Q&A with Rachel Hore

Today I’m taking part in the blog tour for Rachel Hore’s new book Last Letter Home – Rachel has kindly answered a few of my questions about the book.  I’m in the middle of reading Last Letter Home at the moment and won’t say too much because I plan to review it soon. I will admit that I’m really enjoying it.

Can you describe Last Letter Home in 6 words or less?

‘Love, loss and secrets in wartime’ is my best shot.

Where did you get the idea for Last Letter Home from?

I love wandering round old walled gardens that you sometimes see at National Trust houses – the one at Felbrigg Hall in Norfolk is a pretty special example.  They’re where the fruit, vegetables and flowers for the household were cultivated and to me they feel safe and secret places.  It was easy to dream up a love story from the Second World War in such a setting, when the lovers were parted and the flower and herb beds ploughed up to grow food on a more industrial scale.

What was your favourite character or scene to write in Last Letter Home and why?

I enjoyed writing some of the wartime action scenes in Egypt and Italy, in which I tried to get into the minds of the soldiers.  What they went through is completely beyond anything in my own experience and it involved a great deal of reading and imagining for me to be able to attempt to evoke it in words.

Do you have a favourite of the books you’ve written and why?

All of my books have aspects that make them my favourites, but the one I wrote with most passion was THE GLASS PAINTER’S DAUGHTER.  It must be the mixture of music, art, church music and the pain of unrequited love that made it so emotional to write.

What’s your number 1 piece of advice for someone starting out in writing?

This is not original to say, but it’s the truth: read.  It’s not impossible, but it’s unlikely, that you’ll write something wonderful without having first steeped yourself in the writings of others to catch their language and techniques and to tune in to the interests of readers and writers.

Is there something you’ve always wanted to write but haven’t yet?

Yes, part of my mind is working away at a sixteenth century novel, but the way to write it and the opportunity to do so have not yet presented themselves.  One day…

I would like to thank Rachel for taking the time to answer my questions. To find out more about Last Letter Home click here.

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