This week I’m again taking part in the Books on Tour blog series — this time to help author Rachel Nightingale share details of her latest release, Columbine’s Tale (Odyssey Books), which sounds perfect for young readers with an interest in fantasy, intrigue and a hint of romance.
You may recall that I previously featured author Kellie Byrnes and her children’s picture book Cloud Conductor (illustrated by Ann-Marie Finn and published by Wombat Books) in this series, and Anne Donnelly who wrote and illustrated Ori’s Clean-Up, a picture book that introduces children to some important messages about recycling and environmental sustainability.
I hope you’ll enjoy getting to know a little bit about Rachel through her answers to my questions. You can find more Books on Tour posts about Rachel and Columbine’s Tale by following the links at the end of this post.
Q. Rachel, how would you describe the work that you do and how you do it?
A. I create magical worlds and people them with characters who are curious, brave and adventurous. Every book is a combination of research, daydreaming and writing. I love every part of the process and I love seeking out inspiration, in books and pictures and the world around me.
Q. What can you tell us about your latest writing project/book release?
A. Columbine’s Tale is the second book in the Tales of Tarya series, which is about the power of creativity. It’s about a young woman, Mina, who discovers that when she tells stories she can change the world. She joins a troupe of travelling actors and becomes bound up in romance, danger and a long hidden secret.
Q. Where are the main bookcases in your home or office? Do you also keep books in other places at home (or elsewhere)?
A. I have bookcases everywhere! The bathroom and kitchen are the only rooms without bookcases. There’s one in every bedroom, the study and the hallway.
Q. How are your books organised/arranged?
A. It varies by room. Each of the kids has their own bookcase and filing system. My son has a very long bookcase and one entire shelf is Terry Pratchett, in order of publication. My husband tends to group his by topic so there are different sizes grouped together. I like the look of having taller books together and shorter ones together, so mine are generally by author or topic, but size plays a role too.
Q. What sorts of books predominate?
A. We’ve got everything. We homeschooled both kids at various times, so there are all sorts of non-fiction, educational books, as well as many genres of fiction, Eastern philosophy, historical costuming, Celtic mythology… A wide range.
Q. Describe your favourite reading place.
A. Real or fantastical? Real would be a chair in the living room, with a soft blanket, my cat nestled in my lap, my dog next to me and a cup of tea and a couple of chocolates on the table. Fantastical would be a hideaway somewhere warm, with a view of the sea or the forest. But still with a cup of tea and chocolates.
Q. What book/s are you reading right now? Why did you choose that book/those books and what do you think of it/them so far?
A. I’ve just started a book called The Mermaid, by Christina Henry. It starts out like a traditional fairy tale, with a lonely fisherman catching and releasing a mermaid. The writing is beautiful, mythic and traditional. But from the look of the description it’s going to go in an interesting direction so I’m really curious to read on. It came in my last Never Never Book Box, which is a fantastic spec fiction subscription box that comes with books and treats every two months.
Q. What are your favourite books and/or who are your favourite authors?
A. I love the Dark is Rising series by Susan Cooper, which brings in elements of British and Welsh myth so brilliantly. Anything by Ursula Le Guin is a fantastic read. And I just finished the Verity Fassbinder urban fantasy series set in Brisbane by Australian Angela Slatter – they are hilarious, great story telling and resonate with all sorts of mythical characters.
Q. In the event of an emergency, if you could save just three books from your collection, which books would they be – and why would you choose them?
A. I would have to take the ones that are irreplaceable. Most books I could buy again, but the two my Dad wrote are hard to find now so I would have to take them. The third one would be Chase the Moon, by Catherine Nicolson, which inspires me so much with its romantic story and lush descriptions. Such a beautiful book, and again, hard to find, so I couldn’t possibly leave it behind.
Follow Rachel on the Books on Tour blog series on these sites:
Tuesday 23 October www.karentyrrell.com
Thursday 25 October www.readforfun.com.au
Friday 26 October www.littlebigreads.com
Monday 29 October http://sharingyourstory.com.au/
Tuesday 30 October www.carolyndenman.com
Wednesday 31 October blog.boomerangbooks.com.au
Thursday 1 November www.nikkireads.blog
Friday 2 November www.intheirownwrite.wordpress.com