During this crazy time of Covid-19, many authors have had their book launches and events, understandably, but disappointingly, cancelled. In lieu of this, I’ve opened my blog to authors affected by this situation to talk about their new release.
Rachael Johns is an Australian award-winning and best-selling author of both rural romance and women’s fiction (or life-lit as she likes to aptly call it). Her latest release is a long-awaited rural romance called ‘Something To Talk About’ and is out now! It’s a thrill to have Rachael on the blog, and after you read the interview, pop on over to my Facebook or Instagram for your chance to win a copy of ‘Something To Talk About’!
Title: Something To Talk About
Author: Rachael Johns
Published: 20th April 2020
Genre: Rural Romance
It’s the opposite of love at first sight…or is it?
Dairy farmer Tabitha Cooper-Jones has a heart of gold, yet she’s the eternal bridesmaid. Everyone’s best mate. Despite facing some serious challenges over the years, she’s built a successful ice-cream business and cafe, she’s adored by her family and is an integral part of her hometown – there’s just one thing missing from her life. But the last thing Tab wants is a man – or worse, love – to stop her achieving her dream.
In town for a temporary teaching contract, Fergus McWilliams thinks the small community of Walsh will be the perfect place to stay under the radar but he couldn’t be more wrong. Suddenly, the kids’ cricket team coached by Ferg is inundated with female supporters – single female supporters – and that’s only the beginning.
The only woman who doesn’t seem to have her sights set on Ferg is Tabitha. Despite a disastrous first meeting and a visit from a past love, circumstances keep throwing them together. Neither can deny the sparks between them, but can friendship even be possible for these two strong-willed people?
A moving story of overcoming obstacles and learning to love, from ABIA award-winning author Rachael Johns.
From the Author
What inspired you to write this book? Where did the idea come from?
At the launch of TALK OF THE TOWN a couple of years ago, a farmer/teacher friend of mine (who also happened to be my first reader for my first book, JILTED) said I should write about a teacher coming to town and marrying a farmer, because that’s what SO often happens in small country towns. I immediately tried to think of other rural romances with this ‘trope’ and was surprised that none came to mind as it is SUCH a thing in real life. Trying to mix things up, I decided to make my teacher male as (sadly) they’re a still way more female teachers than male ones, and my heroine the farmer!
What sort of research did you need to undertake before/during writing this book?
Most of the dairy farming research I’d already done for TALK OF THE TOWN (and there’s not a lot of actual dairy stuff in this one). The biggest part of the research was finding out what it is like to live as an amputee. My heroine lost her arm in her late teens and I wanted to make her experience as realistic as possible. To do this, I read lots of article and online forums about amputation, but the biggest part of the research was interviewing a friend of mine who lost her arm in exactly the same way my heroine, Tabitha, did. My friend, Lorreen, is amazing and can do almost everything anyone with two functional arms can, sometimes doing it better. She’s a fab knitter and quilter and when my editor questioned how Tabitha could knit, Lorreen filmed a video of herself doing so. She also read my finished draft for a sensitivity and accuracy read. Obviously not everyone’s experience is the same, but I feel I did to my research as best I could where Tabitha is concerned
Do you have a favourite character, or a character who you enjoyed writing the most?
Aw that’s a tough one, but I’d have to say Tabitha. I first wrote about her in TALK OF THE TOWN (which is her brother’s story) and from the moment she appeared on the page – as this gutsy, full of life, strong woman – I knew she deserved her own romance as well.
What was the most challenging thing you found writing this book?
That’s hard to articulate but it’s probably my own self-doubt about whether I actually had a story at all and whether it was too contrived. Neither main character in SOMETHING TO TALK ABOUT have very tangible external goals and therefore I was constantly worrying that I didn’t have enough plot.
What was the key theme or issue that you wanted to get across in this book? And was that something you intended from the start, or something that came apparent during writing?
I think it would have to be about the healing power of true love. That just because you’ve had one (or many) bad experiences in the love department it doesn’t mean you should write off love forever.
How long did it take you to write the book?
Probably about 3 months for the first draft. I’m a pretty consistent 10k a week writer and my rural romances are usually about 120k all up.
What was the highlight for you writing this book?
Finishing it!? Isn’t that always the best part? Nah, seriously, this book was (although trying at times) mostly a joy to write because it was my first rural romance in a few years and I’d almost forgotten how much I enjoyed the genre. I love feeling a part of the community I’m writing and bringing that community to life on the page. I also really enjoyed some of the initial banter between Tab and Ferg, who were both attracted to each other but also annoyed by each other for various reasons.
If your book was made into a movie, what actors could you see in the main roles?
I’m going to go with Liam Hemsworth for Fergus (as I’d love him to start in ALL my movies – lol) and Aussie actress, Phoebe Tonkin, for Tabitha!
Is there anything, in particular, you want potential readers to know when choosing your book as their ‘next read’?
SOMETHING TO TALK ABOUT is a little bit sweet, a little bit sexy and lots of fun – the perfect reading escape during our current tough times.
All The Links
Purchase links for ‘Something To Talk About’
Rachael’s website & social media links
Your chance to Win!
If you would like the chance to win a copy of Rachael’s new novel ‘Something To Talk About’ just head over to the post on either my Instagram or Facebook page and share your favourite Rachael John’s book. Competition closes Sunday 26th April at 11:59pm AEST. Winner drawn at random from the combined comments on Facebook and Instagram. Australian residents only. Best of luck!