Lil Chase has a first class degree in Creative Writing and works as an Editor in London. Having been a pub cook and even suffered a brief stint in Disneyland Paris, she settled on a career in her first love – telling stories.
Which of characters in The Boys’ School Girls is closest to you?
There is a little of me in all my characters, but the one who I’m closest to is Abby. She’s who I was most like when I was a young teen. I used to be slightly overweight and it was a bigger deal to me than it should have been. I was popular, but at the time it didn’t always feel that way. I let peer pressure rule my actions in a way I wish I’d been strong enough to resist.
The first time you saw your books in a shop, what did you do?
Took a photo, obviously! In that photo you’ll see big fat dollopy tears in my eyes. It’s been my life’s ambition to have a book with my name on the front, and that was the moment I really knew I’d done it.
Best thing about being a writer?
Hearing from my readers. I love it when someone gets in touch to say they have enjoyed my books. Once or twice I’ve even had messages from parents thanking me because my book got their child into reading. It just goes to prove what I believe; there’s actually no one who doesn’t like reading, only people who haven’t found the right book yet.
And the worst?
Waiting for feedback. It takes months to write a book, and other than my husband, my mum and maybe a few friends, no one gets to read it before my agent and editor. Waiting to hear what they think of it is agonising! What if it’s rubbish?! Waiting to hear if the readers like it is even more painful.
Changing the subject, apart from writing what do you love doing?
I have an eleven month old daughter so every spare moment is spent looking after her. Most days I love doing that. But some days – if she’s grumpy or something – I wish I could be lounging around reading a trashy magazine with my feet up.
Can you tell us something about yourself that not many people know:
My friend Gemma and I are writing a musical! Watch this space…
You’re at the airport with a free pass to get on any plane – where would you go?
We head over to a massive villa – with a pool, naturally – and wait for my family and friends to arrive. The chef – also Italian – will be on hand to cook us lunch and dinner. There will be swimming, game playing, reading, eating and sleeping. Heavenly!
And what happens now?
As well as writing the musical (shhh! It’s still a secret) I am working on a number of new books. One is for younger children, very young and funny. One is a more serious book for young teens about a brother and sister who run away from home. I’m not very good at working on two things at the same time so I’ll finish the first, then while I’m waiting for feedback (gulp!) I’ll get started on the second.
Tea or coffee?
When no one is watching do you dance?
Yes. And often when people are watching.
Favourite dish, that you can actually cook?
Butternut squash risotto. I don’t enjoy cooking the way that some people do. But this was the first fancy(ish) dish I learned to cook and it’s a good one.
Do you ever re-arrange book displays in bookshops?
Yes. (How embarrassing!)
The word that describes you best is:
Organised (How boring!)
Book you’ve read the most?
So this is weird: I have never read a book more than once. There are too many books out there to read the same one again and again.
What’s the perfect cure to a bad day?
Pizza and a good book with someone playing with my hair.
Last film you saw at the cinema?
Avengers Age of Ultron. I didn’t love it.
And finally, what is the question you wish people would ask and never do?
‘Now that you’ve achieved your life’s ambition of being an author, is there anything else you would like to achieve?’ And the answer is yes. I want to write a song. One that makes your heart hurt when you hear it – something like Adele’s Someone Like You or Otis Reading’s Sitting On the Dock of the Bay.
The Boys’ School Girls Series is out now.
You can read my review Secrets, Lies and Locker 62 by clicking on the title.