Meet The Authors. Week 1.

This week’s showcase is a wonderful group of talented authors.  Angela Britnell, Drema Drudge, and Wendy Scott. Please take a moment to check out their books, find out more about their writing and discover some books to add to your Christmas wish lists!


Angela Britnell

Angela Britnell grew up in Cornwall, England and returns frequently from her new home in Nashville, Tennessee to visit family and friends, drink tea and eat far too many Cornish pasties!

A lifelong love of reading turned into a passion for writing contemporary romance and her novels are usually set in the many places she’s visited or lived on her extensive travels. Thanks to over three decades of marriage to her wonderful American husband she’s a huge fan of transatlantic romance and always makes sure her characters get their own happy-ever-after.

She is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association. Her first novel ‘Truth and Consequence’ was published in 2006 and she’s now had 35 novels published internationally and multiple short stories in women’s magazines.

From Angela: 

I only started to write because back in 1999 I had three very lively sons and taking a creative writing class promised me six quiet evenings away from breaking up arguments, listening to gripes about homework and feeding them! Another fun snippet is that I don’t suppose many romances get an Amazon UK bestseller flag in Manufacturing but my 2020 Christmas book did, Christmas at Moonshine Hollow, was set in a Tennessee moonshine distillery and I’m happy to claim it! I have to say that the research for that particular book was brutal 😊



Pairing up at Pear Tree Farm in time for Christmas …
Pear Tree Farm in Cornwall, owned by the kind-hearted Nessa Vivian, is known for taking in lost souls, and ex-soldier Crispin Davies is certainly one of those. But the once sleepy caravan park is now a thriving business, and far from the peace and quiet Crispin was craving, he soon finds himself roped into helping out with a short-notice Christmas festival, organised by Nessa’s force-of-nature sister, Lowena.
But despite Crispin’s initial reluctance, his involvement in the festival serves to throw him together with Ashley Spencer, an American woman and fellow lost soul, who works at the nearby Tregereth House. Could Lowena’s ambitious scheme result in a more hopeful Christmas and New Year for them both – with a few surprises along the way?




Drēma Drudge

From Drēma

Drēma wants a treehouse more than anything to both read and write in. When weather permits, she writes outdoors on the porch of her favorite coffeehouse which will have to do until her hubby gets her treehouse built. In fact, if she could live most of her time outdoors (but with all the creature comforts), she’d be one happy camper.

Author Bio:

Drēma Drudge suffers from Stendhal’s Syndrome, the condition in which one becomes overwhelmed in the presence of great art. She attended Spalding University’s MFA in Creative Writing Program where she learned to transform that intensity into fiction.

Drēma has been writing in one capacity or another since she was nine, starting with terrible poems and graduating to melodramatic stories in junior high that her classmates passed around literature class.

She and her husband, musician and writer Barry Drudge, live in Indiana where they record their biweekly podcast, Writing All the Things, when not traveling. Her first novel, Victorine, was literally written in six countries while she and her husband wandered the globe. The pair has two grown children.

In addition to writing fiction, Drēma has served as a writing coach, freelance writer, and educator.


Victorine Meurent is a forgotten, accomplished painter who posed nude for Edouard Manet’s most famous, controversial paintings such as Olympia and The Picnic in Paris, paintings heralded as the beginning of modern art. History has forgotten (until now) her paintings, despite the fact that she showed her work at the prestigious Paris Salon multiple times, even one year when her mentor, Manet’s, work was refused.

Her persistent desire in the novel is not to be a model anymore but to be a painter herself, despite being taken advantage of by those in the art world, something which causes her to turn, for a time, to every vice in the Paris underworld, leading her even into the catacombs.

In order to live authentically, she eventually finds the strength to flout the expectations of her parents, bourgeois society, and the dominant male artists (whom she knows personally) while never losing her capacity for affection, kindness, and loyalty. Possessing both the incisive mind of a critic and the intuitive and unconventional impulses of an artist, Victorine and her survival instincts are tested in 1870, when the Prussian army lays siege to Paris and rat becomes a culinary delicacy, and further tested when she inches towards art school while financial setbacks push her away from it. The same can be said when it comes to her and love, which becomes substituted, eventually, by art.


For more about her writing, art, and travels, please visit her website,, and sign up for her newsletter. She’s always happy to connect with readers in her Facebook group, The Painted Word Salon, or on Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Book links:



Wendy Scott

From Wendy:

Back in March 2019, my sister visited from Canada, and we explored some of our childhood haunts.

We set a sister challenge to each write a short story while we were tripping around the lower South Island of New Zealand. This is when I crafted the first draft for ‘Sleighed’.

Author Bio:

Wendy Scott has a New Zealand Certificate in Science (Chemistry), which allows her to dabble with fuming potions and strange substances, satisfying her inner witch.

Wendy writes short stories, fantasy, and children’s novels. Her books have won multiple international book awards.

One of the creeds she lives by is to always – Live a life less ordinary!

Please visit to learn more, read Wendy’s blog, sign up for her newsletter, or to leave her a message. She loves hearing from readers.



Tinsel is the newest apprentice in Santa’s Workshop, but this young elf lands himself in strife on his first day!

He’s sent to care for the reindeer and instead ends up on a magical adventure.

Will the Toy-Inspector allow him back into the Workshop?

A fun Christmas story for younger readers and those young at heart.

Amazon Universal Link


Twitter: @WendyJayneScott


Children’s Websites:

Monday marketing.


Hello everyone. I’m thrilled to announce the winners of my book launch giveaway prizes! They have won some fantastic gifts before Christmas.  All of the winners have been notified and are listed on my competition page of this website.

I’m going to try and get back into my Monday marketing posts in the hope that they help authors with marketing, widening their readership and author branding. I try and do this as much as I can, but have to fit it in between home life and my own writing, so I hope these quick tips will be useful! I will mix it up from ideas I’ve posted in my author and reader group on Facebook, Lizzie’s Book Group and some other tips from my networking book.

Today’s post is about labelling images. 

Photos and files! Label your photos and documents correctly.

When anyone (newspapers, magazines, bloggers, other authors, anyone!) requests a photo from you, it will probably be saved to a file. That file will no doubt be full of other photos, even if they are in separate files. It is very confusing to have to look up author photos with names like: IMG10002534 or book photo, or paperback cover, or book image etc, amongst hundreds of other photos named the same.
Use your name, at the start of a photo name. e.g.
Lizzie Chantree (book name) paperback cover.
Lizzie Chantree social media links.
Lizzie Chantree author photo.
Lizzie Chantree multiple book covers.
This makes it very easy for anyone to search for your name and find the photos. The media and book bloggers are very busy people. This saves time and will help them remember you. It will also make your photos stand out amongst the rest of the files that are jumbled together.
Also: This makes the photos very individual. Google bots crawl sites to dump duplicates. If they see one thousand images called Book cover, IMG 1000236478 etc, they think they are all the same. Individually naming your photos makes them stand out as original and the page is bumped up the rankings.



Zoe Allison. Top Author Of The Week.

This week’s guest is Zoe Allison. Zoe is a wonderful romance author, published with totally Bound Books and if you are on TikTok, you are missing out if you haven’t popped by her TikTok page! It’s hilarious and full of fun and I’m always keen to see what she is doing next. Zoe posts about her writing life, research, imposter syndrome, reviews and all kinds of bookish traits that many of us have.
Author bio:
Zoe lives in Scotland with her husband and two children. A medic by day, she started writing in her spare time as a means to counter burn out and found that this was a balm for the soul. She is a fan of the romantic genre and its ‘happy ever after’ ethos. A sharp contrast to what she can, at times, see in her day job. Zoe is keen for the female lead in romantic fiction to disabuse stereotypes and walk on an equal footing with her male counterparts. She prefers male leads who do not display signs of toxic masculinity and believes that positive masculinity is much more attractive to women and healthier for men.



Book blurb:
Valentino has a secret—but he’s not the only one. Valentino Bianco is the leader of a covert league named The Organization. Made up of benevolent vampires, its objective is to thwart and destroy the malevolent of their kind and protect humanity. Operating under the anonymous guise of Mr. X, Valentino’s identity as leader is shrouded in secrecy, as is the very existence of vampires. Victoria Black has her own secrets, one of which is that she’s in love with Valentino. However, that isn’t the only matter she must keep from him at all costs. Valentino and Victoria, along with their allies, must investigate a devastating malevolent campaign that is destroying humankind on a massive scale. But can they unravel the mystery of who is behind it in time to prevent the fall of both humanity and The Organization?
And in the end, will all the secrets be revealed?

Launch day price promotion!

It’s launch day! I’m really excited to be launching a new book today, called, The woman who felt invisible.  A big thank you to everyone who has posted blogs for me, shared on social media, told their friends about it and written reviews after reading an early copy.  I really appreciate your support, so much.

The celebrate the launch, the ebook will be on offer from £2.99/$3.99 to just 99p/99c for a few days! x

A gorgeous romantic story of love and new beginnings. Learning to love herself and be content on her own is the first step. But will Olivia be able to leave her past behind, follow her heart and find lasting happiness? A read full of humour, romance and tear-jerking reality.

The woman who felt invisible:

Book blurb:

Have you ever felt invisible? 

Working as a stationery supervisor and a sitter to a pair of internet famous, delinquent dogs, wasn’t how former cyber-specialist, Olivia, imagined her life turning out. 

Working in a tiny cubicle with a decrepit computer and being overlooked had suited her for a while, but now she’s fed up, lonely and determined to make the world ‘see’ her again. 

Old school friend, Darius, wants to fill Olivia’s days with romance, but their love of technology has taken them on very different paths. 

Gorgeous undercover policeman Gabe, is steadfast in finding out if Olivia was part of an online scam, but something doesn’t feel right and he suspects someone else was manipulating her life. 

Can love blossom from the most deceptive of starts? And can someone who feels lost, find a way to flourish against all odds?


Early reviews:

‘It’s just so good! My jaw had hit the ground on several occasions! Great writing!’

‘Boy, it’s good.’

‘The characters are believable and strong, with quirks, irks and flaws, damage and trauma. These make for a good story. 

It starts off steady and builds into some powerful and jaw dropping twists and turns. The dynamics shift and change at pace over the second half of the book. I had some laugh out loud moments and many giggles.’

‘I fully enjoyed this book and one more page turned into me reading the last 80 pages until 2am. I definitely recommend Lizzie and her new book. ‘


Jenny O’Brien. Top Author Of The Week.

This week’s Top Author, is Jenny O’Brien!  I can’t wait for you all to find out more about her work. I’m lucky to run a book group full of incredible authors and readers and I really enjoy showcasing their work here too.  Jenny is a nurse and a writer and I have no idea how she manages to fit all of that into her already very busy days.
From Jenny:
Firstly thank you, Lizzie, for inviting me on to your blog today. I started writing about 16 years ago, just after my twins were born, as a way of reclaiming a portion of my life back. I was also working as a nurse in a busy rehabilitation unit, a job I still hold today, so there was very little time to nurture my need to write. The truth is I was probably mad to try, but I have a healthy stubborn streak. I’m currently working on a series of police procedurals that are published by HQ Digital, an imprint of Harper Collins.

Born in Dublin, Jenny O’Brien moved to Wales and then Guernsey, where she tries to find time to write in between working as a nurse and ferrying around 3 teenagers.

In her spare time she can be found frowning at her wonky cakes and even wonkier breads. You’ll be pleased to note she won’t be entering Bake-Off. She’s also an all-year-round sea swimmer.

Readers can find out more about Jenny and her books on her blog:

(jennyobrienwriter.wordpress) and she can also be found on

Twitter and Instagram as ‘scribblerjb’.

Facebook (Jenny O’Brien Guernsey Writer)



Hannah Thomas returns home one morning to every mother’s worst nightmare: a missing child and a dead fiancé. When DI Gaby Darin questions her, Hannah insists she can’t think of anyone who’d want to hurt her family – and yet it all feels disturbingly personal.

Mere hours into the investigation, a second body is found. As Gaby and her team dig into the victims’ lives, they hit dead ends at every turn – particularly when it comes to Hannah’s past. What is the grieving woman hiding?

But when Gaby stumbles upon Hannah’s tragic secret, it doesn’t bring her any closer to the truth. Can she connect the dots before the killer strikes again?


Susan Buchanan. Book launch week, celebrations.

Congratulations to author, Susan Buchanan, on the launch of her beautiful new book! We are lucky enough to have an excerpt from the novel, here today, as well as some reviews of the book, so enjoy every minute and we wish Susan a fantastic launch week.

‘Perfect for fans of Why Mummy Drinks.’

Thirty-eight-year-old Louisa has a loving husband, three wonderful kids, a faithful dog, a supportive family and a gorgeous house near Glasgow. What more could she want?


Louisa would like, just once, to get to the end of her never-ending to-do list. With her husband Ronnie working offshore, she is demented trying to cope with everything on her own: the after-school clubs, the homework, the appointments … the constant disasters. And if he dismisses her workload one more time, she may well throttle him.

Juggling running her own wedding stationery business with family life is taking its toll, and the only reason Louisa is still sane is because of her best friends and her sisters.

Fed up with only talking to Ronnie about household bills and incompetent tradesmen, when a handsome stranger pays her some attention on her birthday weekend away, she is flattered, but will she give in to temptation? And will she ever get to the end of her to-do list?

A feel-good, heart-warming story of family and friendship. Ideal for fans of Fiona Gibson.

‘This fresh, well-paced story will have you groaning in sympathy as things go from bad to worse.’ Book Escapes BabsW67

book link –


Just One Day – Winter excerpt

Recap – Louisa’s hosting New Year’s Day lunch for her extended family, whilst her husband is away working on his oil rig.

‘So where to next?’ I ask as I crimp the edges of the pastry around the pie dish then use the remaining pieces to make leaves.

‘The Arctic.’

‘The Arctic? I thought Mum was a sun-worshipper.’

‘She is, usually, but she watched some documentary about the unexploited Russian Arctic and how it’s renowned for its “abundance” of polar bears–’ I roll my eyes at this ‘–and she’s intent on going now.’

My poor dad. I wonder how much, if any, say he had in this. I know he prefers sailing round the Med. And he last spoke to me about wanting to visit Jura, Mull, Luing and Shuna. He would have preferred a tour of the Hebrides on a luxury ship looking for seals, although I imagine they have seals in Russian waters too.

Dad takes Hugo’s sandwich through to him, and immediately I hear Aria moan that she wants one too. OK, it has been a while since breakfast. They were up far earlier than Genevieve. I pop the pie in the oven and am about to open the fridge to make some more sandwiches when the doorbell goes again. Honestly, Piccadilly Circus must be quieter than here. The clock shows it’s only twelve thirty. No one was meant to be here until one.

I walk into the hall only for Aria to accost me. ‘Mummy, I want a ham sandwich too,’ she whines.

‘In a minute, poppet.’ I disentangle her limbs from mine and get to the door as Hugo shouts, ‘It’s Uncle Rhys. I can see his car. Uncle Rhys, Uncle Rhys!’

I open the door and don’t even get ‘Happy New Year’ out before Hugo jumps up on Rhys and Rhys ruffles his hair and makes a fuss of him, setting his glasses askew as he does so. Hugo feigns indignation whilst Sandra chuckles. I beckon her inside, where Aria emulates her brother and makes a big deal of her aunt’s arrival.

‘Mummy, Aunt Sandra’s earrings have a number one on them.’

‘That’s because today is the first, sweetheart,’ Sandra says. ‘And the first is the same as one.’

‘Sandra, can I take your coat?’ I ask.

She undoes her coat and I see just how huge her stomach is.

‘Wow! I can’t believe how much more pregnant you look than last time.’ I avoid saying ‘bigger’. People can be so sensitive, although it never bothered me when I was pregnant.

Sandra grins. ‘I know. Although I suppose I am seven and a half months pregnant.’

‘Really? Where has the time gone?’

‘That’s what I was saying. There’ll be no peace soon,’ my brother-in-law chips in.

‘Hi, Rhys.’ I grin. Rhys and I have always got on well. He’s like a little brother to me.

‘Hi, sis.’ He leans in to give me a peck and then hugs me. ‘Happy New Year.’

Prize giveaway competition!

Hi everyone. I’m really excited to have a brand new book launching soon. I’m now running a prize giveaway, which will run for two weeks. I will be holding a separate prize giveaway just for my newsletter subscribers. You are welcome to enter both competitions of you are a subscriber. You can sign up for my newsletter on the front page of this website.

The book is about a 41 year old woman, called Olivia, who is fed up with feeling like she’s invisible to the outside world. She is a cyber specialist who has fallen on hard times and decides to grab her life back from the edge of oblivion and make the world ‘see’ her again. The story is full of intrigue, romance and second chances at love and friendship.

The woman who felt invisible. Book Launch Giveaway.

The woman who felt invisible:

The giveaway starts on the 15/11/21 – 29/11/21

Full terms and conditions of the competition are on the competitions page of this site. To enter just follow me on one of my social media pages and share the competition posts or this blog page, tagging two book loving friends.

I can’t wait to send the prizes to my winners!

Social media links:

Author page:








Claire Buss. Top Author Of The Week.

Today’s Top Author is Claire Buss! Clare is a talented author and marketer, who is always offering to help other authors and share her knowledge.  If you haven’t read, Write On magazine, yet, look it up. It’s full of brilliant author and writing news. Click this link to find out more.

Claire Buss is an award-winning multi-genre author and poet. She wanted to be Lois Lane when she grew up but work experience at her local paper was eye-opening. Instead, Claire went on to work in a variety of marketing and administrative roles for over a decade but never felt quite at home. An avid reader, baker and expert procrastinator Claire won second place in the Barking and Dagenham Pen to Print writing competition in 2015 with her debut novel, The Gaia Effect, setting her writing career in motion. Since then, Claire has published seventeen novels and poetry collections and had her short fiction published in six anthologies. The Gaia Effect won the Uncaged Book Reviews Raven Award for Favourite Sci-Fi/Fantasy novel in 2017 and the first book in her humorous fantasy series, The Rose Thief, won in 2019. Working with Pen to Print, Claire delivers regular Book Surgeries offering marketing help and advice to new and established authors. In 2019 Claire was part of the original team involved in creating and establishing Write On! Magazine and continues to support, work and promote the magazine in her role as Deputy Editor, a different kind of Lois who champions new writers and helps them share their creativity. Claire continues to write passionately and is hopelessly addicted to cake.

You can follow her on Twitter @grashopper2407, and visit her website for more information about Claire and her writing. All her books are available in eBook and paperback on Amazon at

The Silk Thief, a humorous fantasy novel, Roshaven book 2

The Blurb:

Fourteen, heir to the Empire of Roshaven, must find a new name before Theo, Lord of neighbouring Fidelia, brings his schemes to fruition. 

Not only has he stolen Roshaven’s trade, but he plans to make Fourteen his own and take her empire in the bargain.

Her protector, Ned Spinks, is plagued with supernatural nightmares whilst his assistant, Jenni the sprite, has lost her magic.

Somehow they must figure out how to thwart Theo’s dastardly plan before it’s too late for his city and her empire.

Universal book link:

NEW BOOK ALERT. So excited by this. Grab your copy today. 

Out on 12th November. The Bone Thief, Roshaven book 3 and it’s currently only 99p pre-order today!

The Bone Thief, 99p pre-order link:

Me signing the Sea Witch Shanty:


The Spice Ghosts have descended on Roshaven accusing Jenni of stealing their sacred bones and are threatening to destroy the city if they are not returned but Jenni the sprite has no idea what they’re talking about.

With the help of her boss, Chief Thief-Catcher Ned Spinks, Jenni promises to find and return them however the skeletal trail leads them into the dark and dangerous waters of the dread Sea Witch.

Ned is out of his depth and frantically treading water while Jenni must fight to avoid becoming catch of the day.

Elly Redding. Top Author Of The Week.

I can’t wait for you all to meet this week’s top author! Elly Redding writes addictive reads that you simply can’t put down. She is a big part of the writing community and I’m always very excited to find out she has a new novel publishing soon.

From Elly:

Thanks so much, Lizzie, for having me on your blog. Where has this year gone? For me, it’s been busy following up on the publication of my earlier novel, ‘In Too Deep’, while writing the next in my series of second chance romances, ‘Entangled’. Both novels are set against the rolling hills of Devon and the frantic pace of London, and I really hope to have the latest book ready for publication early next year.

In the meantime, I thought I’d tell you a little bit about myself, and why I love writing second chance romances.


It all started some years ago now, when I was a teenager and had just finished reading ‘Gone With The Wind’. 1024 pages and no happy ending? I was desperate. Something had to be done. And before I knew it, I’d rewritten those final pages half a dozen times in my head. I was a fledgling author, full of enthusiasm, but lacking in about everything else.

It was only after the birth of my first child that I decided to start writing in earnest. So there I’d be, sitting on a sofa, thinking of all the things I should be doing, while my daughter took a very long time to feed, when it suddenly dawned on me there was one thing I could do, and so I penned (quite literally) ‘The Trials of Barney and the Hopeless Detective.’ I received such lovely rejections, that I began to wonder if there might, just might, one day, be a chance of success.

Winding on a decade or two, whizzing past the time when I had a London agent for my screenplays (so exciting), to the day when I decided I would write a novel for grownups. A story with romance at its heart. After all, isn’t that what makes the world go around? Our boundless capacity to love? Added to the fact that I’ve been hooked on the romantic element of any story since, well, forever, whether it is Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan in ‘You’ve got Mail’ or Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds in ‘The Proposal’.

And what could be better than a story that gives our protagonists a second chance to make it work – a second chance romance? ‘True Colours’ was drafted, then redrafted, and then reworked again. I worked with a brilliant editor and was absolutely thrilled when I won The New Talent Award at the Festival of Romance. It also gave me the push I needed to get it published.

And then, of course, once I’d started, I couldn’t stop. I’ve always loved suspense stories too. So my second novel, ‘In Too Deep’ adds a touch of mystery as well to the plot, with a legacy of secrets just waiting to be discovered, as Isy sets out to win the trust of the man she’s adored since they were thrown together as children, by forcing him to confront the darkness of his long-lost past.

One little lie.  A guilty secret.  And the man she mustn’t love…

It’s been six years since Isy Forrester left home. In that time, she’s strived to forge a new life for herself in London, away from Jack Mancini, her father’s adopted son, and his devastating betrayal of everything she thought they had.  

Only now her father’s in hospital, and the house that’s been in her family for generations is at risk. Forced to return to Devon, she finds Jack as infuriating and stubborn as ever, and just as irresistible. Soon she realises the bright lights of London can’t hold a candle to him.

But Jack has a past, one which he refuses to share with her. And until he can trust her with these deepest secrets, how can she risk her heart? How can she even begin to help him, when he won’t tell her what happened all those years ago – before her father brought him home to Hambledon Hall?’

I do hope you will enjoy reading it as much as I’ve enjoyed writing it. After all, doesn’t everyone deserve a second chance to have their dreams come true?


Author Bio:

Elly Redding is an award-winning romance writer. Having originally written screenplays, her first novel, ‘True Colours’, won the Festival of Romance’s New Talent Award and third prize in the Independent Author Book Award ‘Words for the Wounded’. Her latest novel, ‘In Too Deep’, has received a B.R.A.G Medallion, together with a Chill with Book Reader’s Award.

Born in London, she now divides her time, with her husband, between Bedfordshire and Devon, where she loves art, dancing and watching the waves.

Elly is a member of The Society of Authors and Alliance of Independent Authors, and would love to hear from you. She can be found @ellyredding on Twitter, Elly Redding Author on Facebook and Elly Redding on Instagram.

Her website is


Website and Social Media Links:

Facebook: Elly Redding Author

Twitter: @ellyredding

Instagram: Elly Redding

Chris and Lizzie’s Book Marketing Adventure!

From Lizzie:

Hi everyone. It’s that time each month when I meet fellow author, Christine Penhall and we go on a book marketing adventure! We take book marketing very seriously, but it also has to involve coffee, food, sometimes dancing and a lot of fun. This month, Chris took me on a scavenger hunt around Chelmsford, which saw us climbing over fences to examine ancient bridges, rushing outside pubs (with information plaques) and looking longingly inside, squeezing into tiny old streets with Chris practically standing on my shoulders to read one sign and finally walking around some breathtaking gardens and discovering a secret boat dock in the middle of town!

We did of course do some work too (after breakfast). We talked about TikTok and the huge ready and writer community there, about running a seminar together about writing romance books and got some great book launch ideas for my upcoming book release, The woman who felt invisible. The book is about a 41 year old woman called Olivia, who is fed up of being ignored by everyone and decides to make the world ‘see’ her again.

Chris is writing a new book and so am I, so we often end up chatting about how we write, where we write and who inspires us. Having a writerly friend to meet up with, chat about books and have some adventures with, is a lot of fun. We both love spontaneity, so every meeting ends up with something different to what we planned. This time we found a rose adorned swing seat that was placed to connect local people on social media, by sharing photos on it with the #. We also found time to visit a beautiful big bookshop and try out some Tiptree jam. Win, win!

From Chris: 

When I meet up with my friend and fellow author, Lizzie Chantree we often have an idea of what we want to talk about. What actually happens is that we veer off in all sorts of different directions both verbally and when we are actually physically moving around! Personally, I have come to realise that writing is like that, at least for me, anyway. My characters take on a mind of their own, which means the plots sort of go with them and evolve in ways I don’t expect.

On our most recent catch up we decided to meet in a cafe (or cafes I should say) in Chelmsford, and I suggested we do a sort of Scavenger Hunt which would lead us to various blue plaques in the city centre. That’s because unless you know them well, places like Chelmsford aren’t renowned for their history or their architecture particularly. There are also a lot of cafes which of course is hugely important to myself
and Lizzie.

So, we started off at one cafe for brunch, an impromptu debut appearance by myself on Tik Tok – Lizzie’s. She also gave me a quick lesson so I’m on it too now. Hurrah! Then we went off on the Scavenge Hunt…you can download it from the Chelmsford City website….without giving too much away, there are more than you would probably expect. Also, our scavenger hunt took in a couple of book shops, and of, course, John Lewis, plus another coffee, and an amble along the river to see a block of flats which has a kind of tiny marina – my lockdown find from my urban ambles around Chelmsford City Centre. These weren’t part of the scavenger hunt per se – just interesting detours, just like our conversations, our walks, our characters and our plots etc etc…

We also of course, talked about writing, and the possibility of running some seminars together next year. Then we had another coffee…

Writing is just like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get….no wait, I’ve heard that before….and it wasn’t about writing. Although it could be. I’ve written three books – 2 set in Portugal, one set in Wales – and I’m writing another one based in Lagos in the Algarve. These are places I know well, and because I’m not in any of them all the time, the experiences I have whilst I’m visiting are very vivid, and the scenery, soundscape and smells very evocative, which makes it easy for me to write about them. However, there is plenty around me here that also feeds into my writing – just because it’s under my nose, it doesn’t mean it doesn’t inspire me. It’s just more subtle. But it’s there.