Rachael Wright is a debut Australian author who lives in a small agricultural town in Queensland. One of her truest loves in life is creating stories and writing them down.
Your debut novel, The Lost Boy, came out on 13th January 2019. What was the inspiration for the story?
I’m inspired by the strength of people who suffer from mental illness. I wanted to write a novel from the point of view of someone who is struggling after being thrown into the deep end. Jack has no idea there’s anything going on with himself and I believe that’s common, people always carry on as if they’re ok and often don’t realise they need to seek help. Jack is lost until he meets Mason, a long time sufferer of mental illness. He helps Jack heal, which draws the pair closer together and in the process, it tests them and forms an unbreakable bond. I’ve coupled this with my intense love of the Queensland Outback. It’s bordering on obsession and most, if not all my writings are based somewhere in the Outback. There’s something about the intense tragedy and beauty of land out there, and I believe it’s a fitting setting for Jack and Mason to connect and find each other. It’s quiet and lonely and the focus is set solely on them, rather than the pair fighting for each other’s attention in the busy bustle of a populated city or town.
If you could be one of your characters – Who would you be? And why?
I’d like to experience some of Sally’s life, Jack’s mother. Even though she had a short life it was filled with adventure. In truth, I’d love to be a character from a series I’m writing now and hope to release later in 2019. Her name is Scarlet and she has a very interesting life of ups and downs. There’s no real-life comparison to the journey she’s on and I think, despite its turbulence, I’d love to experience her life.
What is one book you could read over and over again?
Beautiful Disaster: A Novel (Beautiful Disaster Series) by Jamie McGuire. I loved the whole series and read most of the books in one sitting. I’d gladly read the whole series over and over again.
What is your favourite genre to read, and why?
I’m drawn towards New Adult and Young Adult. It’s because they’re simple story lines and my brain doesn’t have to work hard to keep track. I read to relax and drift off into another world. I do find myself reading non-fiction and crime novels, along with fantasy. I went through a period of reading novels about war, which was an eye-opener. I have varying taste and will read most of every genre and if I can make it through the entire novel, I will more than likely love it.
If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. I would tell my younger self that even though the structure, grammar and other elements weren’t mature and the plot holes were confusing, that she should never stop writing. I’ve been through periods where getting a handful of words down was difficult, then the drought would break and the words poured from me. I still suffer through this, but now I see the potential in everything I create and don’t immediately trick myself into believing I suck, or that I’m a terrible storyteller and that I should just give up. I’m much more positive-minded now and often ponder over the problems, fixing them and not discarding entire works because I’ve convinced myself they’re beyond hope. Which means more stories for my readers and more work for myself, but that’s a great thing.
About The Lost Boy…
Jack Harrison’s monotonous life as a dairy farmer’s son is at an end. Early rises, days spent at the mercy of his parent’s chores—he’s yearning for adventure. Jack’s graduated high school and days from marking a major life milestone, his eighteenth birthday. His future seems set in stone until Jack uncovers a truth which implodes life as he knew it—a mother and father who share no biological connection to him, the truth laid bare in a pocket-sized journal. Angry and sore-hearted, Jack makes a naïve, drunken decision to vanish from a twenty-four-hour service station in Dalby all so he can keep a promise to Ellie—to attend the New Year’s Eve rodeo at Mitchell, an event he always thought they’d attend together.
With everyone in Jack’s life either dead or a liar, Jack hitchhikes and works odd jobs, meandering around Western Queensland collecting clues to locate his biological father. Through the power of the Australian Bush Telegraph, Jack uncovers his roots. His mother was a Jillaroo, his grandfather a legend of The Outback, tough, fearless and unlike the parent’s who raised him.
All Jack wants is the truth, who is he? The more he learns, the more his greatest fear threatens to manifest. Can Jack live up to his mother’s legacy?
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What a great interview from this debut author! I wish Rachael all the best in what is sure to be an exciting lifelong career. I personally found “The Lost Boy” an emotional read and I connected strongly with the characters. Congratulations Rachael!