Wednesday, 23 September 2020

Welcome to Historical Fiction Author - Lizzie Page

I’m delighted to welcome Lizzie Page to my blog.

Lizzie Page - Author

Hello Lizzie – I’m so pleased we were able to connect through social media and the Romantic Novelists' Association Facebook Group. I always marvel at how supportive and encouraging various reading and books groups can be when sharing ‘book’ news. But before we discover more about your latest release - The Wartime Nanny - here are a few questions which will hopefully give your readers and followers an insight into some of the things that matter to you.

Arabella: You’ve got an idea for a story but it has yet to take shape. Where do you start? Do you concentrate on the location in the story, or developing the characters personalities, or are there other key points you might consider?
Lizzie:  This is exactly where I am with my writing now!  So, I have an idea for some of the characters, their issues and the journey I want to take them on. I have some idea of the era – late 1940’s and the settings – an orphanage – the theme which is along the vague lines of ‘It’s not only the children who are looking for home.’ And I kind of know the beginning and the end, but I have no idea of location AT ALL – possibly Suffolk? or, as yet, what happens in the (very saggy) middle. I’m hoping that will reveal itself to me once I get going properly!  

Arabella: In your latest release, The Wartime Nanny, what is the overall theme or premise, and what made you choose this topic?
Lizzie:  The Wartime Nanny is about a young Jewish woman, Natalie, who comes to London from Austria, in the 1930s to work as a nanny for a small boy. As the situation back home worsens, Natalie has to work out who she can trust and how to get her family to safety.

It was inspired by finding out that 20,000 Jewish girls came to London from Germany and Austria to work as domestic servants in the UK.  This is a feature in The Remains of the Day where Stevens the butler stands by his boss who wants the girls sacked. I wanted to write a story from one of the girls’ points of view. Cultural struggle, first love, guilt and grief, ‘being good’, are some of the themes. Refugees are rarely out of the news; I wanted to humanise a refugee story and also cover that painful sense of being ‘Lost between two shores’. It has turned out to be my most personal novel yet, and I have borrowed quite liberally from my own life.

Arabella: You’re stuck in a lift and it’s a two-hour wait before a pain-free extraction. What emergency rations would you like to be sent down the lift shaft?
Lizzie:  As long as I have something to read, my phone to play on, and – either coffee and cake, or crisps and a fizzy drink, I’ll be fine. Send down all the unhealthy food – Under the circumstances, I think it’s acceptable! 

Arabella: You’ve arranged to meet up with friends and family for an afternoon of fun. Where do you go and what do you do?
Lizzie:  Ooh...beach, bookshops, coffee shops, even a lift shaft if it’s with amusing friends. I live by the sea so am often to be found mooching there, but I love days up in London – museums and art galleries - and have a special liking for National Trust tea rooms.

Arabella: The moment we are published, a career path is usually envisaged. Do you have any aspirations or ambitions for yourself and any future novels you might write?
Lizzie:  I hope to keep on, keeping on. I wanted to write (and to get paid for writing) for gazillions of years: to be published is a huge privilege and I’m determined to run with the opportunity. The book I’m working on now is part of a three-book series, so I hope that’s not a flop. I love hearing from contented readers. It really is special to hear that your story moved someone, or made them think or gave them pleasure. Another favourite thing is to be translated in another language, so I’d love to see more of that. More than that, who knows?! 

Thank you for joining me on Arabella’s Blog and Chit-Chat, Lizzie. It was great to discover you are working on a new novel, and I hope your “saggy middle” rises to become a fluffy centre piece.  
All the best for you latest release – The Wartime Nanny

About Lizzie Page

Lizzie Page - Author

I love escaping into fictional worlds especially historical fiction - I particularly love reading about the way women used to live. I grew up in a sea-side town in Essex, about forty miles from London. After studying politics at University, I worked as an English teacher in Paris and then in Tokyo for five years. I came back to England, worked in various jobs, and eventually did an MA in creative writing at Goldsmiths. Husband Steve, three lovely children and Lenny the cockapoo all conspire to stop me writing.

Social Media
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Book Blurb:    The Wartime Nanny

The Nazis are everywhere now. We must leave Vienna. It might be that soon our letters won’t get out anymore. Can you help, dear sister? Please, ask for us. Send news, and quickly. Please.
London, 1936. Sixteen-year-old Natalie Leeman leaves her family behind in Vienna and travel to England to join her cousin Leah in service. Natalie is placed with a wealthy suburban family, the Caplins, as a nanny to their energetic six-year-old.
At first, Natalie is delighted by the huge house and beautiful gardens, but things aren’t as perfect as they seem. While Natalie dotes on their child, she is increasingly wary of Mr Caplin, whose gruff manor and fascist politics scare her. And then there are those still waiting at home – Mama and her two sisters, as well as a blossoming romance with her English tutor that had only just begun.
But when Vienna falls under Nazi rule, Natalie begins to fear for her family, especially her vivacious, tomboy little sister Libby. Then rumours of a possible escape route from mainland Europe called the kindertransport begin to swirl – can Natalie help her family escape the Nazis before it’s too late?

A heartbreaking wartime novel – emotional and unforgettable. Perfect for fans of The Alice NetworkThe Tattooist of Auschwitz and Before We Were Yours.

The Wartime Nanny - Release date: September 11th 2020  

Buy Links: 
Amazon UK:

Amazon US: 

1 comment:

  1. Telling this story is a journey you obviously believe in sharing, Lizzie. Well done for tackling such an emotive issue. Historical novels need a lot of research and it sounds as though you have the passion for this genre. I wish you well with The Wartime Nanny.



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