This week in my new Writers on Reading series I welcome the lovely Rachael Johns to Flying Pony.
Rachael is the hugely successful author of Jilted, Mandrought, Outback Dreams and her latest, a romantic christmas story set in rural Australia, The Kissing Season.
Every family has a black sheep…and Hannah Elliot is it.
It’s no surprise to anyone when Hannah Elliot makes the spontaneous decision to marry a stranger in Las Vegas. But when she finds herself pregnant and her new husband files for an annulment, she dreads having to tell her family.
Returning to her Australian hometown of Wildwood Point, Hannah is determined to become a devoted mum and put her baby’s needs ahead of her own. She’s also set to prove to her family she can actually be responsible. This means putting her wild past behind her and accepting a job back in the family business…while keeping her pregnancy a secret!
Except, when gorgeous Italian Matteo Della-Bosca walks through the shop door, Hannah finds her resolve slipping fast..
Sounds great Rachael – I do love a Black Sheep! All the best with it and thanks for visiting the blog. Now on with the interview:
Which books do you most vividly remember from your childhood?
I absolutely devoured ALL Ann M Martin’s Babysitter’s Club books. Couldn’t get enough of them, I had the entire series and tried to start up my own Babysitter’s Club with my friends like every other young girl back then. Strangely no one really wanted to leave their babies with twelve-year-old girls! I also remember Mum reading me The Folk of The Faraway Tree books and Beatrix Potter’s animal stories. I’ve shared the latter two with my own children, unfortunately I don’t think I’m gonna be able to get my boys into The Babysitter’s Club!
2. Who are your three most favourite literary characters? Tell us what you love about each of them.
Bridget Jones, Harry Potter and Elizabeth Bennet in no particular order. I love that they are all underdogs in some ways but they have strong values that bring them out on top in the end. Bridget makes me laugh and I love that she can also laugh at herself and knows how to be a great friend. Harry is so inspiring, fighting his misfortunate start in life and horrid upbringing to become a force to be reckoned with. Although I can understand why Hermione chose Ron over him – he’s adorable! And Elizabeth Bennet is the epitome of a lady to me. She’s intelligent, kind and not selfish but she’s not prepared to settle in love! She wants the best and she gets it.
3. Who is your favourite literary villain? Why?
This is a hard question, cos I don’t typically read the kind of books that have villains. ARGH… my mind I seriously coming up blank, which is not only depressing but also embarrassing!
4. If you could invite any five writers – living or dead – to a cosy dinner party who would you ask and why?
Helen Fielding (creator of Bridget Jones) because her books were one of the reasons I got into writing and I have fantasies it might be like hanging out with Bridget. J. K. Rowling, cos she’s just awesome and it would make my nine-year old GREEN with envy. Jane Austen because she wrote all those fabulous romances that are counted as “literary writing” now. Lisa Jewell, because I also found her at the time I started writing and still adore her books. Charles Dickens, because the guy who created Miss Havisham deserves to taste my pavlova!
5. What book has made you laugh out loud?
This year I read Sophie Kinsella’s THE WEDDING KNIGHT and snorted in a quite unladylike fashion in a number of places. It’s a crazy premise and the lengths the heroine’s sister goes to NOT to have her sleep with someone is hilarious!
6. What sort of book do you like to read for pure relaxation?
Romance or women’s fiction (same as I like to write). If I’m relaxing, I want something that makes me laugh, maybe cry and gives me a warm fuzzy feeling. Some of my fave authors are Lisa Jewell, Marian Keyes, Barbara Hannay, Lisa Heidke, Monica McInerney and Liane Moriarty.
7. Where and when do you do most of your reading?
At night and in bed before I go to sleep. I fantasize about reading at other times in other locations but it rarely happens. When I’m old and in a nursing home, I plan on reading ALL day long!
8. Is there a genre of book you’d never read? Why?
It’s very rare that I have the desire to pick up a paranormal. I did read the Twilight series but in general vampires, werewolves, goblins, etc don’t do it for me. I will also NEVER read sci-fi!
9. Can you give us a mini-review of a book you’ve recently read and enjoyed?
TAKE ME HOME FOR CHRISTMAS is the fifth (I think) book in Brenda Novak’s Whiskey Creek series and these books are delicious. Sweet stories mostly, although this one deals with a heroine who’s just been widowed from her abusive ex. He tried to fake his own death after robbing most of the people in their town of money under the guise of helping them invest it. Of course the hero comes to her aid, despite the fact she broke his heart in their late teens. It was a sweet and easy read.
10. What are the top three books in your TBR pile?
Karly Lane’s POPPY’S DILEMMA
Christina Brooke’s THE GREATEST LOVER EVER
Eleanor Catton’s THE LUMINARIES (although between you and me, I think this one might be just for show)
Connect with Rachael:
Website – www.rachaeljohns.com
Twitter – https://twitter.com/RachaelJohns
To buy links:
Google Play – https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Rachael_Johns_The_Kissing_Season_novella?id=4VKjAQAAQBAJ&hl=en