Coffee Talk: Rachel Amphlett

By: Rachel Amphlett

1. How did you get published?

I started off by approaching agents with a view to going down the “traditional” publishing path in 2011. I received a lot of good feedback for the White Gold manuscript, however most agents replied saying that although they loved the story, their publishing clients weren’t looking for a book like it at the time.

I felt that I had a good story on my hands, and I didn’t want it to go to waste so I approached an author here in Australia, Vicki Tyley, who had been doing well as an indie author using Smashwords. After exchanging a few emails with her to find out what it was all about, I decided to become an independent author. I haven’t looked back since.

2. What was your inspiration for writing "Under Fire?"

While I was researching White Gold there was a particularly nasty winter in 2010 in the UK. I’m a bit of a nerd when it comes to poring over news websites so I filed the story away, thinking that was something I might use in future.

Once White Gold was published, I dug out the story and started researching other news sites from the time and it transpired that the British government nearly ran out of gas supplies during that winter because demand was so high.

I spent a couple of months reading government research papers, think-tank articles and the like, and that got me thinking – what if it happened again, and someone used that situation to blackmail the British government? Under Fire spawned out of that research.

3. What do you find is the most challenging part of being an author?

Putting away the research and starting the writing – having the confidence to get going, knowing that you can fill in the gaps in your knowledge later on.

That and not starting until you’re truly ready. I know that sounds really weird after my first statement, but I’ve found with my current WIP (a romantic suspense novel), that I’m writing faster because I wrote a “treatment” the same as screenwriters do, and then split that out into a chapter plan before I started writing. It’s made the whole writing process more productive and a lot less stressful.

I’ve learnt a lot about marketing the past year too – and continue to do so. I’d encourage aspiring authors to spend time learning about marketing their work before releasing it – something I could have done better before publishing White Gold.

4. What do you find is the best part of being an author?

Helping other authors. I’m a firm believer in the ‘pay it forward’ school of thought. There are no secrets in this business. It’s good having built up a network of other authors who I can compare ideas, commiserate on rough days, and share the good times with.

5. What is ONE thing that you have done that brought you more readers?

Learning more about effective SEO and marketing techniques – see above!

6. What's one thing that your readers would be surprised to know about you?

I play a mean air guitar.

7. What are your top 3 tips for writing great thrillers?
Have a great opening sequence
Leave your readers wanting more at the end
Have fun writing it

8. Who is one author you'd love to have dinner with and what would you order?

Keith Richards. I know that’s cheating but he’s my guitar hero and he has written an autobiography so it counts! I’d order the pistachio encrusted barramundi with spinach leaves, cherry tomatoes and kipfler potatoes from one of our local restaurants we go to for special occasions – it’s divine!

About the Author

Rachel Amphlett previously worked in the UK publishing industry, played lead guitar in rock bands, and worked with BBC radio before relocating from England to Australia in 2005. After returning to writing, Rachel enjoyed publication success both in Australia and the United Kingdom with her short stories. In August 2011, Rachel published her first thriller, 'White Gold', as an eBook with a paperback version being released in 2012. A further Dan Taylor thriller, 'Under Fire', was released in August 2013. A standalone romantic suspense novel is scheduled for release in 2014, while two more projects are currently being researched, including the third instalment in the Dan Taylor series.