Lil Chase is an editor and published author and graduated from London Met's BA (Hons) Creative Writing (now called Creative Writing and English Literature) course in 2008 with a first class honours degree. Lil has published 13 books and here she tells us about her career journey.
Please can you introduce yourself and tell us a bit about your career journey?
My name is Lil Chase. I'm an editor and an author. I got my first full-time editing job in 2008, six months after I graduated from London Met, studying creative writing.
Meanwhile, I was writing a novel – part of which I used as my dissertation. I found an agent in 2009, got a book deal in the same year, and my first book was published in 2011. I’ve now written thirteen books… so far! Six under my own name, and seven under various pseudonyms.
Did you always want to be in this line of work?
I’ve wanted to be many different things throughout my life, but the thing I was always doing was writing. I knew that getting published wasn’t a certainty, so while writing, I pursued a career in publishing to help me learn more about what I needed to do to get there.
What made you come to London Met to do your course?
I wanted to be in London, and at the time London Met was the only university offering Creative Writing as a sole major. London Met was ahead of the curve there!
What did you enjoy about the University?
There was a fabulous variation in the choice of modules, and the quality of teaching was excellent. I appreciated the diverse backgrounds of students and tutors too.
What is your favourite memory of your time here?
Would it be wrong to say, "the social life"? I had some really fun times, and made loads of brilliant friends at London Met.
How has your course at London Met helped you in the working world?
The creative writing course helped improve the quality of my writing immeasurably. Learning about all different styles of writing helped me hone my own style.
Did you get to do any practical/work experience as part of your studies?
It wasn’t required of us, but the course leader – Sunny Singh – often told us about publishing houses offering work experience. I contacted one of the companies and landed a placement because of that lead. Whilst there, I wrote some articles that ended up being my first pieces of published work.
I also used the London Met careers office to find work experience at Harlequin Mills & Boon. I worked there for a year, fitting it in around my studies.
Do you have any advice for graduates starting out in creative writing?
Take every opportunity and make every connection you can. I showed people I was enthusiastic about books and keen to work hard. It paid off, and that enthusiasm made me very employable.
What is it about your work that you enjoy the most?
Being creative! I love writing and seeing my books in the hands of readers and hearing from fans. As an editor, I like spotting a problem and figuring out how to fix it to make the plot run smoothly. Seeing a book that I’ve worked on hit the bookshops is such a thrill.
Could you tell us the pros and cons about setting up on your own?
You have to be driven and dedicated to set up on your own. Money is an anxiety when you don’t know when the next paycheck is coming in. But the benefits of being my own boss are huge: fitting my work around my life, rather that the other way round, makes it easier to be a working mother.