Kate Boorman and I met at the Surrey International Writers'…
I met Rachel Green in an online writing community back in the mists of time (2004), when I was newly returned to writing fiction. Rachel’s characters, Harold and Jasfoup, their town, and their world, were already well established and much loved by the members of that community. Her Laverstone stories are imaginative and fun to read, and full of the sly British wit I delight in. They led me back into the world of paranormal fiction, a world I continue to really enjoy. Rachel and I are both members of another online writing community, which is putting out an anthology of short stories very soon. It was my pleasure and privilege to edit Rachel’s story for that anthology.
RACHEL GREEN is a forty-something writer from Derbyshire. She lives with her two partners and two dogs. Although primarily a novelist, she also writes plays and poetry. When not writing, Rachel walks her dogs, potters in the garden, and trains in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu and KAPAP six days a week. She twitters a haiku daily. She can also be found on Facebook (leatherdykeuk) and Twitter (@leatherdykeuk)
Please tell us about your book.
An Ungodly Child (May 2012, Zumaya Publications’ Arcane imprint) is an urban fantasy/humour novel about a young man, his oddly sympathetic demon, and their quest to find a cure for an illness delivered by the Angel of Pestilence herself. I wrote a whole slew of short stories featuring Harold and Jasfoup, and then I hammered them into a novel, over the course of about three years.
What is your favourite part of this book, and why?
Harold’s mum, Ada. For an old lady, she has a voracious sexual appetite. I can’t think who she’s based upon.
Where do you write from?
My desk at home in Derbyshire, England. Almost always on the computer, though I write notes and proof in longhand.
What is one essential part of your writing process?
Always a cup of tea.
Where can people find you on the web (blog, websites where stories are published)?
What about in real life (appearances, tours, conventions)?
Very rarely – I’m not well known enough as an author, though I sometimes attend poetry readings.
What is your favourite movie?
Blade Runner. I think it was the first truly classic film with a perfect twist in the storytelling. I still haven’t worked out if Harrison Ford’s character, Deckard, was a replicant himself.
What is the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever been given?
Write every day (Terry Pratchett).
Who has influenced your writing, and how?
Iain Banks. I’ve always liked him, right from The Wasp Factory. His seamless integration of the everyday and the surreal makes me applaud every time, and his twists are always a surprise, despite the prior telegraphing of events. When I read A Steep Approach to Garberdale, I had to check it was an Iain Banks novel and not a Rachel Green.
What’s something personal about you that people might be surprised to know?
I’m trained in sixteenth-century Italian rapier fighting, cutlass, sabre, broadsword, and staff.
What are you working on now?
I’ve been working on Damaged Goods for two years. It’s the story of a bullied teenager and her fight with depression, aided (or hindered) by demons.
My latest novel, Looking for Sally has been picked up by BackChannel press and will be released at the beginning of 2016.
If you self-publish, how did you decide to self-publish and what avenues do you use?
I generally self-publish a collection of poetry every year. The poor souls I feel affection for get a copy for Christmas. I don’t have an agent at the moment, but I’m always hopeful of finding one.
You don’t have an agent, and you didn’t self-publish. How did your first book get published?
I entered a competition for ‘new talent’, which had to be a first novel by an unknown author. I came third, I believe, and won the prize of publication. The first edition of An Ungodly Child was largely unedited and was actually worse than the manuscript I submitted. Before that press vanished, the book was taken up as part of an English Department “Sympathy for the Devil” course in Toronto. The professor there was able to assist me in getting the novel placed with Zumaya, who performed a proper edit.
What are one or two of your big learning experiences or surprises in establishing yourself as an author?
Nobody really reads anymore. The internet slang “tl;dr” applies everywhere. Everybody who reads my books loves them, but they never want to pay money for them. (Interviewer’s note: For the record, I paid money for my copy. Praise doesn’t pay the bills!)
Finally, Is there anything I haven’t asked, that you’d like to tell our readers?
I adapted An Ungodly Child into a stage play, with a special twist not revealed in the novel. There’s a published sequel to the novel, called Sons of Angels. I’ve also written several non-Harold novels set in Laverstone. Jasfoup appears by permission of the Eternal Darkness.
Many thanks to Rachel for breaking the ice on this new feature. Please check our her blog and her books.
If you know an emerging author or you are one, especially one with a book or other project to promote, let me know and let’s see if we can’t spread that word of mouth a little further!