Lizzie Chantree’s new book, Shh… It’s Our Secret, heavily features music throughout. We caught up with Lizzie for a quick jam session, where she let us know why music is so important to her and how she incorporates it into her writing. And check out her top ten songs she listened to while writing Shh… It’s Our Secret at the end of the article!
How has music affected your life and your writing?
I’ve always been inspired by music from a young age. I love the way words and sound can make us feel less isolated, as if someone else has experienced what we have and it can bring real joy. There could be a room full of people who are caught up in their own lives, but suddenly music plays and they are united in enjoyment of the sound and atmosphere and worries can disappear for a while.
Music can unite people and help ease pain. For me it eases anxieties and makes me very happy. A beautiful song can lift my mood and I also enjoy dancing around a room and trying to sing along. This does not make my family as happy, as my voice can scare birds from the trees! I like to sing loudly without inhibition. Funnily enough my dog seems to enjoy it and often joins in with a howl or two…
I don’t have a musical background, but did play the keyboard for a few years when I was younger. I stopped playing, as I learnt with my cousin and the teacher wanted me to take a more advanced class. For me it was about the fun of learning a new skill with family, so we both stopped playing. To me, watching a person playing an instrument well or writing songs is awe inspiring. I’m fascinated by the whole process and the thoughts that bring the writer to put those notes and words together. What brought them to that point and what does the music mean to them? The same song can allude to wildly different things for each person and I find that really interesting too. I hope books and stories can do the same thing. I write them to bring joy and happiness to my readers, or to let them know they are not alone in troubled times. A book, like music, is a way to step out of reality for a while, to spend time relaxing and for our bodies to rest and recuperate after a busy day.
I did research some facts around the music industry in this book, but in most of my books, when it comes to business or creativity, I use my own experience of running a business for over fifteen years where I invented new products and owned retail shops. Most of my main characters are entrepreneurs in some way and I love coming up with unusual business ideas for them to run. I gave up my business when my child became unwell (she’s fine now) and writing and listening to music helped me through troubling times and brought me a wonderful new career. I hid my first book in a cupboard for five years until my child’s health improved and am now about to publish my eighth novel. I often listen to music while I write and have grown up enjoying all kinds of sounds including Jazz, Soul music, Pop, Rock and Reggae. I mostly listen to chart songs whilst out or travelling, but my favourite at home, will always be soul music. For some reason it resonates with me and I would happily listen to it all day.
If I were to choose ten songs I listened to while I wrote, they would be:
“River Deep Mountain High” by Tina Turner
“Valerie” by Amy Winehouse
“Teardrops” by Womack & Womack
“Respect” by Aretha Franklin
“Have You Seen Her” by The Chi-Lites
“Walk On By” by Issaac Hayes
“Do I Love You (Indeed I Do)” by Frank Wilson
“A House Is Not a Home” by Luther Vandross
“Halo” by Beyoncé
“Don’t Start Now” by Dua Lipa
Purchase Shh… It’s Our Secret at the Links Below!
Violet has a secret that could change the lives of everyone she knows and loves, especially the regulars at the run-down café bar where she works. After losing her parents at a young age, they are the closest thing she has to a family and she feels responsible for them.
Kai is a jaded music producer who has just moved outside of town. Seeking solitude from the stress of his job, he’s looking for seclusion. The only problem is he can’t seem to escape the band members and songwriters who keep showing up at his house.
When Kai wanders into the bar and Violet’s life, he accidentally discovers her closely guarded secret. Can Kai help her rediscover her self-confidence or should some secrets remain undiscovered?
About the Author:
International bestselling author Lizzie Chantree enjoys writing books full of friendship and laughter featuring women with unusual, adventurous businesses, who are far stronger than they realize. In addition to writing, she is also an award-winning inventor. She started her own business at the age of eighteen and became one of Fair Play London and The Patent Office’s British Female Inventors of the Year in 2000.
Lizzie’s work has been featured in Writing Magazine, Writers’ Forum Magazine, Essex Life Magazine as well as BBC Essex, Essex Radio, and many more.
A believer in kindness, Lizzie also works as a business mentor and runs a popular networking hour on social media, where creatives can support each other. She lives with her family on the coast in Essex, UK.