One to Watch
(Detective Kay Hunter #3)
by Rachel Amphlett
Tour Start Date: 30th May 2017
Tour Finish Date: Monday 12th June 2017
Publication Date: 6th June 2017
Facebook Launch Party: https://www.facebook.com/events/260632617734873/
What process do you follow for your writing? Are you a planner or do you just let it flow? Straight to PC or pen and paper?
I tend to have a pretty good idea of the direction I’m going in – I’ll sketch out a five-act structure, similar to what screenwriters have, and then for all the scenes that are going around in my head I’ll jot down a few bullet points. That continues to grow until I’m at a point where I can crack on and write the story. I’ll still have about a quarter of the book that I have no idea what’s going to happen, but I don’t worry about it because I’ve learned that as the story unfolds and the characters develop, it’ll take care of itself. I use a programme called Scrivener to plot and write in, but I still use a pen and notebook for odds and ends. Sometimes if the words aren’t flowing using a computer, it’s good to go back to writing longhand. For the last three books, I’ve also used dictation software, and that’s really speeded up the process for me.
Do you attend writing/author focused conferences? Which is your favourite?
I attended CrimeFest in Bristol in 2016, and I’ll be flying back to the UK in July for Harrogate – ideally, I’d like to alternate between the two going forward. At the moment, there aren’t any dedicated crime fiction festivals in Australia, so it’s worth my while getting on a plane and coming back to the UK for those. It’s just a great time hanging out with readers and writers who love the genre – I returned from CrimeFest so fired up about starting the Kay Hunter series, and I can’t wait to see what happens after Harrogate. Attending festivals is like recharging the creative batteries, but I can’t pick a favourite yet, as there are so many I haven’t been to, such as Deal Noir and Newcastle Noir, that I’d like to get to one day!
How many manuscripts do you have that you never submitted? Will you consider approaching your publisher with them now?
After sending out White Gold to agents and publishers in early 2011 and receiving responses along the lines of “it’s a great story, but we’re not looking for anything like this right now”, I’ve never submitted a manuscript to an English-language agent or publisher again as I discovered indie publishing. Every single manuscript I’ve written has been published, and One to Watch will be the tenth. Now, that’s not to say I won’t approach an agent or a publisher in future – I really like the idea of working with an agent (if there are any agents reading this who want to talk, please contact me – I’m sinking under some of the things I’m trying to achieve with my writing business!), and I’m also keen to work with a publisher in future, but it has to be for the right project. I’m traditionally published in Italy and Germany, so I already feel like I’ve got the best of both worlds.
What one piece of advice do you wish you received before you started writing? What one piece of intended good advice, wasn’t what it seemed?
I wish I’d known that it wasn’t a good idea to publish my first book without having books two and three in the barrel to publish soon afterwards to build on momentum! In my defence, I wrote my first book, White Gold, for myself. It’s just that when people read it, they really liked it and so I found myself on the journey of submitting to agents and publishers, then publishing it myself, and then having readers email me to ask when the next book was coming out – suddenly I had a series on my hands! As for so-so advice, I was uncomfortable to promote so much on Twitter but on advice from another author tried it out for six months. I don’t really think it’s for me though, so I’ve eased back – that particular social media platform suits me much better for networking to be honest. I’ve connected with many interesting people through Twitter from all walks of life so for me, it’s more of a fun thing than an aspect of my business these days.
What is your favourite thing about the whole writing process?
My favourite thing about the writing process is when that little spark of an idea first enters my head. It can be from an overheard conversation, reading a news report, or simply thinking “What if?”. There’s something really magical about how that grows into a whole book.
What is your favourite thing about the whole writing process? Was there a particular book that made you sit up and think ‘that’s it, I’m going to be an author too’?
Well, when I was at primary school I wrote a short story that riffed off the Famous Five books I was reading at the time, and that seemed to go down all right with classmates (they were probably just being polite!), but the book that made me sit up and think “that’s what I want to do!” was The Eagle Has Landed by Jack Higgins. I have a love of history anyway thanks to my parents, but it was my granddad who took that book off the shelf for me to read one rainy weekend when I was about twelve or thirteen years old. I still read it every few years, along with Nerve by Dick Francis, another author I’ve been reading from about the same age.
Who do you envisage as playing your characters if your book was ever turned into a movie?
Oooh, this is always such a tough question! In the past, I’ve made suggestions but there are so many great actors coming up through the ranks of theatre and film that I’d hate to place a particular face in readers’ minds. I think when it comes to picking actors to play characters, I’ll leave it to the producers and directors and trust their judgement!
What do you consider is your greatest accomplishment?
I think my greatest accomplishment is that I’m still here, six years later, as an indie/hybrid author publishing quality stories on a regular basis when so many of my contemporaries from 2011 have simply stopped. I’m immensely proud of the fact that my books are now available as audiobooks, and I’m even more proud of the fact that I have an amazing relationship with my readers, and I love the conversations I’m able to have with writers, agents and publishers about the business side of things.
Rachel Amphlett is the bestselling author of the Dan Taylor espionage novels and the new Detective Kay Hunter series, as well as a number of standalone crime thrillers.
Originally from the UK and currently based in Brisbane, Australia, Rachel’s novels appeal to a worldwide audience, and have been compared to Robert Ludlum, Lee Child and Michael Crichton.
She is a member of International Thriller Writers and the Crime Writers Association, with the Italian foreign rights for her debut novel, White Gold, being sold to Fanucci Editore’s TIMECrime imprint in 2014, and the first four books in the Dan Taylor espionage series contracted to Germany’s Luzifer Verlag in 2017