Today’s feature post is my Q&A with author Rachael Herron! In celebration of Rachael’s newly released novel The Songbird’s Call as part of the Songbird’s Of Darling Day series. Welcome to Talking Books Blog Rachael!
What was the most difficult aspect to write in the series so far?
Strangely (and this is SO weird), this series has been a joy to write. Usually I struggle like crazy with first drafts, and I wander around the house cussing and moaning like a mad woman, but these books are just so fun to write. I love these women, three strong, country-singing sisters whose band broke up a long time ago. In the process of finding their way back to each other, they each find love along the way. The hardest part is that all three of them are songwriters, so I’ve had to add songwriting as a skill to my toolbox. And while that’s difficult, I’m intrigued by how interesting songwriting is as a genre. Bonus!
Which character was the most challenging to write about in The Songbird’s Call?
The sheriff was easy. I spent many years working in a police department, so I know how cops work and think. The hard part was writing Molly. I wanted to make sure I got her right. She’s a zaftig woman, with very real curves. And in fact, during her entire professional singing career, she got a lot of bad press about her weight. In the book, she’s still not a slim girl, and in fact, that’s one of the things the sheriff loves best about her. But I wanted to make sure I got it all right – it was important to me that she loved herself first, before she could love anyone else.
What are you favourite stand out reads and why?
My own books are contemporary, but they are set on the western coast of California. I’m a big Western buff, and right now I’m enjoying a book called Sawbones, by Melissa Lenhardt, about a female doctor in the Old West. It’s raw and very lovely. I also devour anything Sherry Thomas, Eloisa James, or Kristan Higgins writes. They’re my auto-buys.
What inspires you to write fiction?
For 17 years, I was a 911 dispatcher (while writing books at the same time). I think that hearing the beginning of so many awful stories made me want to fix them, fictionally. By taking emergency calls, I also learned that love always sounds the same, no matter what language is spoken. In every culture, love is the most important thing of all, and that’s a beautiful thing. I love bringing that background to my books, not only in the tale of romance, but the story of family, too.
What can readers expect next in the series?
Right now, I’m working on Lana’s story. She’s the youngest daughter, the prodigal one, and she’s reluctantly come home to her sisters. She has an attitude and I’m really enjoying the way she’s landing on the page. Lana makes me laugh with her sheer stubborn streak. She keeps surprising me, and in return I like surprising her with her hero, Taft Hill, who brooks none of her nonsense, nosiree. He comes to town to buy some more songs from her, but ends up changing her tune, instead. I love it when characters go head-to-head, when each of their flaws become visible, when all of their strengths complement each other and make each other stronger.
About The Songbird’s Call by Rachael Herron
The story of the three Darling sisters continues in this sparkling romantic comedy of love, courage and finding your own voice.
Once Adele, Molly and Lana were the Darling Songbirds, a world-famous country band. Now they are just three sisters who barely speak. But that is about to change. Because their uncle has bequeathed them his business, the Golden Spike – a struggling bar, a rundown cafe and a near derelict hotel in Darling Bay.
With Adele settled as proprietor of the bar, middle sister Molly arrives in town, and is immediately drawn to the neglected little cafU where she worked as a teenager. Could she – dare she – bring it back to life?
As lead singer, Molly had always been the ‘voice’ of the band. Yet, caught between controlling big sis Adele and demanding baby sister Lana, she never felt she was being heard. If she’s going to reopen the cafU, she’ll do it on her own terms. She won’t be bossed around again.
So the last person she should fall for is the handsome Sheriff Colin McMurty – the man whose job it is to tell people exactly what to do . . .”
Release Date: August 29, 2016
Imprint: Bantam Australia
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The Songbird’s Of Darling Day Series
About Rachael Herron
Working full time from a fire station in the San Francisco Bay area, Rachael has been a 911 fire/medical dispatcher for 15 years now. Working on a two-day-on, four-day-off roster, it’s a job she loves, as it gives her plenty of downtime to pursue what she describes as her ‘career and calling’, writing.
You may think a job such as hers would expose Rachael to a world of despair; instead she finds it inspiring. ‘I get a window into the human condition every time I answer the phone! I’ve learned that grief sounds the same in every language, and more, that love does, too. I’ve heard people do extreme, amazing things in the name of love, and that love spreads to strangers, often. It’s truly incredible, what people will do to help others. I can go from giving CPR instructions to a husband working on his elderly wife right into coaching a dad into catching his new son as he’s born.’
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