Rachael Featherstone is the author of Puzzle Girl which was published by Dome Press on 10 January 2018.
Rachael kindly answered a few of my questions.
1. Tell us a little about Puzzle Girl.
Cassy is a rising star in the world of digital marketing and everything in her life is on track (so says the checklist in her notebook) except: long-term boyfriend Seph has dumped her, Martin is trying to steal her promotion and she’s just been knocked over by a cyclist and is stranded in a doctors’ surgery. With nothing better to do she scribbles in a crossword book in the surgery waiting room. When she returns for a check-up someone has left her a cryptic message. Convinced it must be fate, she is determined to track down the mysterious Puzzle-man, but at what cost?
2. What inspired the book?
My mum. When she was diagnosed with terminal ovarian cancer in 2012, I left my city job to look after her. But I also needed an escape and I decided to write a romantic comedy. I spent many hours in hospital waiting-rooms with my mum and as I sat, staring at the stack of old magazines, the idea came into my head: what if someone had left a cryptic message in one of them?
3. Are you a plan, plan, plan writer or do you sit down and see where the words take you?
I am 100% a planner. I plan EVERYTHING. Granted, if you read one of my plans it wouldn’t look anything like the finished novel. While I have a solid outline, I’m not afraid to change it – it’s there to help me stay on track, not to block my creativity.
4. Having been through the publishing process is there anything about the process of creating a novel that surprised you?
Not so much the actual creation of the novel itself – I’d spent far too many hours listening to talks at festivals and procrastinating on the internet, reading people’s experiences of editing, book covers and marketing to be surprised – but the one thing none of that could prepare me for, was how overwhelming it would feel when my agent and publisher emailed me with blurb quotes from some absolutely incredible, established authors whom I idolise. It was (and still is) one of the best moments in my publishing journey.
5. What do you do when you aren’t writing? What do you do to relax and get away from it all?
When I’m not writing it’s all about quality family time with my husband and daughter. Honestly though, writing is the thing I tend to do to relax. But not necessarily writing novels. I often take a break from novel writing by writing short stories, I love the freedom of them – I can try out new styles and voices and best of all I can usually write (and edit) them in a day!
6. If you could only read one book for the rest of your life which book would it be?
Emma by Jane Austen. It is timeless and whenever I re-read it, I always take something new from it.
7. I like to end my Q&As with the same question so here we go. During all the Q&As and interviews you’ve done what question have you not been asked that you wish had been asked – and what’s the answer?
What a great question!
Q: Alongside being a book blogger, my day job is working as a Hollywood film producer, please could I make Puzzle Girl into a movie?
About the book
Love is a riddle, waiting to be solved…
Clued-up career girl Cassy Brookes has life under control until one disastrous morning changes everything. When she finds herself stuck in a doctor’s surgery, a cryptic message left in a crossword magazine sends her on a search to find the mysterious puzzle-man behind it.
Cassy is soon torn between tracking down her elusive dream guy, and outwitting her nightmare workmate, the devious Martin. Facing a puzzling love-life, will she ever be able to fit the pieces together and discover the truth behind this enigmatic man?
About the author
Rachael Featherstone was born and raised in Woodford. Her path to writing was a little unorthodox. After reading Mathematics at Oxford University, New College, Rachael went to work in research.
When Rachael’s mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer in 2012, Rachael decided to take a chance, quit her job, and fulfil a life time ambition to write a novel. She went back to university and completed a Masters in English Literature and had several short stories published.
Rachael now lives in Hampshire with her husband, Tim and daughter Elodie.