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Rachel Hore is the author of five novels. Her third, The Glass Painter’s Daughter, was shortlisted for the RNA Romantic Novel of the Year 2010, and A Place of Secrets selected for the Richard and Judy Book Club. Her most recent, A Gathering Storm, was a Sunday Times Top Ten bestseller and was shortlisted for the 2012 RoNa Historical Novel of the Year. Her new novel, The Silent Tide, will be published in 2013.
Describe your earliest memory.
Climbing the steps to a beach hut. I’m told I was 18 months, which sounds too early for a first memory.
What was the first book you ever loved? Why?
Peter Pull and Puff, because my dad did all the train noises.
Describe the first time you realised that the world may not be as it seems.
Watching Doctor Who and the Daleks from behind the sofa aged five.
What has been the most formative place in your life? Why?
Ewell Library has offered up endless treasures.
Which literary or historical character do you most identify with? Why?
Virginia Woolf’s Orlando, travelling through time and experience.
What do you do when you’re not reading or writing?
Think about reading or writing. This can be inconvenient at times.
Describe the worst job you’ve ever had.
Telephonist at a double-glazing company. I cut off all the callers and was sacked after one morning.
Describe your most defining experience with money.
Saving the earnings from my paper round to buy hardback volumes of The Lord of the Rings. They’d changed the jackets by the time I could afford The Return of the King. I was furious.
If you could time-travel and teleport, which literary world would you want to visit? Why?
H. Alain-Fournier’s Lost Domain. It represents all we yearn for.
Being a writer is a strange brand of celebrity. Tell us about your most memorable encounter.
Sitting with Richard and Judy in a golden glow. It was only a video, not the TV, but it certainly made me feel a celebrity.
What’s the most extreme thing you’ve done in pursuit of your writing?
Hypnosis to try to visualise a character. Amazingly, it worked.
If you were to write yourself as a character, what would be your most defining characteristic?
A tendency to wander Cornish cliffs in stormy weather.
If you were to write a novel about an anti-hero/-heroine, what would his/her central flaw be?
Always being five minutes late.
If you could have a superpower, what would it be? Why?
The ability not to be always five minutes late.
What is the most important piece of life advice you would give a young person?
I would not presume…
What’s next for you (work- and life-wise)?
To discover the world of my next novel.