It’s Friday!

Author Interview with Rachel Crowther

Hello!

5 Questions to Know You Better…

Perhaps most important – tea or coffee, or maybe hot chocolate?

That’s tricky – I’m definitely a tea AND coffee person, and I’m not averse to hot chocolate either, in the right circumstances (long walk, winter evening, nice fire). But I am quite picky about what and how, as far as tea and coffee are concerned: Earl Grey, no milk, and black filter coffee, not too strong, unless I happen to be in Italy when the only thing to drink is a tiny, dark, rich espresso

Of all the characters you have created, who is your favourite?

That’s tricky too: a bit like asking which is my favourite child! I tend to bond pretty strongly to my central female characters – Olivia in ‘The Partridge and the Pelican’, and Flora in ‘The Things You Do For Love’ – but my new novel ‘Every Secret Thing’ has several equally important female leads, and two important male characters too. Oddly enough, I think it might be the men I’m most drawn to in this one – Bill and Stephen – although I have a very soft spot for Marmion, and also for Fay, the older woman who befriends them all. They are all, in different ways, imperfect, and all, in different ways, unfulfilled, and that makes them very absorbing and compelling for me – and I hope for the reader!

Do you have a particular place where you write –  can you show us a picture?

I have a wonderful writing shed, although to be honest I write all over the place: at the kitchen table, in bed, perched on the edge of my husband’s desk – wherever I happen to be when there’s a quiet moment. But in my imagination I go out to the shed every morning, and that’s what tends to happen when I’ve got a novel in full flood. I don’t know whether I write any better out there, but I do love it. Here’s a picture of it:

(ED: I have a shed too!)

Where do you find your inspiration and ideas?

I find the problem is more filtering ideas than coming by them in the first place. I have a whole stack of synopses and short-stories-that-really-want-to-be-novels sitting on my computer, and more of them arrive every week. Most of them are just vague ideas or scenarios, or interesting characters who aren’t going anywhere, but I think you can find novels everywhere if you decide to look for them. Life is so full of stories, dilemmas, heartbreak and unexpected joy: everything you need for an infinite supply of novels.

What are you working on currently, and when can we expect to read it?

I’ve actually got three novels on the go at the moment. That might sound mad, but the road to publication for a novel involves a lot of stopping and starting – rounds of editing with a lull in between – and I often find I want to work on something new when a lull comes, rather than picking up what I was doing last time – so I end up with several manuscripts-in-progress waiting for me. At the moment I’m really enjoying revisiting all of them and trying to decide which to throw myself into over the summer, when Every Secret Thing is safely launched. The working titles of the two most likely candidates are The Treasure House and The Painted Ceiling, and I hope that whichever I plump for will be ready for submission by next summer.


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