Today I’m joined by Lizzie Chantree as she introduces a character from her book, The Little Ice Cream Shop by the Sea. It’s a contemporary fiction full of romance, sunshine, sandy beaches, and ice cream! And, although it’s technically a standalone, there’s certainly options for a sequel…
Good morning, Lizzie! Thanks for stopping by today, please introduce the character in terms of job, relationships, family etc.
Genie is a feisty young woman who has been working in her family’s ice cream business since she left school. Suddenly her family decide to sell up and move, meaning Genie has to fight to save her heritage on the coast of Essex. Genie has to find a new investor, write a business plan, when she’s never passed an exam in her life and prove to her parents that they made a mistake in leaving her and the business behind. Genie has to revamp the restaurant, find inner strength and keep her temper when her new business partner’s dashing new grandson arrives on the scene, to protect his grandmother.
When and how did you create Genie?
I saw a woman crying in a restaurant and a young waitress spent a long time soothing and talking to her. After the woman had left, I asked if she was ok and the waitress said they had never met before, but that the woman was feeling better now. This made me think about the kindness of strangers and a new story began to form in my mind.
Did you write the book to accommodate Genie or Genie to accommodate the book?
My characters usually pop into my head fully formed and raring to go! They have names and tell me the story as I write it. This makes the story exciting for me, as I feel like I’m reading it as I put pen to paper.
What do you like most about her?
I love writing characters who are strong willed and eclectic, but I also really enjoy quieter characters who don’t know their own worth. By the end of the book, they have inner strength. My books are often about friendship and how empowering good friends can be.
What do you like least about her?
My characters sometimes put others first to their own detriment. They usually find out who their true friends are by the end of the book. I love it when a character thinks someone is against them, but then discovers they actually have a lot in common or can help each other grow.
Did your early readers/editorial team like Genie to start with or did you have to change her in any way?
I’m lucky that my early readers enjoy my characters unless they are a character that isn’t very nice for a reason. Those characters are there to help the main characters find their voice and can be really interesting to write about. I had one character who was awful to his girlfriend and I really didn’t like him, but it was so satisfying when he was dumped!
Does she have any similarities with anyone real?
No. Other than something that might spark an idea, like the woman crying in a cafe, I don’t base my characters on anyone I know. I love characters jumping into my mind and introducing themselves (this may sound really weird). Dotty, a main character in, If you love me, I’m yours, is a prime example, as she’s so vibrant and you never know what she’s going to say. Genie, from the little ice cream shop by the sea, has funny traits too. She’s always hopping around after losing her temper and kicking the nearest plant pot!
What are your plans for her?
This book could have a sequel as there are lots of events at the end that could work well for another story. I’d love book two to be set in Cornwall, as it’s beautiful there and it is where Genie’s grandparents live.
Would you be friends in real life?
Totally. Genie is a really great friend and she’s full of fun and mischief. She works hard and has so many plans for the future. She’s a real entrepreneur and there’s never a dull moment when she’s nearby.
Genie sounds wonderful and I have a real love of seaside romance/comedy at the moment. Thank you so much for joining me, Lizzie. It’s been a real pleasure getting to know Genie and I can’t wait to read her full story x
I’ve just downloaded a copy of this, Bookworms (click the cover picture for the buying link)! Do you want to know more?
Here’s the blurb…
From the international bestselling author of If you love me, I’m yours, Ninja School Mum and Babe Driven.
Genie’s family is in crisis. Their seafront business is failing with the loss of Genie’s grandmother and her legendary ice cream flavours. Genie is determined to be the one to save her family’s heritage, but suddenly her mother wants to sell to developers and leave their shared history behind.
Buying the business and taking on a sixty-eight-year-old business partner, Ada, with a mysterious past and a gorgeous but distracting grandson, Genie sets out to prove her parents wrong.
Ada’s grandson, Cal, wants to protect his gran from ‘pensioner persuader’, Genie, but soon realises that living in a little seaside town and away from the paparazzi in Hollywood can actually give him time to heal. Hiding in a seafront business with its fiery owner and working as kitchen staff, is the only way he can think of to keep his ex-Hollywood glamour-puss, gran from harm.
Hiring a private detective and learning about Genie’s parent’s past makes Cal regret his own impulsiveness. The information he has unearthed could destroy their blossoming relationship and turn Genie’s world upside down.
Genie soon discovers that friends can become enemies and your closest family can have lied to you for your whole life.
About the author…
International bestselling author and award-winning inventor, Lizzie Chantree, 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. She discovered her love of writing fiction when her children were little and now works as a business mentor and runs a popular networking hour on social media, where creatives can support to each other. She writes books full of friendship and laughter, that are about women with unusual and adventurous businesses, who are far stronger than they realise. She lives with her family on the coast in Essex. Visit her website at http://www.lizziechantree.com or follow her on Twitter @Lizzie_Chantree
Lizzie is also prolific on social media so you can find her in any of the following places:
Social media links:
Author page: https://www.viewAuthor.at/LizzieChantree
Twitter: @Lizzie_Chantree https://twitter.com/Lizzie_Chantree