Paula Xiberras

Rachael began her romance with romance when she wrote the story of her break up with her primary school sweetheart, which caused her to write an eight thousand word tome containing everything she and her love said to each other, Rachael suggests this might have been a bit boring to readers but her love for writing romance did not wane and after time teaching she completed a creative writing degree and subsequently began writing romantic fiction.

I spoke to Rachael recently and she told me she has many fans on her face book site from Tasmania and a visit to how state is high on her priorities and may happen in November to coincide with the publication of her latest book.

At the moment Rachael is on the publicity trail for her most recent book ‘Talk of the town’ and that is the book we have organised to set up a chat about.

The novel is the story of Lawson Cooper Jones, his young son Ned and their farm. Lawson has lost his wife and despite the efforts to rustle up some romance by local girl Adeline Walsh he is not ready for another relationship. That is until the novels other protagonist the lovely Meg arrives at Rose Hill. Meg however is a complicated girl running away from a difficult past and setting up home in the town’s deserted general store. Meg is also not looking for a relationship but Lawson’s son Ned has other ideas immediately warming to Meg and encouraging his dad to form a friendship with her. The jealous Adeline, not keen on the blossoming relationship in Rose Hill does a bit of investigating and what she discovers could destroy the burgeoning relationship.

Some of ‘Talk of the Towns’ inspiration was gathered from Rachel asking her face book readers if they believed in ghosts, of which the majority of those surveyed replied they did. The possibility of ghosts is incorporated into the story with her heroine Meg experiencing a paranormal presence.

Rachael has taken a risk in creating a heroine who isn’t perfect, as the usual criteria for a romantic heroine is they be a sympathetic character to ensure reader engagement. Yet, Rachael has given us a very real and identifiable character for readers in the lovely Meg, a young woman who has suffered tragedy and because of it been on a downward spiral, resulting in making mistakes and learning from them,

Rachael believes romance fiction is popular because it allows readers to escape to a different environment where community is important and supportive. Rachael says even a 26 year old bloke from Julia Creek said he loved the romance in her books.

‘The Talk of the Town’ is out now published by Harlequin