Monday, 5 May 2014

Interview with Rachael Lucas

Today I have the pleasure of welcoming Rachael Lucas on Cometbabesbooks, author of Sealed with a Kiss.

Hi Rachael, I would like to welcome you to my blog.

Can you tell us more about your book Sealed with a Kiss?
Sealed with a Kiss is a story about Kate, who, having been dumped by her boring boyfriend, realises that with no job and no money, she’s got nowhere to go but back home to stay with her mother. So she decides to take a risk and escape to a Scottish island where she takes a job working as a Girl Friday which comes with a little cottage by the seashore. It’s about taking chances and making friends and it’s a romance, too.

Can you tell us about the main characters Kate and Roddy?
Kate’s ambled her way through life so far. Things in the past mean she’s always been cautious of taking risks, so it’s a big deal for her to get away from everything that’s safe and take a job on the island of Auchenmor.

Roddy is struggling to run the family estate on the island following the death of his father. He’s aware that a lot of families on the island rely on him for their livelihood and the responsibility lies heavily on him. He’s got a hidden side, too – but you’ll have to read the book to find out more!

Is this the first book you have written?
Yes – and no! I wrote my first novel at the age of 11 and submitted it to a publisher, but they rejected it. They were very kind in their rejection though…

Would you describe yourself as a bookworm? 
Yes, definitely – when I go on holiday, I factor in a book for every day I’m there, which means my suitcase used to be bulging with books and pretty low on clothes or practical stuff. Now I’ve got a kindle and my TBR pile is miles high.

Are any of your characters based on people you know? 
Parts of them, yes. Morag is based on someone I used to know who was lovely and calm and kind – and there are bits of other people in all my characters. Generally though, even if you start out using a person in your head, once the book takes over they start developing their own individual personalities and change to suit themselves.

Do you have a support network for your writing?
I’m really lucky to have had support along the way from some brilliant writers – Sue Ransom, a fantastic YA writer, Christina Jones, Katie Fforde, and Julia Williams, all of whom are enormously successful writers, have taken the time to be there for me and to support me in various ways. One of my dear friends is Melanie Clegg, who has written five books and is great for those “help, I can’t do this any more” moments, and then there’s Twitter, where I have loads of amazing fellow writer friends. The Twitter writing community is really strong and tips over into real life which is fab when you spend all your time bashing away at a keyboard alone. And then, of course, there’s my first reader – Ross, my partner. He’s a writer too, so it really helps to have him understand why I’m lost in a chapter or distracted when I should be cooking dinner. He’s always the person I show my work to first, because I know he’ll be honest about it.

Can you share a sneak peak at what you're working on at the moment?
I’m writing the next novel for Pan Macmillan which will be out next spring. It’s a story about a friendship, and it’s about second chances, and it’s got a romance in there too. It’s set in a village in the English countryside with a bit of a gardening theme so it’s all sunshine and bunting and cake and gossiping over cups of tea and drinking Pimms in the garden.

Do you like it quiet when you're writing or do you need background noise?(music or TV). 
I like either a hum of noise – so a cafĂ© works quite well, as long as it’s busy and I don’t get caught up in conversations – or preferably total silence. When I’m writing certain scenes I might listen to music to get in the mood.

Do you have any hobbies when not writing?
I love crocheting blankets (very slowly – we’re talking one every two years here) and I’m getting back into running after breaking my ankle last year playing roller derby (which is another hobby, which I’m hoping to get back to without breaking any more bones – I skate with the Liverpool Roller Birds and my derby name is Scarlotte Bronte).

Non Book Questions

Favourite holiday place?
Greece – for the people, the food, the sunshine, the clear seas, and the history. Or La Charente Maritime, where my parents have a house – it’s a beautiful part of France on the Atlantic coast. And Bansko, Bulgaria, too. I love it for skiing. I have so many favourites!

Favourite food?
Avocado. I could eat one every day.

Favourite film?
I think it’s probably Bridget Jones, actually – it doesn’t matter how many times I’ve seen it, if I turn on the tv and it’s there, I always watch it and I love Bridget so much. Both Bridget films, actually.

Favourite Chocolate?
I’m not a massive chocolate eater – I used to be, but I broke the habit. I’d rather have cheese – and the stronger and smellier the better. I think that’s why I love France so much!

Favourite drink?
Hendricks gin and Fevertree tonic with ice and a slice of cucumber, please!

Thank you for answering my questions and coming on my blog.

You’re welcome! Thanks for having me.


Jo xx

About Rachael

Rachael lives by the seaside in Southport with her partner and their blended family of six children. Occasionally she manages to write a sentence without being interrupted.
Having travelled from the Highlands of Scotland to Australia and back as a child, studied in Northern Ireland, and then worked in Germany, Rachael settled on the Island of Bute in her twenties, where the idea for Sealed with a Kiss was born. She's hoping that the next book won't take quite so long.
For more about Rachael, visit her blog at
chat to her at
or say hello to her on Twitter @karamina
About Sealed with a Kiss

‘Wonderful escapism with a gloriously romantic setting’ Katie Fforde

‘Original, atmospheric, intriguing, romantic and funny - I loved it!’ Christina Jones

‘Reminded me a bit of Jilly Cooper's brilliant first novel, Emily . . .and in my book you can't get higher praise than that’ Emma Lee Potter

‘A wonderfully feel-good read’ Julia Williams


5* Review: "Beautifully written - unputdownable" 
5* Review: "Wonderful and uplifting escapism" 
5* Review: "Romance, gossip, beautiful scenery" 
5* Review: "You'll struggle to put it down" 
5* Review: "A must read for fans of all things Scottish" 
5* Review: "I loved it!" 
5* Review: "Strong sense of setting and characters" 

"A beautifully crafted tale of love and seals on the islands of Scotland, which will make you want to jump on a ferry and discover them for yourself. This book kept me glued to my seat as I explored the island with Kate, laughing and crying as she finds friends, men and puppies in unexpected places. I can’t wait to read what Rachael writes next! - - S.C. Ransom 

Kate breathes a sigh of relief when she's dumped at her best friend's wedding. Faced with moving back home, she takes a job with a cottage on the remote island of Auchenmor. 

Kate's told Auchenmor is too small for secrets, but prickly new boss Roderick is keeping something to himself. When his ex-girlfriend comes back on the scene, their budding friendship comes to an abrupt end - and Kate finds out Fiona's got a sinister motive for coming back to the island she hates. 

Can she be stopped before it's too late, and will the island find its way into Kate's heart?

Sealed with a Kiss is released 8 May 2014.

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