A local author has had her book published, twenty years after she wrote it.

Lil Chase was in Year 6 when she started writing a novel called Gwynnie Goes Girlie. It told the story of Gwynnie – a Tottenham Hotspurs supporting, football playing tomboy – who tried to become a girlie girl in order to get the attention of the handsome new kid.

Twenty years later, Lil found the manuscript in her parents’ attic. It was forty-two pages long, written in pencil, accompanied by Lil’s illustrations, and sadly unfinished. But Lil thought it was worth typing up and trying to get it published.

She said: “The hardest part was deciphering the writing. I 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 her two years to finish the book, get an agent, and a deal with Quercus Publishing. Her agent took the decision to change the title to Boys For Beginners, and it’s now available to buy in the shops or as an ebook. “It’s funny that ebooks didn’t even exist when I wrote it!”

Lil now tells her personal story of success at schools, libraries, hospitals and literary festivals around the country, inspiring children to get writing. “If I could give a message to young writers, it would be to write as much as possible, and never give up. It doesn’t matter how old you are, if you can’t spell, or don’t have a computer – all you need is a pencil and paper, a good imagination, and the determination to make it happen.”

Boys For Beginners by Lil Chase is available to buy now.

Based on information supplied by Elizabeth Chase.