Today we travel to Gloucestershire, England to chat with Rachel Sargeant about how a fortune teller, mother-and-baby group days, riding a bicycle, speaking German, life in student halls, swimming, coffee shops, going to the theatre, and Captain Hastings are a part of Rachel’s current and past life.
Tell us about yourself.
Hello, Camilla. Thank you for inviting me to Meeting the Authors. My name is Rachel Sargeant and I’m a full-time author, living in Gloucestershire, England. Brought up in Lincolnshire, I have also lived in London, Shropshire, Germany and Wales and like to feature places I know in my writing. My psychological thrillers are published by HarperCollins and I also have a police procedural published by them. My historical fiction title, based on the 1915 Gallipoli diary of my husband’s grandmother, is self-published.
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer and what ignited your author’s flame?
Right from the reception year at primary school, writing was my favourite school activity. But I drifted away from it in my teenage years when I had to do homework and exams. Twenty years ago I returned to it for the craziest reason. For a bit of fun at a party, I had my palm read by the fortune teller who had been hired in to provide entertainment. She was most insistent that I give writing a go – so I did. The very first short story I wrote won Writing Magazine’s Annual Crime Short Story Competition. That palm reader knew her stuff!
What are you currently reading?
The Mothers by Sarah J. Naughton. This book takes me back to my mother-and-baby group days. How I used to envy the yummy mummies with their immaculate clothes and sleeping-through-the-night babies. This story is about five such mummies. As the story progresses and we see something of their home lives over a three-year period, it turns out that maybe they’re not so yummy after all. When one of the husbands disappears, we smell something decidedly off among the Yankee candles and aromatic supper parties.
List 3 interesting facts about yourself.
I can’t ride a bike.
I have practically no sense of direction.
Oh dear, those two facts are quite negative, aren’t they? A positive one is that I speak German. Sort of.
Where did the idea for your most recent book come from?
I got the idea for The Roommates when I started attending university open days with my children. The atmosphere of my student days came flooding back and I decided a university campus would make a great setting for a novel. My son and daughter ended up having a brilliant time at their chosen university and they had hilarious tales to tell of life in student halls. However, because I’m a psychological thriller writer, I saw real potential in a dark and twisting story that featured lead characters who were away from home for the first time.
What do you do when not writing or marketing your books?
I love swimming, visiting coffee shops and going to the theatre.
If you could have a coffee date with an author or famous person from the past, who would it be and what would you ask them?
Captain Hastings, the great chum of Agatha Christie’s Poirot, would be my guest for afternoon coffee. I’m hopeless at small talk so wouldn’t know what to ask him, but I suspect he would be a great raconteur with tales to tell of his travels in South America and of his exploits with Hercule. I could just sip my drink and listen.
If you could turn into one of your characters for a day, which one would it be and why, what would you do?
I’d love to be Tegan from The Roommates. She’s witty, feisty, entrepreneurial and she has fabulous hair. I’d spend the day bombing about in her open top Mini Sport.
What’s the last movie you watched and why did you choose to watch it?
The last time I went to the cinema was on my daughter’s birthday to see Daniel Radcliffe in The Woman in Black. As that was several years ago, it’s fair to say I’m not a big movie buff. However, now that the cinemas are in lockdown, I really want to go again and will make it a priority when next we have the chance. There are so many things I hope never to take for granted again.
What’s your favourite place to visit in your country and why?
The British seaside on a summer’s day. Sunshine, beach and ice cream. Perfect.
Tell us about your most recent book.
The Roommates is a psychological thriller set on a fictional British university campus during freshers’ week. Four new students, each hiding a secret from their past, find themselves sharing a flat. When one of them suddenly disappears, the others must trust each other and work together to find out what has happened. Little do they realise the danger ahead.
It was wonderful to have you on MTA and to learn more about you and your writing style. I love that you returned to writing due to a fortune teller reading your palm. That’s pretty wild! All the best to you, Rachel. – Camilla
Back cover copy:
THEY LIVE IN YOUR HOUSE
University is supposed to be the best time of your life. But Imo’s first week is quickly going from bad to worse.
YOU SHARE EVERYTHING
A stalker is watching her flat, following her every move, and Imo suspects that her new roommates are hiding dark secrets…
BUT DO YOU TRUST THEM?
When one of them suddenly disappears, the trauma of Imo’s recent past comes hurtling back to haunt her. And she begins to realise just how little she knows about the people she lives with…
FOUR ROOMMATES. FOUR SECRETS. ONE DEVASTATING LIE.
Where to find the book:
The Roommates is available in paperback to order from all good bookshops and in ebook from all platforms, including Amazon.
Links to Rachel’s Books:
The Roommates – https://bit.ly/TheRoommatesRS
The Good Teacher – https://bit.ly/TheGoodTeacherRS
The Perfect Neighbours – https://bit.ly/ThePerfectNeighboursRS
Gallipoli: Year of Love and Duty – https://bit.ly/GallipoliRS
Connect with Rachel:
Website – https://www.rachelsargeant.co.uk/
Twitter – https://twitter.com/RachelSargeant3
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