Thank you to Rachel Dove for agreeing to be on the Author chat’s strand of my blog. I asked Rachel a few questions about her favourite books and also about her writing practice…. here is what she said.
Who was your favourite childhood author or book and why were they a favourite?
I loved many, but Roald Dahl sticks in my mind. I loved that his stories were so funny, and so uplifting, but also very dark. When I read Boy, I was transfixed. My eldest son is reading it now, and it’s lovely to share the fun with him again. I am so glad that his stories are still being enjoyed by so many.
When did you start writing and when and what was your first publication?
I started writing as soon as I could pick up a pen, and my first publication was a reader’s letter in a magazine when I was a child. I believe it was about Ronan Keating from Boyzone! I used to send loads to all sorts of places. Still do. Last month, I sent in a photo of my son with our new rescue dog and we won a playset!
Which authors do you currently enjoy?
My favourite book of 2017 is Sweetpea by C J Skuse. It’s like Dexter in a way, and it had me hooked. I read every single day, and read all genres, although I do avoid anything remotely similar in plot to my current book. My other go to authors are Charlaine Harris, Rachel Burton, Darcie Boleyn, Elizabeth Jackson, Kate Walker and Lynda Stacey. I also reread a good few every year, like the amazing Sue Townsend. We lost a real gem when she sadly passed away.
Do you have a ‘usual’ writing timetable and a special place that you write in? What is on your desk or what is around you as you write? Perhaps you enjoy the view from your writing window?
I have a desk in my bedroom, where I tend to do my teaching stuff and work on an evening. When my husband is home, I put my headphones on and write to music. When the boys are at school and work, I write on my desk or on the sofa, with Netflix on in the background. I don’t like to write in silence. I write late at night, early in the morning, in the car waiting for the kids, at the side of football pitches and swimming lessons. Whenever, and wherever really. I always have a notepad and pen with me.
Can you tell me something about your latest book please?
My latest book is out on 11th January 2018 with Harper Collins HQ Digital. It’s different to my other books, it’s darker and tackles a tough subject, but the romance is still very much a factor. It’s about a soldier and an army medic called Kate, and I absolutely loved writing it. It’s called The Long Walk Back. So far I have been able to keep all my titles, and I love this one.
What are you working on at the moment?
I am currently editing a book that is coming out with Manatee Books in April 2018, and working on the next book in my Westfield series. This will be the last one of three, so I am eager to go out with a bang! I will really miss Westfield and the characters who live there though.
What are your usual methods of research when planning a new book?
It depends on the book, but first of all I work out whether the idea in my head will translate to the page. For Long Walk Back I did the most research, contacting medical professionals and researching a lot about combat and the logistics of certain injuries.
….and finally any tips for aspiring writers?
I got my big break from entering the Mills & Boon/Prima Magazine Flirty Fiction competition, and winning with my novel The Chic Boutique on Baker Street. I would say to any aspiring writer to enter as many competitions that speak to them as possible, especially the free to enter ones, and also read. Read lots, and then read some more. Learn the market, see what works, what doesn’t in your own writing. Be unique.
twitter @writerdove and FB Rachel Dove – author. https://www.facebook.com/RachelDoveauthor/