Lil Chase, an up and coming writer, has just had her first children’s book published, even though she wrote it 20 years ago.
Lil first created her book’s character Gwynnie when she was 10 years old and discovered her 42 page long unfinished debut book when she was clearing her parents’ attic three years ago. It was written in pencil and included illustrations that Lil had drawn.
Lil, who is now 33 and lives in Wimbledon, said: “I had been thinking about writing a children’s nook for a while and remembered this old idea I had. I thought: ‘what are the chances of it actually having survived? When my parents were moving to a new home in Ealing I searched around and was very excited to find it.”
The story is about a tomboy called Gwynnie who tries to become more girly to impress a handsome new boy.
Lil added: “The hardest part was deciphering the handwriting. I was diagnosed dyslexic when I was younger so the spelling was terrible. But once I’d worked out what I’d written, the rest was easy. It had the cringe-making authenticity of the early teen years that can only come from an author of the same age.”
It took Lil another two years to finish the book, get a literary agent and then get a publishing deal with Quercus. The now complete book is called Boys For Beginners and is available to buy at bookshops and as an ebook.
Lil’s second book Secrets, Lies, and Locker 62 is due out in September.