was trying to learn as much as I could about publishing and months later had been offered my first book deal, but meeting so many inspirational authors was just what I needed to stop me feeling isolated from people by working alone.
NJ: RRBC has helped so many and been a constant source of inspiration, as well, but how have you been helped by them?
Lizzie: It helped me to decide to stick with being an indie author for now. I was worried that taking my book down from Amazon for months or a year without another of my books being ready to print, would mean the loss of all of the wonderful people who have enjoyed my first novel and supported a new author on her journey. Who knows, I may have found more book lovers via a traditionally published book, but I didn’t want to loose the readers I already have. There were other factors involved, but it was a really hard decision. I learnt from the experience and the publisher involved was patient, kind and helpful, giving me some breathing space to decide what was right for me at that time.
NJ: Since you’re sitting on the SHELF, you’re obviously a Rave Reviews Book Club member, so what do you think of the club?
Lizzie: I have met so many talented people and I love to see what they are up to next! I often look at the RRBC website to see whose book I can find and which one to tweet about.
NJ: Lizzie, have you come across any other online entities like RRBC?
NJ: Would you recommend it to your friends and family?
Lizzie: I have! All of them!
NJ: This shelf is getting hard on my hiney, so we’re going to wrap this interview up. Any final words?
Lizzie: RRBC is a place of mutual support. It’s not here for anyone to sit by the window in the drizzling rain, watching the party from outside. Dive in and tell everyone about yourself. Wave your arms around and tell us who you are. Join the forums and stop by blogs. Raise a glass to your fellow members and shout out about their work. Most of all, enjoy being part of the RRBC family!
NJ: Very well said! Lizzie, thank you for joining me ON THE SHELF today! And thank you for those very kind words of me and RRBC. And on a personal level, thanks for checking in on me. (You know what I’m talking about). It was very thoughtful of you.
To my guests, please support Lizzie by picking up a copy of one of her books above. You can also support her by visiting the blog stops along her tour which ends on Saturday. You can find the tour line up here.
Have you joined RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB yet? Well, here’s your chance! And since Lizzie was on the “SHELF” today, tell them she sent you. Take care and we’ll see you next time, right here on the shelf, with another AMAZING RRBC member!