By Sarah Hutchings
This interview with Rachel Wright was first published on The Deckchair website on 03/12/2007.
How did you get your first break?
On the strength of my children's non-fiction (I've written over 40 books on a range of subjects) I got taken on by a children's literary agent. We discussed me writing a historical mystery for 8-12 year olds; I ended up writing a contemporary comic crime novel for early teens, and my agent sold the book to Faber and Faber.
Could you describe your working day.
Usually, I write from about 10 am - 3 pm; I'm not an early morning person. Then I go out and do something physical, say, a walk along the beach, before writing for another hour or two. Only if a deadline is imminent or I'm on a roll do I work into the night.
How does an idea become a novel?
By dint of sheer bloody hard work. And by running ideas past, and talking with, young people to check that what I'm writing is, in fact, what they want to read.
Which book do you wish you'd written?
'Vernon God Little' . It's funny, original, gutsy, a real page-turner. Fantastic.
As a reader, do you always finish a book you've started?
No. If life ends with an exam, I'm buggered.
If you weren't a writer, what job would you like to have done?
Theatrical set designer or a book jacket designer - not that I have any proven talent for either. I'd just like to have a go.
Describe your perfect day.
When a novel is going really well, I love it, so I'd be happy with a half a day's cracking writing followed by a sunny afternoon on a tropical beach and a wine-fuelled night on the town with friends.
What keeps you awake at night?
Nothing. I shall probably sleep through Armageddon.
Why did you choose to live in Brighton and Hove and what keeps you here?
A friend invited me to stay at her place here while I was in the process of buying a house in London. I liked the energy and quirkiness of Brighton, plus the open spaces all around, so I stayed, and have never regretted it.
How does living here inspire your work?
Being able to walk out my front door and see the sea and the horizon perks me up. I do a lot of my creative thinking whilst walking or sitting by the sea. The quality of the light and the sense of space helps open up my brain.
This page was amended on 03/02/2012