Please welcome Lillian Francis for today’s interview! Lillian has come along to chat about writing, reading and her WW2 Submariner Romance, Under the Radar.
What started you writing?
I used to write back in my teens and early Twenties but got out of the habit as life took over. Then reading fanfiction took a hold and I only intended to write the one story. But I had trouble sticking to canon and soon my characters took on a life of their own and I found it harder and harder to stay within fandom. Time to branch out on my own.
What do you like to read?
Just about anything. Historicals. Gay romance, obviously. Non-fiction – history books mostly. And graphic novels. When everything really gets too much it’s the world of superheroes and the like that call to me.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
Pokemon hunting is a great form of exercise for us exercise adverse people. I’m really missing conventions atm, I normally go to comic con at least twice a year.
Tell me a little bit about your most recent release. What gave you the idea for it? How long did it take to write? What did you enjoy about writing it? What did you hate?
RL has played havoc with my writing, so my most recent release actually from 2019, but it’s the one I want to talk about. It’s Under the Radar, a WWII submarine story with forced intimacy, spies, and derring-do.
I original got the idea for the story about ten years ago on a visit to Gosport submarine museum, but it took several rewrites, stacks of research, and some of the best beta work on any of my books for it to make it to release.
Under the Radar
It’s 1942 and after a sexual indiscretion, US Navy pilot Zachary MacKenzie is sent to serve in the Royal Navy’s submarine service—a shockingly harsh punishment for a man who loves to fly. The submarine is oppressive and frustrating for him, and he’s marked out from his peers, publicly by being American, and privately by his attraction to men.
The only bright spot is the company of his steward, sonar operator Gethin Llewelyn. Despite the differences of rank and background, they’re drawn to each other. Gethin’s integrity complements Zach’s casual joie de vivre, and soon the friendship develops into something much more.
As the threats of war increase, the submarine is plagued by potentially hostile vessels, and circumstances lead them to suspect there’s a spy amongst their own crew. Being forced even closer together as they work for the greater good reveals a new awareness, and Zach doesn’t know what is in more danger, the vessel under his charge or his heart.
Word count: ~138,500
Lillian Francis is a self-confessed geek who likes nothing more than settling down with a comic or a good book, except maybe writing. Given a notepad, pen, her Kindle, and an infinite supply of chocolate Hob Nobs and she can lose herself for weeks. Romance was never her reading matter of choice, so it came as a great surprise to all concerned, including herself, to discover a romance was exactly what she’d written, and not the rollicking spy adventure or cosy murder mystery she always assumed she’d write.