#columbinestale #blogtour #booksontour #day2
Yesterday we learnt a little about Rachel Le Rossignol; aka Rachel Nightingale, in our introductory piece. Today we delve further into those fun facts so we can get to know the real Rachel!
My birthday is May 24th. When I was growing up, that was firecracker night, so there were always firecrackers on my birthday. I never understood why everyone in Hobart celebrated my birthday, but it was pretty wonderful to have a dazzling light show each year.
Place of Birth:
I was born and grew up in Hobart, Tasmania, a place of extraordinary natural beauty. Mount Wellington always dominated the landscape, sometimes covered in snow, sometimes hidden by clouds. A city built on a harbour is a magical place, especially at night, when the lights on the hills are reflected in the bay. I was lucky to live around the corner from a lovely park, which in my sister’s and my imagination became castles and secret gardens and all kinds of fun places to explore.
There were so many amazing authors that made me fall in love with books and reading. Susan Cooper’s wonderful Dark is Rising series lured me into mythology. Diana Wynne Jones showed me the playfulness of magic. Ray Bradbury became my inspiration for the way words can weave a spell. Ursula Le Guin knew how to transform the world with new ideas. As an adult I’m discovering a whole world of brilliant new authors such as Angela Slatter, whose urban fantasy is funny and dark all at once and Wendy Dunn, whose books about Anne Boleyn and Catherine of Aragon revitalised my love of historical fiction.
My favourite book of all time is actually a romance. It’s called Chase the Moon, by Catherine Nicolson, published in 1984. It’s about a young woman with a gypsy soul who is making her way in the world with only letters from a mysterious stranger to guide her. He signs himself as Harlequin. The notion of Harlequin as someone extraordinary probably came from my love of this book. My copy of it is so sad and battered now but I will only replace it if I can find another one with the same beautiful aqua-coloured cover. It’s so beautifully written, and is all about seizing life with both hands. When I need a lift I open this book for inspiration.
I’m a crafter. I love making things, whether it’s cards or knitting or drawing. I’ve discovered bullet journaling and I love how it’s crafty but practical at the same time. It lets you express yourself through doodles or stickers or beautiful washi tapes, as well as leaving room to set out your weekly journal in whatever format works for you. Stationery is my weakness. Put me in a craft or stationery store and I am beyond happy!
First Published Book:
Harlequin’s Riddle was released in June last year and was my first published book. It was fun to release my characters and story into the world and see the reaction to them. People have seen so many things in the book. My first review described it as a ‘coming of age’ story, and I’d never thought of it in those terms. Others have picked up on the magic, or the romance, or the mystery. It’s always fascinating to me what people draw from Mina’s journey with a group of travelling players.
We have a very smart, incredibly cute Maltese-Shih Tzu dog called Snowy. I swear he understands at least a dozen human words, such as ‘birdie’, ‘collar’, ‘treat’ and of course ‘walk’. We have to call it ‘the W word’ if we don’t want him to get excited too soon while we’re getting his lead out. I am also the pet of a Devon Rex cat called Daisy. I wouldn’t dare say she was my pet. She tells me when I have to sit down so she can have cuddles. She’s the bossiest cat I’ve ever met.
Biggest Pet Peeve:
This has to be judgemental people. Nobody can really know what it’s like for someone else unless they’ve lived through what they have, and it can bring so much harm when people put down others and their choices. No one is better than anyone else. Sorry if that’s a bit too serious – I think there’d be a lot less pain in the world if people would let people be who they are!
Most Unusual Thing About You:
I hate chocolate cake. I know that’s really weird. Everybody loves chocolate cake. And just to complicate matters, I actually love mudcake. But ordinary chocolate flavoured cake, or ice cream or biscuits just don’t work for me. Give me a Tim Tam any time, but don’t bring a chocolate ripple near me.
You as a Child:
Serious, imaginative, an avid reader. I was the kid who looked like she was very quiet and obedient in class, while her brain was off daydreaming and she wasn’t connected to the real world at all.
Dance over to Karen Tyrrell’s blog for an insightful interview with Rachel.
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