AUSSIE MONTH with Rachel Amphlett
Describe yourself in one word:
What is your background with regard to writing?
I started out writing short stories while I was still at school, and then worked as a sub-editor in the non-fiction sphere of economics, law and socio-political environments. When we emigrated here to Australia I found time to return to short story writing, and after some of those were published or won competitions, it gave me the confidence to tackle my first novel, White Gold. Now I balance my writing with a full-time job and helping other emerging writers wherever I can.
Tell us about Before Nightfall:
Before Nightfall tells the story of Kate Foster, who takes on a new role in Istanbul with an international electronics company. Before she is allowed to travel, she has to undertake a hostage survival course – which she almost fails.
Her instructor, Finn Scott, is adamant she shouldn’t be allowed to travel, but her new boss overrules him.
Six months later in Istanbul, the unthinkable happens, and Kate is kidnapped at gunpoint. Finn is brought in to rescue her, but uncovers a tangled web of lies and treachery. The only way he will find Kate before the kidnappers’ deadline is to overcome the demons of a previous failed hostage attempt, and work out who he can trust.
What inspired this novel?
I had the opening sequence in my head for a little while, where Kate Foster is tied to a chair with a sack over her head – it was really vivid and wouldn’t go away, so I then had to work out why she was in that situation.
I’d just released my second novel, Under Fire, and we were holidaying in Malta for a week on the way back from visiting relatives in the UK. At the end of the week, we’d booked onto a sailing cruise from Sliema and as usual, I took a book with me and my notebook and pen. I think it was because I was so relaxed, but within half an hour I’d begun to frantically scribble down the plot outline and by the time the yacht got back into harbour, the whole story was outlined!
It’s certainly my love of travelling and exploring that keeps me inspired with my writing – and Before Nightfall was no different.
What are you reading right now?
For Valour, by Andy McNab – yes, a bit far removed from the romance genre but I’m about to start writing the third in my Dan Taylor thriller series so I need to get back into that headspace for a while!
Number one thing to do on your bucket list?
I’m a firm believer in not having a bucket list – if something appeals to me, I get on with it. It helps that I have no desire to jump out of a perfectly good aircraft or fling myself off a bridge attached to a bit of elastic though!
Best thing about being an Aussie?
The freedom. If you want to do something and don’t mind working hard to achieve it, anything is possible here.
What you want readers to know about the romance genre?
Everyone’s really friendly and supportive of each other – I’ve made lots of friends since joining the RWA and they even love my thrillers, so that’s great encouragement. There’s a real philosophy of “paying it forward” that I haven’t really found in other genres.
What have you got in store for your readers in 2015? A new romantic suspense entitled Mistake Creek set in California, a new political thriller Look Closer set in London, and I’m going to be writing the third in my Dan Taylor thriller series
What were your big achievements of 2014? Seeing my standalone romantic suspense Before Nightfall becoming a bestseller – a relief after the terror of dipping my toe into another genre! – and selling the foreign rights to my first Dan Taylor thriller, White Gold to TimeCrime in Italy.
“If they move you, they will kill you.”
Kate Foster is quick to forget the advice from a pre-deployment hostage survival course once she’s catapulted into a new job in Eastern Europe, despite the good-looking instructor. But a simple day’s task in Istanbul six months later goes horribly wrong.
Trapped and alone, her only hope of survival is the man who trained her – ex-FBI Hostage Rescue Specialist, Finn Scott.
For Finn, it’s his worst nightmare. Kate was the one person he almost let into his heart. Haunted by memories of a failed hostage rescue, he is thrust into a situation beyond his control. Now, against a sinister adversary whose ambitions will split apart Eastern Europe, Finn must overcome his demons to prevent an international catastrophe, and avoid losing Kate forever.