Rachael Richey lives in Cornwall with her husband and children. She writes Women’s Fiction, and Storm Rising and Rhythm of Deceit are the first two books in the NightHawk Series. She has been writing since she was a child, starting with stories about her teddy bears and dolls.
She lived in the Hebrides for nearly fourteen years, having originally gone there to work for the summer season. She met and married her husband David whilst there, and had two children, before moving to Cornwall at the end of 2000.
There are currently four titles in The NightHawk Series, the third of which is currently being edited ready for publication.
1.What got you into writing / what made you sit down and actually start something? I’ve been writing stories since I was about seven years old, and have wanted to be a writer ever since. My father was always writing too, so I think it was in my genes!
2.What is a usual writing day like for you, how is it structured? To be honest I don’t have a ‘normal’ writing day. I tend to fit it in around everything else! I yearn for the time when writing is all I have to do, but at the moment I do a lot of my writing in the evenings and into the night. I’ve written some of my favourite chapters at four in the morning.
3.Do you get writers block? If so, how do you overcome it? I haven’t really experienced writers block. I sometimes get a few days when I find it hard to get stuck into something, usually at the start of a project, but once I’m fully committed to a book it normally just flows.
4.Are you a plotter or panster when it comes to writing a story? Ooh, hard one this! I think I may be a bit of both. I usually have a rough idea of the main plot, and do sometimes write a plan, but I also let the characters lead me, and quite often they surprise me, by taking the story in a completely different direction. I love it when that happens, so I guess I may be more of a panster. A lot of my books have grown from just the idea for one random scene.
5.Are you traditionally or self-published, and what was the publishing process like for you? Any advice to aspiring authors? I am currently published by a small traditional publisher. My basic advice to aspiring authors is don’t give up! I submitted to hundreds of agents and publishers before I finally got an offer, and then I got four all at once! Always make sure you research whoever you are submitting to – make sure they are the right person/publisher for your genre, and make sure they have a good reputation. If they ask you for any money, steer well clear.
6.What has been your highlight since becoming a published author? Seeing my books in print! It’s a totally amazing feeling, and one I’ve dreamt of all my life.
7.Can you share a little of your most recent book with us? And any other books of yours, if you wish. This is a little taster of Storm Rising, the first book in The NightHawk Series:
Abi saw the car as she came along the main road. There were never many tourists around in November, and to see a strange car parked in the lay-by was worthy of a second glance. Probably someone who got lost, she thought to herself as she turned down her track.
She had spent the day with one of her clients in Penzance, sorting out the artwork for their new marketing campaign, and she was very glad to be home. She had lit the fire before she left the house that morning, and the chimney was smoking cheerily as she got out of the car and headed for the front door. As she turned to close it behind her, she once again noticed the strange Range Rover parked on the main road. She paused for a second, then shivered and closed the door. For some reason the sight of it had given her a little chill in her heart. She shook her head in exasperation. What was she turning into? The events of the past week must really be taking their toll.
She tossed her jacket down on the sofa and went into the kitchen to put the kettle on. As anticipated, the little cottage was very warm and cosy, and Abi anticipated a lovely warm relaxing evening. Although she was very fond of her friend and neighbour, she couldn’t help hoping that Chris wouldn’t pop over. She really fancied a night to herself.
She made a cup of tea, cut herself a slice of cake, carried them both over to the fire, and sat down on the hearth rug. A basket of logs stood to one side of the woodburner, and Abi opened the doors and tossed another log onto the already roaring fire. She gave a little shiver of pleasure. She really liked to be warm. She was going to enjoy the evening.
She leant back against the sofa, extended her legs in front of her, and took a large bite of cake. No sooner had she done that than the doorbell rang. Abi rolled her eyes and tried to swallow her cake.
“Come in, Chris, the door’s open!” she called, spraying crumbs in all directions.
After a moment the door slowly opened and a deep voice said, “I’m not Chris. Can I still come in?”
Abi leapt to her feet and swung round to face the door. For the last ten years she had dreamt of the moment when Gideon Hawk would appear on her doorstep, and now it had finally happened she had no idea what to do. For a few long seconds they stared at each other, neither daring to speak. Then Abi took a tentative step forward and nodded her head jerkily.
“Yes. Come in,” she croaked, her mouth suddenly dry, adding automatically, “Mind your head.”
And this is from Rhythm of Deceit, second book in The NightHawk Series:
“Mum,” she whispered. “Mum, wake up!” With a grunt, Abi opened her eyes and stared up at her daughter. She frowned, and brushing her hair out of her eyes, she pushed herself up onto one elbow.
“Wassup?” she muttered indistinctly, groping on her bedside table for her phone to see the time. “Is something wrong?”
“Dunno,” Natasha shrugged, “but Chris is at the door in a right state and said I had to get you. Now I must let him in.”
She jumped off the bed, ran out of the room and clattered down the stairs. At the bottom, she unbolted the huge front door and hauled it open. Chris was through the door before she’d finished opening it, and standing at the bottom of the stairs impatiently waiting for Abi to come down. She appeared at the top, hair dishevelled, wearing only a long white T-shirt belonging to Gideon. She hooked her hair behind her ears and frowned at Chris.
“What on earth’s the matter?” she asked in concern, starting down the stairs, her bare feet padding on the polished wood. Chris pulled the rolled up newspaper from under his arm and brandished it at her.
“This is the matter,” he said dramatically. “I take it you haven’t seen it yet?”
Abi reached the bottom of the stairs and raised her eyebrows at him. “Until two minutes ago I was fast asleep, “ she pointed out, holding out her hand for the paper, “and besides, we don’t usually read this rubbish.”
Chris was watching her carefully as she unfolded it and looked at the front page. There was a long silence.
8.What audience is your book targeted for, and what genre does it come under? I guess my books are Women’s Fiction. They have a bit of lots of genres in them really. A bit of romance, suspense, intrigue etc. And a sexy rockstar! They have been read and enjoyed by people from fifteen to over sixty five so far; mostly women, but some men as well.
9.Apart from writing, what do you do in your spare time? I love reading, going to the gym (sometimes!), swimming, walking, and hanging out with my family.
10.What tip would you give to new authors when trying to build a fan-base / get followers and market their books? (What to do and what not to do.) Get a website up and running straight away, preferably with a blog so you can let people know what’s happening with your books, and a Facebook author page. Start telling people about your work even before it’s published. I find Twitter really useful, but make sure you retweet plenty of other people if you want them to retweet you. I also have Pinterest, with a board dedicated to my books, and another for friend’s books. I had an online launch party for both my books. The first one worked really well, and we had some competitions with books to give away, but the second one was a bit of a damp squib. Definitely worth doing for the first book though, and so easy to organise through Facebook. Make friends (online or in real life) with lots of other authors, both established and aspiring. You can all help each other in different ways and it’s lovely to have a group of like-minded people to chat to. Basically if you ask people to follow you on Twitter/like your Facebook page, make sure you reciprocate.
11.How long on average does it take you to write a book? My first two books were written in just over three months each, and the three subsequent ones probably each took between four and six months. These days when I get an idea and get stuck in, I can finish a book really quickly.
My website: http://rachaelricheybooks.weebly.com/
Amazon Author page UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B00T38BXSI
Amazon Author page US: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00T38BXSI