Today I have the great pleasure of having Best selling contemporary romance author Lizzie Lamb visit Chicks, Rogues and Scandals, so take and seat and lets get to know a little about Lizzie…
After teaching my 1000th pupil and working as a deputy head teacher in a large primary school, I decided pursue my first love: writing. I joined the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s New Writers’ Scheme, wrote Tall, Dark and Kilted (2012), followed a year later by Boot Camp Bride. Although much of my time is taken up publicising Tall, Dark and Kilted and Boot Camp Bride, I published a third novel SCOTCH ON THE ROCKS in July 2015. It achieved Best Seller status within two weeks of appearing on Amazon. I am a founding member of an indie publishing group – New Romantics Press and have held an Author Event at Waterstones High Street, Kensington, London.
The icing on the cake, as far we are concerned, and a fitting way to celebrate our achievements. March 2016 saw Scotch on the Rocks shortlisted for the prestigious Exeter Novel Prize and in November 2016 I held an author talk in London, at Aspinalls. In Spring 2017 I published – GIRL IN THE CASTLE, which reached #3 in the charts. I am currently working on a novel set in Wisconsin – Take Me I’m Yours,and have more Scottish-themed romances planned.
I live in Leicestershire, England, with my husband David (aka Bongo Man) and our naughty parrot, Jasper.
Frankie Hi Lizzie, Welcome to Chicks, Rogues and Scandals! Thank you for taking the time to chat with me today.
Firstly, what five words would you use to describe yourself?
Lizzie Romantic. Loyal. Hardworking. Supportive. Funny.
Frankie If you could take a holiday in any era and place, When and where would it be? And Why?
Lizzie As a great fan of Outlander and a lover of all things Scottish, I would love to have met Bonnie Prince Charlie when his Jacobite Army had marched as far south as Derby. I would tell him to press on to London and not to retreat back to Scotland. London was in a state of panic at the thought of his army reaching the capital and there was a run on the Bank of England. I believe he could have taken the crown at that point. Instead he retreated and was harried all the way north by the English army, culminating in defeat at the Battle of Culloden (1747). The rest is history. I recently discovered that after his defeat he visited London incognito – maybe to remind himself of what he’d lost? (Oh, and if I can meet fictional character Jamie Fraser, too, so much the better!)
Frankie I’m right with you there 😉 Can you tell us a little about latest release? This can be your most recent or up-and coming release.
Lizzie My most recent release is Girl in the Castle, a contemporary romance set in the highlands of Scotland, with a slightly paranormal overtone. Here’s the blurb :
Her academic career in tatters, Dr Henriette Bruar needs somewhere to lay low, plan her comeback and restore her tarnished reputation. Fate takes her to a remote Scottish castle to auction the contents of an ancient library to pay the laird’s mounting debts. The family are in deep mourning over a tragedy which happened years before, resulting in a toxic relationship between the laird and his son, Keir MacKenzie. Cue a phantom piper, a lost Jacobite treasure, and a cast of characters who – with Henri’s help, encourage the MacKenzies to confront the past and move on. However – will the Girl in the Castle be able to return to university once her task is completed, and leave gorgeous, sexy Keir MacKenzie behind?
Frankie Sounds great! Who, was your childhood hero?
Lizzie Can I choose two fictional heroes? I’ve always loved history and my adolescent hero would have to be Prince Rupert of the Rhine – Charles I’s nephew, all round action-man and warrior. I loved that he had a large poodle called Boye who followed him into battle. My other is Flora MacDonald who smuggled Bonnie Prince Charlie ‘over the sea to Skye’. A fact many people may not be aware of, is that she was for a time held in the Tower of London for her part in the rebellion and eventually emigrated to America.
Frankie If you could have one of your books made into a film, which book would it be and who would play your lead characters?
Lizzie I think that Tall Dark and Kilted would make a great film, It was my debut novel and inspired, in part, by the BBC series Monarch of the Glen. I think that Alistair Mackenzie who played the laird’s son, Archie, would make a perfect Ruairi, although I would have him a bit older. As for the heroine, Fliss, I would choose Rose Leslie who played Ygritte in Game of Thrones, but I would have to make her blond to fit the physical description of my character.
Frankie Ooh, Nice!! Out of all your work, who is your favourite character and why?
Lizzie I choose Doctor Henriette Bruar, the heroine in Girl in the Castle. She’s on the run from trouble at the university where’s she’s just gained her doctorate. She’s been sent to an ancient castle set in a romantic Scottish loch to catalogue the library until the scandal blows over. Ideal job, ideal location to hide away. When she meets trouble hero Keir, a laird-in-waiting, the sparks fly. I love Henri because she’s intelligent, no man’s fool, principled and romantic. She brings happiness back to a family living in the shadow of grief and falls in love herself – with a hero who speaks Gaelic (swoon). At the end of the novel he says: ‘Is tu an solas na mo bheatha. You are the light of my life.’ It doesn’t get much better than that!
Frankie Where does your inspiration for your books come from?
Lizzie My head is full of dreams and stuff and nonsense. Everything I’ve read, seen and experienced combine to make me the writer I am today. I am inspired by location, funny things which have happened to me, conversations I’ve overhead and heroes I’ve fallen in love with – on the pages of a book or a cinema screen. Heroines I aspire to be. I have so many stories in my head waiting to be written that sometimes I get impatient. I currently have THREE jostling for position and once I publish my new novel (summer 2018) I’m going to have lunch with my two writing buddies: June Kearns and Adrienne Vaughan and ask them to help me choose !
Frankie What three tips would you pass on to an aspiring author?
Lizzie Never give up, never give in; no one said that a writing a novel was easy. Write what’s in your heart and ignore trends and fashions, by the time you’ve finished your novel a particular trend might well have changed and publishers will be looking for the ‘next big thing’. Get words down on paper and finish your novel BEFORE editing it, have courage and belief in your own ability.
Frankie Thank you, that’s is brilliant advice. If you were hosting a dinner party what three people would you invite? (They can be real/fictional, from any era)
Lizzie I’m going to choose three authors. Recently, at the Romantic Novelists’ Association Awards I met my all-time heroine Jilly Cooper she signed one of her books for me. She was every bit as lovely as I’d imagined she would be. Secondly I would invite Carole Matthews who is not only a marvellous writer but inspirational and encouraging to new authors. Lastly, the late Rosemary Sutcliffe who’s novel: Tristan and Iseult is my all-time comfort read.
Frankie Thank you, Lizzie for taking the time out of your busy schedule to chat with me today, I have just one more cheeky question, just for fun . . . What is your all-time favourite naughty but nice food?
Lizzie I’m greedy – so I’m choosing chocolate and champagne – two mood enhancers if ever there was.
Frankie Haha…now greedy, just very real.