“If You Love Me…” – Lizzie Chantree
Doing a series on women who have made a difference often becomes a historical exercise in biography. Today’s featured woman, though, is alive and well and living in 21st century England. Moreover, she qualifies for this series on several levels. Her name is Lizzie Chantree.
Today is the world launch of Lizzie Chantree’s novel “If You Love Me, I’m Yours”. I received an ARC – advanced reader’s copy – and found it to be a delightful read. In fact, I plan to order several copies for a local book club. Chantree’s newest novel is a great book with relatable characters. Love’s course seldom runs smoothly and we all have our own baggage that we bring to any relationship. This book acknowledges both of those facts in a delightful yet meaningful way without being pedantic.
Lizzie Chantree is an award-winning inventor and author who started her own business at the age of 18 and became one of Fair Play London and The Patent Office’s British Female Inventors of the Year in 2000. [Her invention was a spray that stopped hosiery runs, often called ladders.] Chantree discovered her love of writing fiction when her children were little. Her titles include “Babe Driven”, “Love’s Child”, “Finding Gina”, “Ninja School Mum”, and today’s release with Crooked Cat Books, “If You Love Me, I’m Yours”.
Chantree is a Creative Mentor and as mentioned before, an award winning inventor (BFiY), as chosen by Fair Play London and The Patent Office. Her paintings have been exhibited and sold across the U.K. She is also a judge of Shell LiveWIRE’s Grand Ideas Award. Additionally, she is the host of a creative networking hour on Twitter: #creativebizhour Monday evenings 8-9pm (GMT). Her Twitter handle is @Lizzie Chantree. Creative businesses, writers, photographers, and designers share and offer advice and support to each other.
When asked about the hardest thing in becoming a published writer, Chantree responded: “The hardest thing is how much time promoting your work takes. It’s sometimes difficult to fit in writing hours alongside marketing commitments. I am lucky that I really enjoy talking to readers, but giving author talks and having book launches makes me quake! Standing in front of people and talking about my work is not my natural environment. I’m happiest with a pen in hand and notebook on the table.”
Chantree considers an optimistic nature to be paramount in achieving success. Readers of this blog will know I agree with that! “I’m a very positive person who is full of ideas. I write books to hopefully make people smile, as I became an author after my own child was unwell for seven years and I needed a career change to be at home with her. From this dark time blossomed a completely new career, so it’s never too late to try something different. I’m also fascinated by people and love to hear about their lives and experiences.”
Life often throws us a curveball or two or twenty. How we respond is the key to personal and professional success. This is reflected in Chantree’s new book. The characters are not perfect and how they navigate around their curveballs and imperfections makes for a delightful and satisfying story, complete with a surprise twist at the end.
Chantree follows the advice she writes for her characters. “The best piece of writing advice I was given was that you can’t edit a blank page. Get those words onto paper and you can change them later. If the page is empty, there is nowhere to go. With life in general, I would say try and be kind to yourself. Everyone gives so much of themselves to others, but if you don’t look after yourself, there will be nothing left to give.”
A cancer survivor herself, Lizzie Chantree lives with her family on the coast in Essex and spends her creative time in her rooftop studio. Her energy and creativity are proof that, although women often wear many hats in the 21st century, one really can live life to the fullest and share their energy with others, making the world a delightfully better place for all. After all, if you want to love your life, you’ve got to own it. The universe is speaking to us and echoing the title of Chantree’s new release: “If You Love Me, I’m Yours!”
Preview of this book:
‘If you love me, I’m yours…’
Maud didn’t mind being boring, not really. She had a sensible job, clothes, and love life… if you counted an overbearing ex who had thanked her, rolled over and was snoring before she even realised he’d begun! She could tolerate not fulfilling her dreams, if her parents would pay her one compliment about the only thing she was passionate about in life: her art.
Dot should have fit in with her flamboyant and slightly eccentric family of talented artists, but somehow, she was an anomaly who couldn’t paint. She tried hard to be part of their world by becoming an art agent extraordinaire, but she dreamed of finding her own voice.
Dot’s brother Nate, a smoulderingly sexy and famous artist, was adored by everyone. His creative talent left them in awe of his ability to capture such passion on canvas. Women worshipped him, and even Dot’s friend Maud flushed and bumped into things when he walked into a room, but a tragic event in his past had left him emotionally and physically scarred, and reluctant to face the world again.
Someone was leaving exquisite little paintings on park benches, with a tag saying, ‘If you love me, I’m yours’. The art was so fresh and cutting-edge, that it generated a media frenzy and a scramble to discover where the mystery artist could be hiding. The revelation of who the prodigious artist was interlinked Maud, Dot and Nate’s lives forever, but their worlds came crashing down.
Were bonds of friendship, love and loyalty strong enough to withstand fame, success and scandal?