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Out of the Blue by Sophie Cameron Read the opening extract of the brand new Sophie Cameron book before its publication on 22/03/2018

Alison Rattle Book and Novel

Alison Rattle - Author

Alison Rattle grew up in Liverpool, and now lives in a medieval house in Somerset with her three teenage children, her partner - a carpenter - an extremely naughty Jack Russell and a ghost cat. She has co-authored a number of non-fiction titles on subjects as diverse as growing old, mad monarchs, how to boil a flamingo, the history of America and the biography of a nineteenth-century baby killer. She has worked as a fashion designer, a production controller, a painter and decorator, a barmaid, and now owns and runs a vintage tea room.

A Q&A with Alison

What inspires your writing?

The weather, my moods, a photograph, a sentence in a book, memories, emotions.

What has been the most exciting moment of your career so far?

Having Sylvester McCoy (the seventh Dr. Who!) read out a poem of mine in front of an audience at the Nottingham Playhouse when I was about 10, was pretty exciting. But receiving a phone call from my agent Jo, telling me she had landed me a two-book deal with Hot Key Books, has definitely now eclipsed that experience!

How did you first become an author?
By pure luck. A writer friend asked for my help in writing a book he had been commissioned to write but didn’t have the time for. It was a book about ghosts.

What are you reading right now?
Julie Myerson Then, Sally Gardner Maggot Moon, Sebastian Barry The Secret Scripture

What was your earliest career aspiration?

To be a writer or fashion designer. I did the designer bit first. It seemed a more obtainable goal somehow.

What advice would you give to budding writers?
As always - read, read, read ‘til your eyes pop out. Write about what interests you and moves you, not what you think people want to read. Be happy in your own company and don’t ever become a writer for the financial rewards!

What was your favourite childhood book?
As a very young child it was Enid Blyton’s Hollow Tree House. I read it over and over again and would have given anything to live in a secret tree house. As a teenager I loved Deborah Moggach’s Porky and Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World.

Where is your favourite place to write?
I wish my favourite place to write was at home. I would have peace and quiet and an endless supply of free tea. I just can’t do it at home though. I get too distracted by dirty floors and piles of ironing. So I take myself off to a well known high street café where I spend a fortune on crappy frappes and muffins and where the hum of voices around me create the perfect writing environment - for me anyway.

How do you read- print, digitally or both?
I totally read print. Can’t beat the sound and feel of real pages.

Who do you most admire?
My partner’s 90 year old grandmother. She is intellectually vibrant, has very strong opinions, can crack a joke, operate a computer and buys her clothes from TopShop!

Are there any books you wish you had written?
Maria McCann As Meat Loves Salt, John Irving Cider House Rules, James Bradley The Resurrectionist, Markus Zusak The Book Thief. I could go on and on.

Featured Books, with extracts, by Alison Rattle

The Madness by Alison Rattle
Reader Reviewed The Madness
Alison Rattle
March 2014 New Gen Book of the Month. A heartbreaking love story set at the Victorian seaside. Crippled Marnie, daughter to a ‘dipper’, a woman who helps Victorian ladies enjoy the seawater,...
Format: Paperback - Released: 06/03/2014
The Quietness by Alison Rattle
Reader Reviewed The Quietness
Alison Rattle
One of our Books of the Year 2013 Two girls from different social classes meet by chance and discover that their lives are unusually intertwined. Queenie grows up in squalor and poverty; her beautiful mother sells her body to feed...
Format: Paperback - Released: 07/03/2013

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