How was your weekend? Mine was spent visiting some very lovely friends who are expecting their first baby in London. In time-honoured tradition, we kicked off our shoes, stuck an old nineties classic on the telly (I say ‘classic’, it was I Know What You Did Last Summer, which is up for debate) and gathered around with plates of Chinese food to natter about anything and everything. Another good friend of ours came along too and, since she and I are both mothers already, we cackled heartily at the sleep deprivation that is about to hit our friends squarely in the face whilst quaffing champagne (that’s what I call true friendship).
Now, it’s the start of another working week and time to make my next Author Introduction! Today, I’m delighted to welcome the fabulous Rachel Amphlett to the blog.
Rachel is the bestselling author of the Dan Taylor espionage novels and the new Detective Kay Hunter series, as well as a number of standalone crime thrillers. Originally from the UK and currently based in Brisbane, Australia, Rachel’s novels appeal to a worldwide audience and have been compared to Robert Ludlum, Lee Child and Michael Crichton. She is a member of International Thriller Writers and the Crime Writers’ Association, and the Italian foreign rights for her debut novel, White Gold, were sold to Fanucci Editore’s TIMECrime imprint in 2014 whilst the first four books in the Dan Taylor espionage series were contracted to Germany’s Luzifer Verlag in 2017.
Let’s find out a little bit more about this lovely lady…
- Tell us a little about yourself – don’t be shy!
Well, I was born in the UK and emigrated to Australia in 2005. I currently live on the northern outskirts of Brisbane, right near to the bush, and I’m a full-time crime fiction writer.
Prior to taking up a pen, I played lead guitar in bands in Oxfordshire, worked in radio in Kent, and also helped to run a busy pub.
- How about your latest book – what can readers look forward to when they pick it up?
Hell to Pay is the fourth book in the Detective Kay Hunter series, and it closes out the sub-plot that’s been running through the series to date. This time, Kay uncovers the corruption behind the professional and personal upheaval she’s endured, but her quest for justice puts her own life in danger…
I should probably warn people not to start reading the last part of the book late at night if they have to be up early for work the next day!
- Who is your hero in real life and in fiction?
My real-life hero is my Granddad, who lives back in the UK. In fiction, my hero is Michael Connelly’s Harry Bosch, particularly for his motto “everybody counts, or nobody counts”.
- Who are your three favourite writers – and why?
In no particular order:
Michael Connelly, for being so open in his interviews with regard to his writing habits and craft – I always learn something when reading his books, and anyone who’s had the lengthy career he has deserves an enormous amount of respect.
Peter James, for being so generous with his time to up and coming authors and his readers.
Dick Francis – I was introduced to his books by my Granddad and my Mum, and that’s what helped set me off down the path of writing crime fiction.
- When you’re not writing, what is your favourite way to spend your time?
Travelling! I love it – even the airports, and it’s brilliant having two passports (EU and Australian) because I can pick the shortest arrivals queue 😉 And did I mention airport bookshops?!
I think I love travelling so much because I’m naturally a people-watcher – whenever we travel we manage to find a little bar tucked out of the way somewhere, and we’ll just watch the world go by after a day’s exploration.
I love discovering the history and culture of other countries, too – wandering around and soaking up all the sights and sounds.
- What do you consider to be your greatest achievement?
Crumbs, that’s a tough one as I think I’m still learning things and aspiring to do stuff. I am proud of the fact I’ve managed to become a full-time writer – I’ve loved writing stories since I was about eight years old, so to be actually doing it for a living is pretty cool.
- What was your favourite book as a child?
The Famous Five mysteries by Enid Blyton – yeah, I know I cheated 😉
- Have you read any books recently that have really captured your imagination?
Two standouts for me over 2017 have been Block 46 by Johana Gustawsson and Stillhouse Lake by Rachel Caine – both highly recommended.
- If the Prime Minister knocked at your front door and asked to borrow a book, which one would you recommend they read?
Yours or ours? 🙂 Honestly, I’d better keep quiet – I could get into all sorts of trouble with this question, haha…
- Finally, if you could be any character from a movie, which would it be?
Marion Ravenwood from Raiders of the Lost Ark. She was quite feisty, and I wouldn’t want to be a character who couldn’t stand up for herself!
…Thanks Rachel! I can certainly relate to your love of travel and quest for adventure – the Indiana Jones theme tune is the ring tone on my phone, which helps to spice up the school run! I haven’t read a good espionage thriller in a long time, so I am very much looking forward to exploring your Dan Taylor novels and the Kay Hunter crime series.
I hope you all have a wonderful week!