Author Feature, Book Blog

Author Feature with Lizzie Lamb @lizzie_lamb @newromantics4

Today on Love Books Group Blog, I am delighted to have a special author feature with Lizzie Lamb. Welcome to the blog Lizzie and thank you so much for sharing your beautiful post and photographs with us today.
Kelly x

my work desk (2)

Hi, Kelly and many thanks for inviting me onto your fabulous blog. For those who don’t know me, I am an indie author and published my latest Scottish-themed contemporary romance, GIRL IN THE CASTLE in May 2017, So, how did I manage to publish four novels in under five years and work collaboratively on two others? Read on –

author photo my novels.png

Here’s an extract from the end papers of Girl in the Castle which tells you a little more about me. When I was about seven years old I, along with two friends—Freda Wallace and Rosemary Smiley—went to Woolworths each bought a notebook and pen. Rushing home, we sat on my back doorstep and started writing . . . In my head I’m still that optimistic seven-year-old sitting on a cold doorstep overlooking the Ravenscraig Steel Works, notebook in hand and scribbling away.  Then, my grandfather bought me a petite typewriter and I never looked back –

Me, on back doorstep in Craigneuk

Fast forward to the 1970’s when Jilly Cooper published novels, each with a girl’s name as the title. I adored those novels and decided, that’s what I want to write. However, my writing ambitions were put on the back burner when I graduated, married, took up my first teaching post and bought a house. One with a spare bedroom which we could convert into a space where I could write, undisturbed.  

a Room of One's Own

Time passed; I became more involved in my teaching career, bought an Amstrad word processor and secured myself an agent, (the late Dot Lumley). Then, in 1990, I was appointed deputy head of a large primary school and had to make a difficult choice – a career (with a pension), or to live on a writer’s earnings. I chose teaching because I loved it and for the certainty it provided; but I never forgot my dream. In 2006, I took early retirement and joined the Romantic Novelists’’ Association New Writers’ Scheme. Here I am on the very last day of my teaching career saying goodbye to the children and explaining why writing was so important to me.

My last ever school assembly July 2006

Tall, Dark and Kilted, my debut novel

Full of can-do spirit, I formed the Leicester Chapter of the Romantic Novelists’ Association,  won a competition to have the first three chapters of my novel critiqued by Carole Matthews. Testing the water, I wrote a jingle for Little Black Dress (Headline) and won a year’s supply of novels. After finishing my first rom-com, Big Bad Wolf I submitted it to LBD, just as the line was folding. After advice from the Hilary Johnson Agency, I lengthened the novel, changed the title to Tall, Dark and Kilted and invited author Amanda Grange to lunch and asked:  where-do-I- go-next? She advised me  to give self-publishing a try; the Amazon algorithm was changing and if I was going to self-publish, now was the time. Along with Adrienne Vaughan, June Kearns and Mags Cullingford, I formed New Romantics Press, and our first novels appeared on Amazon in November 2012. We then embarked on a series of book launches/author talks to bring our books to the notice of the wider world.    

NRP at Festival of Romance

Exciting things  began to happen – a fabulous afternoon tea with Trisha Ashley, bloggers approaching  ME, asking if they could review my books, and we even appeared in Writers’ Magazine. I published Boot Camp Bride and was a finalist in the Festival of Romance new writers’ award. Soon, writing became my full-time occupation. Adrienne Vaughan and I hosted literary lunches, raised money for a local Cancer charity and used social media to bring NRP to the attention of a new audience.  Adrienne took over as editor of the RNA magazine, Romance Matters, and we hunkered down to write our next novels.

Afternoon Tea with Trisha Ashley

Amanda was right, things were changing, and quickly, too. More digital first publishers were coming on to the market: Endeavour Press, Accent Press, Harper Collins digital imprint, Bookoutre et al.  There were sites which gave books away for free – Bookbub, ENT, and Instafreebie and a situation was soon reached where some readers had over 1000 FREE books on their kindles, books they could not possibly read.  Why would they buy our books? How do we get the word out there?

July WritingMagazine Edited Version

Onwards and upwards. We held book launches in many different venues, the crowning glory – being Waterstones, Kensington High Street, complete with canapes and prosecco, and with many bloggers and authors helping us to celebrate. I put the finishing touches to Scotch on the Rocks and published in July 2015 – it went straight to #1 bestseller in its genre within two weeks. I now had three books to my name and two collaborative paperbacks. I entered Scotch on the Rocks in the Exeter Novel Prize (judged by agent Broo Dougherty), reaching the final six authors.  

Waterstones invitation

Returning to my roots, I presented workshops on how to self-publish and used that as a way to  reach new readers. To repeat what I said earlier, times really were a-changing, but we were enjoying the journey and having a ball. In November 2016 Adrienne and I held a book launch at up-market handbag shop Aspinal, in St Pancras, London – where we rubbed shoulders with Tom Parker-Bowles and sold lots of paperbacks.

With Tom Parker Bowles

Aspinal, London

Spring 2017 – May – I published Girl in the Castle which reached #3 in Scottish>Highlands and Islands, riding alongside Jenny Colgan and Peter May.

So – what next? I would like to write a time-slip set in Scotland where my heroine really does go back in time. I might write another Scottish-themed romance, I have the next three all plotted out. I have the first draft of three romances ‘under the bed, and could update those. Who knows – I might even look for an agent/publisher willing to take my books to the next level. Whatever I decide, I’m just going to keep on writing, it’s what I love and it’s what I’ll always do.

I owe it to those little girls sitting on the cold doorstep with their notebooks on their knees to keep going, don’t I?

author photo (2).JPG

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33 thoughts on “Author Feature with Lizzie Lamb @lizzie_lamb @newromantics4”

  1. Reblogged this on Lizzie Lamb and commented:
    Many thanks to LOVE BOOK GROUP for featuring me on their fabulous blog. It’s a great time to look back as I published my first novel – Tall Dark and Kilted – in November 2012 and its been a roller coaster ride since then.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Good morning all. Many thanks to LOVE BOOK GROUP for featuring me on their fabulous blog. It’s a great time for a retrospective as I published my first novel – Tall Dark and Kilted – in November 2012. Now working on #5 and still love being a writer. Many thanks, also, to everyone who’s been on this journey with me and New Romantics Press.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Lizzie is a great friend and loyal supporter of other writers. I’ve enjoyed all of her books (am particularly fond of the first one, Tall, Dark and Kilted!) – love those settings, the great characters and all the laugh-out-loud parts in every read!

    Like

    1. Thanks Bev, you are a great supporter of writers. We need more like you. I hope you enjoy my other books when you get round to reading them.

      Like

  4. What a wonderful post, Lizzie. It perfectly details your story and your success and what an inspiration you have been and still are to us all. I’ve loved all of your novels and look forward to reading many more. Great photos and precious memories Xx

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Fantastic blog post Lizzie, thanks for being such a wonderful friend and super supportive writer mate. I love all your novels, the romantic settings, underlying historical detail, witty dialogue and fiery passion – sums you up really! Wishing you continued success and a looooooong looooooong career. X

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Jan, it feels like you’ve been with me every step of the way – and you have. So glad you enjoyed the photos and the memories I’ve shared.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Lizzie Lamb is such an inspiring lady, and a good friend, too! I am a great fan of her books (had even a character named after me in one of her novels, making the “careful, or you’ll end up in my novel” saying come true!). The New Romantics 4 now there’s a fantastic bunch of ladies! I am proud to call you all friends.
    It was a pleasure reading this blog post. And I see so many comments from friendly faces 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Isabella, you are a great supporter of all writers, like Beverley. We’d be nowhere without great friends, bloggers and reviewers like yourself – even if we live on different continents. And Rosie Amber, below.

      Like

    1. Thank you Rosie, I treasure the memory of the time your group of bloggers travelled to Leicester and met our chapter of the Romantic Novelists’ Association. You started off as a blogger and became my friend.

      Like

    1. Thanks for leaving a comment, Paddy. Although we’ve never met, you;ve always been generous in your tweets and retweets and I appreciate that. Good luck with your own endevours.

      Like

  7. Enjoyed all of Lizzie Lamb’s, novels, especially her last one, Girl in the Castle (spooky – and yes I must write a review !). All have well-rounded characters a reader loves to love, and atmospheric settings. And as one of the New Romantics, great to be reminded of our journey to becoming Indy publishers. Great blog Lizzie the Indefatigable.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Mags, it’s been a great journey together. We need to get together and celebrate our anniversary. I’ve had a great summer and am now ready to hunker down and finish the WIP. Looking fwd to that review!!

      Like

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