Today I’m very lucky to be interviewing Rachel Amphlett author of White Gold, Under Fire and Before Nightfall.
Hi Rachel, thank you for agreeing to this interview.
Do you have to travel much concerning your books?
Not as much as I’d like! Luckily I’ve travelled around quite a bit so I can always draw on past experience. We did tie in a week’s trip to Malta last year specifically for some research for an idea I’m developing in the background though, and because I’d based some of the scenes from my last novel, Under Fire, in Malta it was nice to walk around and think ‘yes, I got that right!’
While I was writing Under Fire, the most exciting trip I did for research was spending some time on HMAS Onslow, the Oberon-class submarine at the National Maritime Museum in Sydney. I realised I still hate being in submarines – they’re so claustrophobic!
If your writing office was a sailboat or yacht, what would the boat be called?
Gin & Tonic
Where would you anchor in the world to be most inspired?
I keep being told that Costa Rica is worth a visit, so that’d be a start. Or Puglia, in Italy – I saw a photograph of the coast there at the weekend and it definitely ticks a lot of boxes!
Why do you write?
I think my brain would explode if I didn’t – I have so many ideas whizzing around in it! I really don’t understand writers who state they have no idea what to write.
What dreams have been realised as a result of your writing?
Holding a book I’ve written in my hands, as a paperback. I’ve always said I wish I could jump straight to that part sometimes, rather than go through the whole process of writing, editing, etc. But that’s just me being my normal impatient self.
Do you have any writing rituals you like to follow?
My other half laughed when he saw this question, so I guess I do! If I’m writing longhand, then I always use the Moleskine A5 notebooks and I use a 1.4 blue felt pen – I hate them when they’re new but once you get a couple of thousand words down, the nib goes nice and squishy. These days I mostly write on my laptop on the train going to and from work so I hit my target every day. It’s a really low target so I don’t get too stressed out if the words aren’t flowing that day.
What are you working on at the minute?
A couple of standalone novels. One is a thriller, the other is probably more easily termed a suspense novel. I’ve started the research for the third in my Dan Taylor series of thrillers too so that I can start writing that in the new year before I start getting rude messages in my mailbox from readers wondering where he is!
Are your plots/characters based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Most of my plots are inspired by real news events – I’m a news junkie and usually skim through 4-5 news websites every morning and dump interesting bits and pieces into a folder for future reference. Sometimes I’ll see a face or a tic that I build into a character, but more often than not, they pop into my head complete and I just have to get to know them.
How do you stay motivated?
I love what I do – that’s a huge help. I’ve got a great support network of family, friends and peers who help keep me on track if I’m ever in any doubt about what I can do – I think all creative types have those moments of self-doubt and you definitely need a good tribe around you at times like that.
Tell us about the cover and how it came about.
I knew I wanted something striking and sent Derek Murphy at CreativeIndiesome photos as a rough idea, along with the title of the book and he had the first proof to me within a couple of weeks. My jaw hit the floor when I saw it – he’d nailed it straight away. We only made a few tweaks with the font effects and it was done.
Who are your favourite authors?
Too many to list here, but I’ll try. For historical fiction/thrillers I’d rate Ken Follett and Robert Harris – I’ve been rediscovering their work this past year and had forgotten how much I enjoyed their books. I’m a huge fan of people like Robert Crais, Lee Child and Daniel Silva for thrillers, and for romantic suspense I’ll have to give a shout out for my fellow countrywomen Helene Young, Bronwyn Parry and Sandy Curtis. I love the action-packed books of Cherry Adair and Suzanne Brockmann too. (Best thing to do is check out my book lists on Goodreads!)
What do you do to get book reviews?
Write the book and keep my fingers crossed!
Seriously, I wish more readers would write reviews because we authors are so dependent on them to pass the word around, but I can never bring myself to use one of those paid review services – it just seems wrong. I’d rather have a handful of great reviews rather than anything that might seem fake.
What is the very best tip you have for aspiring writers?
Don’t give up! And an extra one: don’t be afraid to contact other authors for help or advice.
Will you be adapting any of your stories for the screen?
I’d really like to, yes. I’ve just completed a screenwriting course with the Australian Film & Television School in Sydney so if anyone fancies collaborating, drop me a line!
What really irritates you?
Procrastination. Get on with it – life’s too short!
How do you take time out?
Eh? What’s that?!
I love to travel – I’ve still got a wish list into double figures of countries I’d like to visit so that’s definitely my ultimate ‘time out’.
Otherwise, a good meal with friends or family; sitting at a bar having a drink with my other half and just watching the world go by; or finding a quiet corner to lose myself in a book – can’t beat that for relaxation!
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Just a huge thank you – I really couldn’t imagine that my writing would take me where I am right now when I started three years ago. Can’t wait to see what the next three years bring!
How can readers discover more about you and you work?
Amazon Author Page:http://www.amazon.com/Rachel-Amphlett/e/B005EK7TRI/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1
Where to buy: http://www.rachelamphlett.com/where-to-buy.html
Rachel Amphlett previously worked in the UK publishing industry, played lead guitar in rock bands, and worked with BBC radio before relocating from England to Australia in 2005.
After returning to writing, Rachel enjoyed publication success both in Australia and the United Kingdom with her short stories.
Rachel’s Dan Taylor thrillers WHITE GOLD and UNDER FIRE reached Amazon’s bestseller lists in January 2014 for both Technothriller and Action & Adventure categories.
A new standalone suspense novel, BEFORE NIGHTFALL is due for release on 5 June 2014, while two further independent projects and a third Dan Taylor thriller are currently being researched.