On deliveries- expected and unexpected.

On Wednesday my book is finally released. I’m finally going to let my baby wander out into the world and keep my fingers crossed that people like it (all reviews welcomed- Goodreads and Amazon. If you like it tell me, if you don’t, then feel free to lie…) It’s been a long road and for a long time I never thought my pet project would get anywhere other than my laptop and an audience on Wattpad who left me great comments (thanks guys, you kept me going).

The date is doubly sweet for me because it’s also my son’s birthday.

This time nine years ago I wasn’t expecting to give birth. The fact that my waters broke on 30th September, five weeks early, was a complete shock. I hadn’t even finished work to start my maternity leave but, having decided not to go out on what would have been my last night out with the staff at my school, I unexpectedly went into labour.

I gave birth to Alexander early on the morning of October 1st. He wasn’t well. His lungs didn’t work but he had hair and fully formed fingernails- go figure how we’ve evolved to prioritise that! He spent ten days in SCBU being looked after by wonderful staff while I stayed in hospital, in shock, and tried to get my head round the fact I was now a mother. I learned the joys of the milking machine, how to get a premature baby to latch on, and just how far a boy baby can wee through the holes in the side of an incubator.

Eventually the hospital decided he was out of danger and let us go home and the learning curve began. For a long time I was just a mum. I tried to survive on no sleep. I had another baby -19 months later and planned -what WAS I thinking???, moved house and settled into a routine of toddler groups, mediocre housewifery and getting through the day. My son has Asperger’s (so does my daughter but she doesn’t yet have the all important piece of paper to prove it). He’s amazingly funny, loves 1970s synth pop, Lego and Minecraft, all of which are beyond me. He took ages to learn to ride a bike and is still rubbish at trying his shoelaces. He’s pedantic and literal but he is also extremely bright and tries hard to face the world that he doesn’t really ‘get’. He loves stories and one day I promise I really will write the one about the crocodiles down the toilet. I can’t believe he’s 9. He’s nearly as tall as I am!

Eventually I went back to work part time, found myself again amid the Playdough and fruit puree (Hey! People want to talk to me! Some of them even seem to like me!) and started to want to think about things again.

So I thought of a story. I don’t even remembered when or how it started but gradually it developed into a workable manuscript and that rest of that tale I’ve already blogged about. A lot of the people who were with me for the birth of my children also held my hand virtually through SYTYCW and right the way up to publication and to them I owe huge thanks that all the in-jokes, silly posts and Benedict Cumberbatch as an otter gifs can’t repay.

I’m posting this now because on Wednesday I’ll be doing my best to keep an eye on both of my creations. I hope people love the story and want to read more. I hope the book sells and gets glowing reviews.

Whatever happens, me and my boy will be going for cake.

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An interview with Rachael Thomas

Since entering ‘So You Think You Can Write’ last year I’ve been lucky to get to know some fabulous writers and I’d like to share some of their stories with you.

Rachael Thomas was one of the Top 10 finalists in So You Think You Can Write 2013. Her debut novel ‘A Deal Before the Altar’ will be released in on October 1st in the Harlequin Presents imprint.

‘Georgina Henshaw will do anything to ensure her younger sister’s happiness—even marry the darkly enigmatic Santos Ramirez! She has just one condition: she’ll wear his ring, but she’ll never share his bed!’

Rachael's forthcoming book can be preordered from Amazon http://www.amazon.co.uk/Deal-Before-Altar-Mills-Modern-ebook/dp/B00M1OL2FK/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1410551753&sr=8-1&keywords=a+deal+before+the+altar
Rachael’s forthcoming book can be preordered from Amazon
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Deal-Before-Altar-Mills-Modern-ebook/dp/B00M1OL2FK/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1410551753&sr=8-1&keywords=a+deal+before+the+altar

Hi Rachael, first I’d like to congratulate you on your success in So You Think You Can Write. I loved your entry and can’t wait to read the book!

Do you have actors/celebrities in mind when you write your characters?
I always have a visual reference of my characters and once I ‘see’ them in my mind I go in search of the perfect picture of actors or celebrities to adorn my writing room wall.

Did you know how the book was going to end when you started writing it?
Obviously I knew the ending was going to be the ‘happy-ever-after’ Harlequin Presents are famous for, but I didn’t know exactly how my characters would arrive at that point. It’s such fun seeing it evolve on the page as I write.

What are you working on at the moment?
I have just started a brand new story and am really excited about where it is going to take me and getting to know my new characters Nikos and Serena.

Where were you when you got the call and how did you celebrate?
When I go the call, it was a wild and windy day and I was about to meet a writing friend for lunch. As I was all but blown along the street, my phone rang and I couldn’t believe it when it was an editor from Mills and Boon. I’d just sent revisions of my competition story in and thought the call may be to discuss those, so was really taken aback when she told me they’d like to buy my book!
After that, my friend and I had lunch, but we were so excited anyone else in the small seaside restaurant must have thought we were mad. I had so many messages on my phone the battery gave up in protest, so when I did get home I had lots of text messages, tweets and Facebook messages to catch up on and of course I opened a bottle of champagne!

Which period in history would you most like to visit?
I love history and have spent many happy hours in grand houses and castles. Despite the luxury of stately homes, it’s the lure of history within the thick castle walls which forever draw me. If I had to pick one period in history it would be the Tudor years.

Is there a song or image that sums up your characters or plot?
I don’t think there is one single song or image that would do that. I have lots of images on my wall and different songs will represent different parts of the story.

Rachael, thanks for talking to me and good luck with your next project.

Thanks Elisabeth for inviting me here and for such great questions.

You can find Rachael on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/rachaelthomasromancewriter?fref=ts