Who are you and what have you written?
My name’s Rachel Amphlett and I currently live in Brisbane, Australia after emigrating here 11 years ago from the UK.
I have four novels and a short story available in my Dan Taylor espionage thriller series and three standalone thrillers. White Gold, the first in the Dan Taylor series, is published as Oro Bianco by Italy’s TIMECrime, an imprint of Fanucci Editore. To get FREE books by me, JOIN MY MAILING LIST, HERE.
Why do you write crime fiction?
Easy – it’s what I read! I started off reading Enid Blyton’s Famous Five series when I was, erm, five, and by the time I hit my teens I was devouring books by the likes of Jack Higgins, Alistair McLean, and Ed McBain. Over the years I progressed to reading Michael Connelly, Peter James, Lee Child, Robert Crais, Vince Flynn, Ian Rankin, and Daniel Silva – crime fiction’s in my DNA!
What informs your crime writing?
Often it’s overhearing a passing comment that sparks an idea, or seeing a news headline that grabs my attention (although it’s becoming more and more difficult these days to find unbiased news stories).
From there, my brain kicks into “what if?” mode – if the story fits the Dan Taylor series, I’ll develop the idea to suit those characters, otherwise I’ll consider a standalone novel.
What’s your usual writing routine?
Once I’ve got the initial idea in my head, I’ll mull it over for a few days, sometimes longer, and will jot down development ideas in a notebook. I’m always amazed at how much synchronicity happens with a new idea – information will often crop up that fits perfectly into a story.
From that, I can start to think about the story beats and begin to outline a rough plot – I tend to use index cards first and these days, I tend to divide it up into five Acts. It’s just something that works better for me.
Once I’ve shuffled the index cards around and have everything flowing, I’ll transpose those into a spreadsheet and build on the scenes I’ve got – a line or two about what happens in that scene and whose POV it is (I write third person narrative). After that’s done, I set it up in Scrivener and start writing.
These days, the first draft comes together very quickly because of the planning I do up front – no more than 12 weeks at most.
Which crime book do you wish you’d written and why?
Jim Butcher’s Harry Dresden series. A Chicago PI who happens to be a wizard? Genius.
The stories always hit the spot – you get adrenalin, action and humour, as well as moments where you have to wipe tears from your eyes to keep reading.
He’s not afraid to kill off major characters, too and I think that’s an indication of just how good a writer Jim Butcher is.