Interview : Lillian Francis

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
Cover: Under the Radar by Lillian Francis
Cover: Tiferet Design

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

Buy Under the Radar : Add it to Goodreads

Meet Lillian

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.

Blog : Twitter : Facebook : Facebook Author Page : Lillian’s Lovefest – FB group : BookBub : Goodreads : Sign up for my newsletter

interview: Lillian Francis

A big welcome to Lillian today, who has come to talk about the re-release of her fantastic story New Lease of Life!

1. Why are you doing this interview?

I have finally got my arse in gear and re-released my old DSP title, New Lease of Life. For those who are wondering it’s more or less the same, just in UK English and with a newly added epilogue. Of course if you already have the book from before I’ll be releasing the epilogue as a freebie chapter on Prolific Works, so no need to rush out and buy a new copy.

2. What started you writing?

I’d been writing on and off since my teens, and loved English at school (lit and language), but I never really finished anything that wasn’t connected to school work. I drifted away from it for a while, but then I watched Torchwood, discovered livejournal and a previously unknown group of people writing fanfic and the rest, as they say, is history. Two years of (mostly AU) fanfic and I was encouraged to write my own stuff by a published author/fanficcer. So that’s what I did.

3. Where do you write?

Mostly at the dining room table if I’m using the laptop. But if I’m writing old style I love being in a park or the garden.

4. What do you like to read?

I grew up on Enid Blyton, Tintin, Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys, and Willard Price.

Progressed to golden age mysteries, noir, and historical mysteries in my 20s and 30s, and I still enjoy picking those up today.

These days it’s mostly gay romance, but that covers a mass of sub genres. So I can still get my cosy mysteries or thrillers or noir private eyes, just with a gay relationship at its heart.

8.  Tell me a little bit about your most recent release?

New Lease of Life was originally published in 2015 by Dreamspinner Press. Due to their troubles I got the rights back last year. The idea I attribute to chap I would see on my drive into work every day. He had one of those hospital metal crutches but it never seemed to help him, in fact he always looked so uncomfortable. And I wondered what he his story was, and what his life had been like before whatever had happened that left him in his current predicament, and Pip was born.

I think it took about three months to write and I found the vintage fashion stuff really interesting. A lot of Pip’s clothing choices are things I would chose to wear if I had a different body shape and a lot more money!

What did I hate? Fighting DSP to keep every bloody English expression. It was exhausting.

New Lease of Life

Cover art by Paul Richmond

There’s a fine line between independence and isolation.

Phillip used to laugh a lot, back when his friends called him Pip. However the good deed that left him hospitalised not only marred his body, it stripped him of his good humour too. Ever since, he has pushed his friends away and shut out the world. Donating his vintage clothing to a charity shop should have been the final act in a year-long campaign to sever the links with the man Pip used to be, but the stranger on his doorstep awakens feelings in Pip that he hasn’t experienced since the incident that left him angry at the world and reliant on the cold metal of the hideous hospital-issue crutch.

Colby forces his way into Pip’s life, picking at the scab of his past. Colby isn’t interested in Pip’s money or his expensive address. He has only one goal: to make Pip smile again.

With every moment in Pip’s presence, Colby chips away at the walls Pip has built around himself. Pip knows it’s impossible to fight his attraction with Colby’s sunny disposition casting light into the darkness in his soul. 

: Buy : Goodreads : Bookbub :

About Lillian

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, their Kindle, and an infinite supply of chocolate Hobnobs and they can lose themself for weeks. Romance was never their reading matter of choice, so it came as a great surprise to all concerned, including themself, to discover a romance was exactly what they’d written, and not the rollicking spy adventure or cosy murder mystery they always assumed they’d write.

Lillian Francis. Author of gay romance. Happy Endings guaranteed. Eventually.

Want to be the first to hear about new releases? Want exclusive cover art reveals and snippets? Sign up for my newsletter here.