Interview with Rachel
Questions for Authors: choose from list
- Can you tell your readers something about why you chose this particular topic to write about? What appealed to you about it? Why do you think it is different and your approach is unique?
The crime genre is something that has fascinated me since I was a teenage reader. It’s something about the ancient battle between good and evil that captivates me and urges me to create my own protagonists and antagonists. I think my approach is unique because the protagonist remains the same (Kelly Porter) but the plot line changes dramatically from one book to the next to keep readers attentive. I’ve tackled subjects such as sex slavery, teenage drug abuse, domestic abuse, PTSD and aristocratic angst, and each book can stand alone.
- How long do you think about a topic before deciding to write about it? Do you have a set of notes or a note book where you write down topics that appeal before making a decision as to which topic this time?
An idea can come from something as simple as climbing a mountain in the Lakes, or visiting a waterfall; and that becomes my next backdrop. The baddies and their dark deeds come as I’m writing.
- How long does it take to research a topic before you write? And for this book?
My research never stops. I’m always reading about police procedural methods and forensic science, as well as criminal psychology and profiling. Before I start, I guess I spend around four weeks planning what shape the book might take, but this could be in the form of day dreaming about it on a train journey into London.
- What resources do you use? In general and for the last book that you wrote?
The best resource available is the internet. It’s quick, quirky and I can pretty much find out anything I need to from there. Occasionally, I’ll refer to a history book (I used to teach the subject), or check a map of the Lakes. I also like talking to people and I interview police officers regularly.
- How helpful do you find authority figures such as the police when you say you want to write about them? Is there a good way to approach them in your experience?
Police officers, in my experience, are more than happy to chat about what they do. It’s one of the most satisfying elements of my work, because they share their instincts and passion for solving a riddle.
- How many times have you been rejected before your first novel was accepted or before this book was accepted?
Before publishing with Canelo, my biggest achievement was finding my agent: Peter Buckman of the Ampersand Agency, in 2016. Before that, I reckon my work had been rejected at least fifty times.
- Did you need to self-publish on e-books before a publisher took you up?
- Would you recommend self-publishing and building an audience before approaching a publisher? If so, what benefits do you see that it might have for the aspiring novelist?
It depends what you’re trying to achieve. If you want exposure then you need a team behind you and so the first thing I would recommend is reading the Writer’s and Artist’s Yearbook and getting an agent.
- Does writing provide sufficient income to live on? And how long did it take before this happened?
- What is the funniest thing that happened to you on a book tour?
I’m digital only until my books are released in paperback later this year, so I’ve never done one, apart from Twitter. Generally reviewers are lovely on Twitter.
- What do you read when you are ill in bed?
- What is your favourite genre?
This question is a bit like I approach art: it has to touch me, so if I connect with it; any genre. It might make me laugh, cry, recoil or dream about it, but it has to grab me else I’ll put it down.
- If you recommend a living author – who would it be? A dead author?
Living author- Stephen King. Dead author- Thomas Hardy
- Which author had the most influence on your writing? Your writing style? Your writing genre?
I have developed my own style through hundreds of edits and good old fashioned hard work. If I tried to be like anyone, else I would fail. I reckon I wrote about a million words (ten books) before I produced anything any good.
- In your opinion who is the funniest author now writing?
- Have you ever tried to imitate another author’s style? And if so, why?
No. It wouldn’t be convincing.
- What have you done with the things you wrote when in school?
- Do you have any pets?
- If so, what are they?
- And what are they called?
- Do they help you write?
- Yes, a dog, she’s called Poppy and she’s a border/Jack Russell cross. She watches me write and guards my door! She scared the life out of me one day when she started barking and scratching the door- she’d seen something in the garden. I let her out, after tutting loudly and probably swearing like Kelly Porter, and she caught a squirrel! Oops. Instinct: it can’t be tame
Links to Book:
Rachel Lynch grew up in Cumbria and the lakes and fells are never far away from her. London pulled her away to teach History and marry an Army Officer, whom she followed around the globe for thirteen years. A change of career after children led to personal training and sports therapy, but writing was always the overwhelming force driving the future. The human capacity for compassion as well as its descent into the brutal and murky world of crime are fundamental to her work.
Previous Books: Dark Game, Deep Fear and Dead End