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Novel set in Scotland, plus we chat with author Rachael Lucas

15th August 2016

Wildflower Bay by Rachael Lucas, novel set in Scotland.

Isla no longer has a job as head stylist at her local salon in Edinburgh. It was her dream job. However, the conniving cut-throat ways of one of her colleagues has put paid to her future as coiffeuse in this particular establishment.

novel set in scotlandHer aunt, who lives on the remote island and fictional island of Auchenmor, (based on the Isle of Bute) west of Glasgow, a boat ride away, has her own salon but has become indisposed. Isla’s father volunteers her services to take over and thus it is that she descends on the salon. But what a shock, it is still in the ark with Noah, and one of the stylists certainly isn’t overly welcoming at first.

Meanwhile Finn is having a bit of a mid-life crisis, as his best friends are about to have a baby, and he is suddenly rethinking his life’s trajectory, whilst zapping around the island on his bicycle. Add into the mix a retreat (for which Finn has been asked to carve a wooden phallus or two…you get the drift) and the reader has a good mix of different folk,  plenty of encounters to be had among Isla the incomer and the islanders….

This book was originally published as 3 novellas (the unique structure is still retained in this book)  and each section was released with a few weeks apart, in kindle format. An interesting venture that seemed to keep the readers hooked in and guessing….

Location? As Sally Akin’s says in her blogpost “the island is another one of the stars of the novel”.

An enjoyable read.

Tina for the TripFiction Team

Over to Rachael who has agreed to answer our questions:

TF: I understand that this book was first published in 3 individual parts, with around 4 weeks between each. In this booknovel set in scotland they are brought together as a full novel. How did this idea come about and what was the thinking behind this strategy? Has it worked well for you?

RL: I’ve enjoyed watching the reactions of readers to the three parts as the story of Wildflower Bay has unfolded! It was a publishing decision and so I’m not sure what the thinking was but I’m happy to leave that sort of thing to my editor – gives me more time to work on the next book, as there always seems to be a deadline looming.

TF: Isla is a stylist in a hair salon. There is quite some detail about the operations of a hair dressing salon. How have you become so well informed of the practises within this type of business?

RL: I did some reading and research, but most of it was just from my own personal observations – as a writer I find the salon a fascinating place, full of stories. After the book was written I asked another hair stylist friend to have a read through and check for any glaring mistakes, but I maintain that any inaccuracies are completely my fault…

TF: Where did you get your idea to include an alternative therapy centre in the story? The first we know of this is when Finn is asked to carve some masculine totems…

RL: I am a complete hippy on the side and have shelves full of alternative books. Lily, the leader of the therapy centre, was actually a bit of a joke at my own expense. You’ll notice as well that both Finn and Isla are changed as a result of their experience at the retreat, even if they don’t recognise it themselves!

TF: There has been positive chat on Social Media about the cover designs for the three, now one book. How much did you get involved in the overall design and the different colour nuances?

RL: The brilliant designers at Pan Macmillan come up with the cover after a meeting where the book is discussed and the artist, Sarah McMenemy, captured the island perfectly. All I had to do this time was say that I loved it!

TF:  What was the inspiration behind the setting for the book?

RL: Many years ago I moved to the island of Bute and fell in love with the place and the people. My first novel, Sealed with a Kiss, was set there, and I always knew that I had to go back and finish the story of Finn, who has a big part in my first book. It’s a gorgeous place – you feel miles from anywhere but you’re only an hour from Glasgow – and I think everyone should visit.

TF: What is in store for you both in terms of travel and writing?

RL: I’m off to Barcelona this week for a very much needed break! I haven’t been there since I spent time there the late 1990s, so I’m looking forward to seeing how the city has changed. I’ve written two books this year, so an opportunity to switch off social media after Wildflower Bay is published and just relax and read is just what I need.

After that, I have a YA novel called The State of Grace out next April. It’s the story of Grace, who has Aspergers, and how she negotiates teenage life whilst her family is falling apart around her. With publishing deals already arranged for the USA and France, and Turkey, Germany, Spain and Brazil in the offing, I’m hoping that there might be an opportunity for some exciting travel. Watch this space…

Thank you to Rachael to giving us a peak into her life. You can follow her on Twitter, Facebook and via her own website.

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For many more books set around Scotland access our database here


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