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.
Your novel is called ‘Under Fire’ please could you tell me about it?
When an explosion rocks a Qatari natural gas facility and a submarine disappears on the way to being decommissioned, Dan Taylor is convinced the UK is next in the terrorists’ line of fire.
As Britain enters its worst winter on record, Dan must elude capture to ensure the country’s energy resources are protected. At all costs.
In an action-packed adventure, from the Middle East through the Mediterranean to London, Dan and his team are on a quest which will test every choice he makes. Assisted by the exotic Antonia Almasi, Dan realises he faces an adversary far greater than he ever imagined.
And not everyone is going to survive.
‘Under Fire’ is about Dan Taylor, please could you tell me about him?
Dan was the protagonist in my previous thriller, White Gold, and so many people asked me if I was writing about him again, I sort of felt obliged to! I’ve written Under Fire in such a way that someone can pick it up as a standalone read though, so it doesn’t matter if you’ve only just discovered him.
He’s a bit of a rogue, has his own way of doing things and although he respects authority, he doesn’t always do what he’s told.
After suffering from PTSD for many years, Dan’s now helping with research into new explosive devices when he receives a call for help. He’s unwittingly thrown in at the deep end, with the UK Government threatening prosecution for what he got up to in White Gold but also from the terrorists that seek to destroy the UK’s gas reserves.
If you could give one piece of advice to an aspiring author, what would it be?
Don’t give up.
What can we expect next, any future books in the pipeline?
There certainly are. I’m in the very early stages of a new standalone thriller which features different characters and I’ve got 2-3 other projects in the pipeline. I’m sure somewhere down the track there will be a third Dan Taylor thriller too, as I’ve got an idea buzzing around in my head which involves him and the team.
Was there any book you read as a child that convinced you that you wanted to become a writer? If so, which one was it?
I was at a thriller-writing workshop last year and it was really funny because everyone confessed that they started out with Enid Blyton’s Famous Five series as children – it must be a pre-requisite for writing thrillers or something…!
if there was one saying that could sum up your life, what would it be?
I only saw this quote yesterday and it’s perfect:
“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing” ~ Helen Keller
if you could choose one book that you think everyone should read, what would it be and why?
I guess from a writing perspective, it would have to be Stephen King’s ‘On Writing’. Not only is it a fascinating autobiography but he talks about the writing process in a very accessible way. I’ve probably read it three times now over the years and I always learn something new.
What or who in life inspires you?
For my writing, I’m always inspired by news reports – I’m a news junkie. I read about current affairs, science, history, the environment, health – there’s a whole filing cabinet chock-full of ideas for stories. I think as an author you have to have a thirst for learning – you have to be interested in what goes on around you – even chance comments by people can trigger an idea.
It’s that need to learn which keeps me driven – if I wasn’t writing right now, I’d be studying something.
What is your all-time favourite book?
I always say ‘The Eagle Has Landed’ by Jack Higgins because I read that when I was about 12 or 13 and it was the first real thriller I’d ever read. We were over at my grandparents one weekend and I was stuck for something to read so my Grandad gave me that to get on with – and I absolutely loved it.
I read it again a couple of months ago and it’s still a great story – I highly recommend it to anyone who hasn’t read it before.
‘Under Fire’ is set in different countries. Have you visited these countries and if so which was your favourite?
It’s quite funny actually because I only confessed to someone the other day at a book signing that the on-foot chase scene in Under Fire had a previous incarnation from a short story I’d written when I was about 14 which was inspired by a trip to Malta with my grandparents when I was 11. I’m going back there for a week at the end of September and I can’t wait to see how much has changed all these years later. I’m sure Malta will feature in a future book too.
I love travelling so I guess that’s why my books do tend to have an international flavour to them – if I can write about somewhere I’ve been, it really does help to gain that sense of ‘place’ in my writing. Any excuse to travel is fine by me!
I would like thank Rachel for talking to ‘The Love Of A Good Book’