It might come as a surprise to some of you that one of Australia's best-selling and most beloved romance authors, Rachael Johns, is also a supermarket owner. She's a mother of three, a qualified English teacher, and a chronic arachnaphobic. In her spare time, of which we're convinced there can't be that much of, she writes enthralling and entertaining stories that have captivated readers in both Australia and overseas since her first book was published in print in 2012.
With her new book The Patterson Girls
set to hit our shelves in a few short weeks, we wanted to chat with Rachael about the book, and in particular discuss why she has swapped rural romance for a genre she affectionately calls 'contemporary life lit'.
You can listen to the full audio of our chat with Rachael here
, but *spoiler alert* we promise there's still lots of romance to be found between the pages of The Patterson Girls
Rachael also answered some of our very important questions. Check out her answers below!
1. What was your favourite book growing up and why?
The whole series of The Babysitters Club
books – I devoured each book like a gourmet treat and then dreamed of starting my own babysitter’s club with my friends. We each identified with one of the girls and they were all going through the same things as us – discovering boys, puberty, clothes and school, etc.
2. If you could invite three fictional characters to dinner, who would you pick?
Miss Havisham, Bridget Jones and Hermione Granger.
3. What is your favourite opening sentence of a book?
One hot August Thursday afternoon, Maddie Faraday reached under the front seat of her husband’s Cadillac and pulled out a pair of black lace underpants. They weren’t hers. – Tell Me Lies
by Jennifer Crusie
4. Is there another author’s book that you wish you’d written?
The Husband’s Secret
by Liane Moriarty.
5. What would you like to tell your 18 year-old self?
Stop trying to write the literature your university lecturers want you to write and instead write a book you’d want to take on holiday!
6. Who inspires you?
My kids – they have such enthusiasm for life and are full of dreams for the future. My Mum – she raised me almost completely on her own and is a such a strong, independent woman who has achieved so much in her life time.
7. You’re stranded on an island with all the living essentials at hand, but what one additional item would you need to survive?
8. What’s the best book you’ve read in the past 12 months?
Inside the O’Brien’s
by Lisa Genova.
9. What is your number one tip for would-be writers?
Read and write and write some more. Writer’s write, it’s as simple as that and while practise might not necessarily make perfect, it certainly helps!
10. How would you summarise your latest book in 25 words or less?
The Patterson Girls
is a story of the dynamics between sisters, friendship, family secrets and realising what’s important in life.