For those of you who read my previous blog post about being shortlisted for the Romantic Novelists” Association Indie Champion of the Year I have some follow-on news to share.
I learned via Melanie Griffiths (PA to the RNA Committee) that BBC Radio Leicester would like to interview me about my path to publication and my thoughts on being shortlisted for the award.
Many moons ago, when Adrienne Vaughan, June Kearns and Mags Cullingford and I formed New Romantics Press, Radio Leicester – thanks to Adrienne’s PR contacts – sent two reporters to find out what indie publishing was all about. We met in The Bell, Burton Overy and had a fabulous morning talking about books and hopes for the future. A four legged friend even came along to boost our confidence – not that we stopped talking all morning.
But last week’s interview was different. I now have six books under my belt and the RNA kindly arranged everything. Sadly, because of the pandemic I was unable to go into Radio Leicester’s studios and the interview had to be conducted over the phone. As a former teacher, I’m used to public speaking and over the years have held workshops and given talks in libraries and to other writers’ groups without blinking. But this was different. It was the first time I’d been interviewed without any of New Romantic Press being present. Luckily, the journalist who interviewed me, Summaya Mughal, was professional and a really lovely person and soon put me at my ease.
You can listen to the whole interview here. I hope you find time to listen to my interview as it will disappear off the Radio Leicester website by Friday 5th November..
Summaya asked me:
- how did I get into writing
- where my love of romantic fiction stems from
- how ‘Scottish-themed’ romance differs from other romantic genres
- what attracts readers to romantic fiction
- how Leicestershire and Rutland Chapter of the RNA came into being
- how did it feel to be nominated for the award
- what is novel #7 about
Summaya said: “I haven’t really read any romantic novels”. Naturally, I had to rectify that. I headed for the Radio Leicester studios two days later to drop off a copy of Harper’s Highland Fling along with a thank you letter. However, due to Covid, the premises were locked and barred so left the package in the mail box. On my way back to the car park I called into newly opened indie bookshop FOX BOOKS. It’s such a rarity to find an independent bookshop which looks favourably on indie authors and is willing to stock their novels. Look out for future blog posts about Fox Books and me.
And, finally . . . I learned that I’d had a press release in the Leicester Mercury, too, so my week was complete.
For now, though, it’s back to the keyboard, getting on with #7 – working title: DARK HIGHLAND SKIES – and biting my fingernails until the award ceremony of October 28th. It would be nice to win, of course it would, but I’ll carry on writing, flying the indie flag and supporting the RNA whatever the outcome
My WIP stands at 42k but I need to get motoring if I want to have it ready to send to my formatter before spring 2022. My ancient computer is about to give up the ghost but I don’t want to buy a new one and have to learn its idiosyncrasies before I finish the novel. Luckily I store everything on ‘DROPBOX’ in case of system failure and email copies to myself every night before I switch off. Maybe in my next blog post I’ll give you a hint what the novel is about.
Have a great weekend
Happy New Year to all my followers and friends. I thought I’d look back over 2018 to see what I’d achieved in the writerly sphere. I was surprised by the result . . . So, in reverse order, starting with December here’s what I’ve been up to.
Another cracking meeting of the Belmont Belles which I organise with June Kearns. To round up the year’s activities we were honoured to have best selling romance author Carole Matthews as our guest. Cue an inspirational talk and fabulous Q&A session. Also in December, much To my surprise I won a £40 amazon voucher from Kindle Direct Publishing to spend on author copies of my novels. Colour me lucky.
In November I was invited to appear alongside Sue Moorcroft and Heidi Jo Swain at Upminster library to meet readers and talk about my path to publication. A thrilling moment for an indie author was made extra special when I learned that the library had ordered copies of my novels – hopefully I might get some PLR revenue from that.
Adrienne Vaughan and I went to London, Waterstones Piccadilly to be precise there we attended Sue Moorcrofts launch for A Christmas Gift and bumped into many RNA pals. Great evening out which set us up for the festive season. That happened less than a week after my second cataract operation, so I was glad Adrienne was there for support. She makes for a pretty glamorous guide dog.
October saw the inaugural meeting of the East Midlands Chapter of the Society of Authors in Leicester. I wasn’t sure what to expect but it was a friendly and supportive group which met at THE HEAD OF STEAM in Market Street. The highlight of the month was being invited to talk to a large group of final year students at De Montfort University on the subject of indie publishing. They’ve asked me back next year and to attend the States of Independence book fair in March 2019.
I’m a great believer in learning from successful authors and so it was a no brainer to attend a master class featuring Cathy Bramley and Carole Matthews at Waterstones in Nottingham. The talk was entertaining and informative and the queue of readers waiting to have their books signed was something I can only dream about.
I organised for Kim Nash, publicity officer at Bookouture, to come along to the Belmont Belles to explain her role and to dispel one or two myths regarding what Bookouture requires from authors. I can’t quite decide if I’m ready to give up my indie status and get locked into a contract as I like the freedom to write what I like, when I like. But – as 007 said – never say never. Right?
In October I attended a SOA meeting in Oxford at Balliol College, where I bumped into RNA members, Liz Harris and Julia Roberts . Dave and I had lunch in the Eagle and Child where Tolkien and other ‘Inklings’ met to talk and write and where he penned some of Lord of the Rings. I hope some of the magic rubbed off on me.
September saw my returning to the Norfolk Marshes to celebrate the fifth birthday of Boot Camp Bride. I visited the locations which inspired the novel. If you’d like to learn more about that visit, click here.
I appeared on Sharon Booth’s blog where I described my life in FIVE photos. That was great fun – do pop along and see it if you have time. (Yep, that’s me – determined and cussed.LOL)
I was really chuffed to appear on Being Anne’s list of romances she’d enjoyed in 2018. Anne is an incredible blogger: committed, supportive and widely read.
Well, that about wraps up Part One of my Literary Journey this year. Tune in next time for Part Two (August – January) to learn what 2019 holds in store.
And, as they say in Scotland Happy New Year and Lang May Yer Lum Reek.
Posted in Lizzie's Scribbles
Tags: Adrienne Vaughan, Anne Williams, Belmont Belles, blogger, book launches, Bookouture, Carole Matthews, Cathy Bramley, Heidi Jo Swain, Jena's Golden Chapters, Jessie Cahalin, June Kearns, KDP, Kim Nash, Library talks, Liz Harris, Lizzie Lamb, romance author, Sharon Booth, SOA, Sue Moorcroft
November 30th is St Andrew’s Day and to celebrate I’m offering my Scottish-themed romances for 99p/99c per download – for one week only – December 1st – December 8th.
Want to know more about my books? Read an extract? Download a copy? Be my guest………
Fliss Bagshawe longs for a passport out of Pimlico where she works as a holistic therapist. After attending a party in Notting Hill she loses her job and with it her dream of becoming her own boss. When she’s offered the chance to take over a failing therapy centre, she grabs it with both hands. But there’s a catch – the centre lies five hundred miles away – in Wester Ross, Scotland. Fliss’s romantic view of the highlands populated by hunky Men in Kilts is shattered when she has an up close and very personal encounter with the Laird of Kinloch Mara, Ruairi Urquhart. He’s determined to pull the plug on the business, bring his eccentric family to heel and eject undesirables from his estate – starting with Fliss. Faced with the dole queue once more, Fliss resolves to make sexy, infuriating Ruairi revise his unflattering opinion of her, turn the therapy centre around and sort out the dysfunctional Urquharts. Can she find the happiness she deserves?
ISHABEL STUART is at a crossroads in her life. Her wealthy industrialist father has died unexpectedly, leaving her a half-share in a ruined whisky distillery and the task of scattering his ashes on a Munro. After discovering her fiancé playing away from home, she cancels their lavish Christmas wedding at St Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh and heads for the only place she feels safe – Eilean na Sgairbh, a windswept island on Scotland’s west coast – where the cormorants outnumber the inhabitants, ten to one.
When she arrives at her family home – now a bed and breakfast managed by her left-wing, firebrand Aunt Esme, she finds a guest in situ – BRODIE. Issy longs for peace and the chance to lick her wounds, but gorgeous, sexy American, Brodie, turns her world upside down.
Readers mention that they like the multi-generational themes running through the novel, the close knit highland community and a naughty parrot called Pershing.
And, finally, Girl in the Castle
I especially enjoyed writing this one as I was able to weave my love of history into every page. It reached #3 in Scottish Highlands and islands when first published, rubbing shoulders with Jenny Colgan and Peter May in the Amazon charts.
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
So, those are your choices. It takes about a year to write a novel and another four/five months to polish, shape and format it for Amazon. I hope that you agree that 99p/99c is a bargain for each of my Scottish novels and decide to download one. Oh, and one more thing, they’re all available in paperback, and on Amazon Prime and Kindle Unlimited, too.
What next for me? I’m about to start writing #6 – another Scottish themed romance, this time with a bit of a difference as the hero and heroine (who can’t stand the sight of each other, natch) have to combine forces and go chasing after two runaways – his son and her niece – all the way from Cornwall to Scotland. Lots of fun, angst and hilarious encounters ensue . . .
Thanks to amazon.com for giving my three books a shout out today
And to Adrienne Vaughan of New Romantics Press for the headsup.
If you would like to read the blurb or “LOOK INSIDE” one of my books, go over to my Amazon page
You can read Tall Dark and Kilted and Boot Camp Bride *FREE* on#KindleUnlimited.
My husband (aka Bongo Man) and I have been married a long time. Here’s an Emma Bridgewater loving cup I commissioned to celebrate the fact – I’ll leave you to do the maths.
In 2014 we bought a vintage caravan off EBay and went on a tour of Scotland to research my third novel – SCOTCH ON THE ROCKS (published this spring). In particular I wanted to visit Holy Loch where the USS Proteus had been anchored, servicing nuclear subs in the early sixties. Vital details in my novel, and I wanted to get it right.
We started out at 5am on September 6th, Bongo Man’s birthday. The 350 mile drive to Scotland is a long one, especially if you’re towing a caravan. We finally reached the shores of Loch Lomond later that same day and set up camp. The setting was idyllic and my heart swelled because I was with the man I love and my feet were on Scottish soil, my own country. One I had left when I was eleven years old but which forever remains in my heart.
In fact, it was so inspiring that I got ideas for my next Scottish-themed novel – HEART OF THE HIGHLANDS – while exploring Castle Stalker, Appin and surrounding area. Making the most of the weather we travelled as far north as Oban and Fort William and then headed back down to the west coast. We couldn’t believe our luck when we rolled up the blinds each morning to find it was still glorious weather.
Next stop Gourock and the ferry over to Dunoon. Or, going DOON THE WATER, as they say in Scotland. We drove along the coast of Holy Loch and visited Hunter’s Quay where some of the most voluble anti-nuclear protests took place in 1961, and the scene in my novel where the heroine’s aunt is hosed off the anchor chain of the Proteus, setting a chain of events in motion. It was there, on the side of Holy Loch that I found my perfect writers’ retreat. in an ideal world, I’d buy the house and spend most of my summers there – just as well we have our caravan as back up.
Romantic evenings, days spent exploring and afternoons writing – the perfect combination when spent with the man I love, my anchor man – Dave. I hate to spoil this idyll but we weren’t alone. Our Hahn’s Macaw, Jasper, came too and seemed to enjoy every minute of his road trip.
It’s simpler to take him along with us as trying to organise a parrot sitter is a nightmare. This summer we plan to spend another couple of weeks touring the west coast of Scotland in June and have our fingers crossed that the weather holds.
Maybe I should have called this post – travels with a parrot. There is a naughty parrot called PERSHING featured in SCOTCH ON THE ROCKS. He’s based on Jasper our Macaw, although infinitely worse behaved !!
I’ve written in conjunction with the first birthday celebration of Isabella Anderson’s debut novel – THE RIGHT DESIGN
THE RIGHT DESIGN is on sale for $0.99, during the month of March – – – – – – – Purchase links
It’s always a pleasure to receive a review from someone who’s bought, downloaded and read your novel. Most of the reviews I’ve received are balanced and constructive, but you can’t please everyone – and some reviews reflect that. In my opinion, the best reviews are the ones where the reader ‘gets your novel’, falls in love with your hero and roots for your heroine all the way to the final page. So thank you, dear reader, for buying my novels and sharing your views with me.
Here are some reviews for my latest novel: BOOT CAMP BRIDE
- there’s something extra special in Lizzie’s books. It was there in “Tall, Dark and Kilted”, her previous novel, and it’s definitely present and correct in “Boot Camp Bride”
- Funny, sexy and a good story, with a hint of mystery
- perfect blend of excitement, romance and humour
- It’s a perfect romance novel for these long dark evenings and has a good mystery tale to carry you along
I always fall in love with my sexy heroes and it looks as if my readers do, too!
- I found myself falling for him, just like his leading lady
- Brave, compassionate, noble and – of course – jaw-droppingly sexy
- The wonderfully named Rafael Fonseca-Ffinch is a total hunk
- Ffinch is the alpha male with a chink in his armour so beloved by romance readers
- The fascinating Rafael is shrouded in mystery
- (I loved) the mysterious but irresistible Rafael Ffinch
And you can’t beat a feisty, up-for-anything heroine
- Lizzie writes great heroines
- Fliss in “Tall, Dark and Kilted” was fun, feisty and realistic
- In “Boot Camp Bride”, the heroine Charlee (is) the sort of friend you’d happily hang out with
- Lizzie has the knack of creating great female protagonists who quickly get the reader onside, cheering them on
- I loved the Ugly Betty/Bridget Jones style character in Charlee
- Charlee is just divine – full of fire and fury
I love evocative settings – in Boot Camp Bride it’s the haunting Norfolk Marches
- fast-talking heroine, a deliciously erudite yet haunted hero, rollicking through all sorts of high jinks in the wilds of North Norfolk
- Lizzie also uses locations extremely well and paints them very vividly
- her descriptions of (the north Norfolk coast) and its windswept marshes and big skies reminded me of this hauntingly beautiful part of the country
- Lizzie Lamb paints as beguiling a picture of the magical Norfolk marshes, as she did of the Scottish Highlands
And finally . . .
Boot Camp Bride will be available on Amazon Countdown from Monday 23rd December until Monday 30th December.
Lowest price £0.99/ highest £1.99 – but the clock will be ticking
As one reviewer put it . . .
(Boot Camp Bride is) Funny, sexy and a good story, with a hint of mystery. Don’t just sit there go out and buy it. You won’t be disappointed