Today we are speaking with Rachel Nightingale, and we’re all very excited about the release of Columbine’s Tale, the second book in Rachel’s delightful and mysterious – not to say addictive – travelling players series.
Last Word of the Week: Greetings, Rachel. Tell us, when did you write your first story?
Rachel: I think I was about 8. It was about Pasha the bear and his roller-skating little sister, Sasha. Unfortunately that marvellous manuscript has been lost to time, but I still have a copy of Big Chief Puff-Puff, which I also wrote and illustrated around that time. My dad even laminated it for me. I think it was the wish fulfilment of a child who wanted more cake than she got, because the chief ate lots of delicious food before exploding, so I had to draw cupcakes and lollipops and all kinds of tasty treats.
LWOTW: Sounds delicious – you must have had quite an imagination as a child. What do you think now about dreams, imagination, and planning?
If you mean dreams as in goals, I think they’re vital – they give drive and hope. I wouldn’t have got to where I am now without my dreams of becoming a published writer.
Imagination is one of the crucial tools in my writing kit. I try to exercise it as much as possible. Unfortunately, the downside of a very active imagination is a tendency to over-worry so I have to watch out for that.
And I’m definitely a planner. I like to see the big picture laid out before me first, then I can jump into the middle of it and be confident about where I’m going.
LWOTW: That probably explains how you get so much done so well. What’s the highlight of your writing career so far?
There have been so many in the last year since my first book, Harlequin’s Riddle, was published, that it’s hard to pick one. I’ve learned that it’s important to celebrate all the highlights, big and small, because the rollercoaster ride has as many downs as it does ups.
LWOTW: A nice cautionary touch for all of us writers! What are you most busy with at the moment?
Finishing Pierrot’s Song, the third book in the Tales of Tarya trilogy. Although I have it all plotted out, it’s not just a case of getting words on the page because the end of a series requires me to tie up a lot of loose ends. All the characters need some sort of resolution to their story arc, all the elements of the mystery need to come together in a satisfactory climax, everything needs to have continuity. It requires a fair amount of concentration and I double check anything I’m not sure of. Mina has come a long way from the young woman who wanted to find her brother – now the weight of the world is on her shoulders and I need to make sure readers are happy with how she deals with that.
LWOTW: Sounds like quite a task. A writer’s work is never done! If you could say one thing to aspiring writers, what would it be?
Treat your writing as a craft, something that will continue to develop the more you work at it, and you will go a long way.
And the Last Word of The Week: What’s your favourite colour?
Mauve and aqua. Can’t pick just one!
Thanks, Rachel, for those words.
You can find Rachel at the following links:
Website and blog: www.rachel-nightingale.info
And you can buy Rachel’s books at the following Links:
Book One – Harlequin’s Riddle:
Book Two – Columbine’s Tale:
and keep an eye out in 2019 for Pierrot’s Song!