I have another interview for you today. Please welcome South Korea-based Scottish fantasy fiction author Rachel Pudsey!
PB: Hi Rachel! Welcome to pjbermanbooks.com. Tell us a bit about your background.
RP: Hi all. Thanks for having me here. My name is Rachel Pudsey, and I am an International Bestselling Author. I was born and raised in Scotland and lived there until 2011. I studied psychology in university but after graduating worked in management. At some point I gave that up and became a part-time barista to have time to write. But after a few years, I had such itchy feet. I studied a course to teach English as a second language and I now live in South Korea teaching English to adults in Seoul. When I am not teaching or writing you’ll find me walking, in nature, reading, meeting friends and going on adventures.
PB: What made you decide to become an author?
RP: Well, it was always a dream since primacy school when I picked up my first book at the library. Throughout my university years and working I continued to write, but I never really took it seriously until 2010. I just kept writing and rewriting and working and gaming and just not progressing. BUT, I got a terrible case of the flu that almost killed me. After that I reassessed my life and started making some big decisions based on thoughts that had seemed nothing more than pipe dreams. Travelling the world was one, writing a novel was the other. So while recovering, I looked through old writing notes and the Aronia Series began to take form. The experience of writing the series really made me see that it is writing in which my passion lies. Now more than ever I am working on making this into a career.
PB: When did you first start writing?
RP: I guess primary school. Not sure what year, but I think around fifth or sixth year. I was reading goosebumps and point-horrors and wrote my own horror story. I think the characters were the people I went to school with, which sounds highly morbid.
PB: What was the first story that you can remember writing?
RP: That would be the point horror story I mentioned in the previous question. I remember little about the story. I drew and coloured a cover for it with a severed hand. I think I called it something like Eight Down, One to Go—not sure though. Unfortunately I no longer have that document (it was hand written and tossed out a long time ago).
PB: When you begin writing a new story, do you always know the ending?
RP: No. I am a big panster. I try to be more of a plotter now, at least have a general plan going forward. But most of my stories come from scenes or snippets in my head and then I expand them. So sometimes I write from an opening scene or a middle point and add around it. Now that I take it more professionally I write general outlines and am taking some courses to be a better plotter.
PB: If you could meet any of your characters, who would you meet, and what would you say to them?
RP: Well, my readers unanimously agree that the character Clay is hot and likeable romantic interest in the story. So, I guess I’d like to meet him just to hang out and see.
PB: Tell us about Aronia series.
RP: The Aronia Series is an adventurous YA fantasy-romance series that follows a girl through a journey into realising one must be careful what they wish for. It starts off with a girl in a small town wishing on the stars for love. But, the stars are cursed. The morning after the wish, seven suitors appear at her door willing to do anything for her love. So she spends the series trying to clean up the mess that arises from her wish but she ends up pulled in a fight against a far bigger threat to the land she lives in.
The Watcher of the Night Sky, book one in the series, was a finalist in The Wishing Shelf Book Awards Finalist (2018), TopShelf Indie Book Awards Nominee (2019), and winner of the IHIBRP five-star recommended read award. The Faelti, book two of the series, won the New Apple Summer Young Adult Fantasy Official Selection Award (2019).
PB: Where did the idea for the series come from?
RP: I am not sure. My ideas come from inspiration from all over the place. Sometimes randomly while walking in nature. Sometimes from watching movies or reading books. Sometimes from conversations with friends or students. Ideas are everywhere, we just have to see them.
PB: Of all your achievements, which are you most proud of?
RP: That’s hard. I’ve achieved so much in my life in and out of writing. High school me was so proud to be Head Girl of school or graduating university when so many from my home town never went. Becoming a manager at twenty-one years old. Winning awards for my novels. Getting the Teacher of the Year award at my school. These are all great achievements. I suppose the one that gave me relief would be that I finally completed the Aronia Series story (for now—I have reader’s requests for shorts). That took me longer than it should to write. So finishing what I started is something to be proud of.
PB: What is your favourite book series to read and why?
RP: Hard question! Does it have to be one series?? Then I guess my answer is one of the most usual ones to give for this question: Harry Potter. The world building and diversity of characters is inspiring and just hooks you in every time.
PB: What are your long term ambitions with regards to writing?
RP: I have spent the last few years building my platform and portfolio and bettering my skills. My next goal is to get a bigger publisher to accept me and from there aim to turn writing into a career without the need of a second income. Alas, I am not so close to that goal but looking to achieve it within the next couple of years.
PB: If you weren’t an author, what career would you be in?
RP: Tough one. Perhaps I would progress with psychology and go back to school to do my masters. Then I would be a psychology researcher or lecturer, I suppose. Otherwise I am destined to be an ESL teacher for the rest of my life.
PB: What’s the next target for you?
RP: I have three projects I want to develop. A paranormal romance set in Scotland, a shifter novel inspired by Hansel and Gretel, and a modern fairytale retelling series. Not going to say more at this point, but I am super excited about that. All of these will be pitched to publishers back home with the hope that they get picked up.
PB: Tell us a random fact about yourself.
RP: I have a book tattoo on my arm that is a quote connected to The Outsiders.
Thank you so much to Rachel Pudsey for taking the time to meet us all today. If you'd like to find out more about her or try out her books, you can do so via the links below:
Until next time, happy reading everyone!