"Who in their right mind wouldn't want to read a book by Mark Barry!" (Mary Quallo, St Louis)

"Who in their right mind wouldn't want to read a book by Mark Barry!"  (Mary Quallo, St Louis)
Coming next week - Carla Eatherington

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Top romance - and thriller! - author Rebecca Raisin...Around The Cauldron

This week around the Cauldron, we have Rebecca Raisin, who writes both romance and thrillers with eloquence, culture, wit and with a dash of humour in each chapter. A resident of Perth, Australia, (rather than the racecourse town in Scotland), she penned her debut novella for Harlequin imprint Carina UK at Christmas and, barely a month later, she's straight back on our shelves with Snake Typhoon, a thriller written under indie pseudonym Billie Jones. 

Nibbling on homemade tofu and crackers while sheltering under a palm from yet another Antipodean summer of Hadean heat and gnawing dust, I spoke to Rebecca on the Wizphone and asked her how things were going in the land of plenty.

Hi Rebecca. Tell the Wizardwatchers: Who is Rebecca Raisin?
Hi Wiz. I’m a writer from Australia! Under this name, my real name, I write romantic comedy, often with a foodie theme. 

(So, all the calories from the chocolate shouldn’t count as it’s RESEARCH)

I’m a disorganised but happy mum of twin boys who are like mini-hurricanes (hmm there’s a story idea). And I love reading as much as I love writing. (Which is a lot!)

Whereabouts in Australia do you live and have you been hit by that quite astonishing heatwave?
Urgh. It was the pits! I live in Perth, the Western side of Australia, so luckily for us, we only suffered through it for two days, (though it’s summer and is about 36 degrees here every day) by the time it got to the East side, it spanned for five or six days. I took comfort in the twins Slip ‘n Slide, and managed to almost dislocate my shoulder – but it was cool, because I was cool. (As in temperature, not style)

Perth: Playground for the Australian rich and famous and
literary hotspot for the romance glitterati

You’ve written a novel called “Snake Typhoon” under a pseudonym. Tell us about it.
This is one of my favourites. 

So there was a dare about writing a movie monster type story. I’m terrible at dares, I always want to win! I immediately took the challenge, and what happened next was my semi-serious action adventure turned into a rollicking parody of epic proportions. 

"Kez, a herpetologist (Oh, yes, I used a gag for that one) is sent to check out reports of snakes falling from the sky. No one takes it seriously but when Kez gets into trouble up in the air, she suddenly realizes this is the opportunity she’s always wanted. To be able to prove herself, and try to save the world at the same time. It’s a fast paced, action packed read, full of gags, and outlandish situations. I still crack up when I read it. Is that weird? "

One of the characters from Snake Typhoon popping in
to see what the fuss is about!

Of course not! It's good sense. So, what are the issues of writing under a pseudonym? Are there any? 
The only reason I am writing under two names is to keep the two very different styles separate. The people who enjoy my heart warming romance will be expecting the same kind of genre, so to keep it simple, I use two different names.  The only person that gets confused is me! I’d never make a good spy!

Which genre do you prefer? Chicklit/Romance or action thriller?
I love writing both. I’ve just finished the second Gingerbread book, which is all about love, and friendships, and chocolate. So now I’m planning on another disaster story, because it’s nice to chop things up and try something unusual. 

Tell us about your widely acclaimed Christmas novel? I hear it is so bittersweet that it gets munched right there on the bookshelves.
Ha ha! Yes, it’s a sweet romance! It’s set in a small town called Ashford, Connecticut. And in a Gingerbread Café. It’s one of those towns where everyone knows everyone. 

"Lil, the owner of the café has had some struggles in the past, and is doing everything she can to stay afloat. CeeCee her bubbly friend and only employee, helps Lil at the café and dispenses advice, she’s a tell-it-like-it-is southern woman. Cue the new guy in town. Damon, nice guy, and hot to boot, who opens up a shop across the road selling similar things to the Gingerbread Café. And so the competition begins…" 

What else do you do apart from write?
I cook! We are a foodie family, and enjoy spending weekends cooking extravagant meals for our friends and family. Our kids love the beach so we spend a fair amount of time there too. 

Cosmopolitan food with lots and lots of green bits: That's
evening mealtimes chez Rebecca Raisin

What’s your view on marketing? Which do you find to be your favourite method and platform?
I use all the usual suspects when it comes to social media, and I’ve ‘met’ some great people from twitter and Facebook. 

Follow Rebecca on TWITTER here

Follow Rebecca on FACEBOOK here

Also guest blog posts have been fun and I’ve found some wonderful writers who I now call my friends from things like that. 

Follow Rebecca's BLOG/WORDPRESS here

Blog tours seem to be another way to get the word out. Book reviewers are great. Sending an advance review copy pre-launch has seemed to have worked for me, but it is a very nerve wracking experience! 

I’m a big fan of “27 Dresses” the movie, particularly the Bennie and the Jets sequence. What’s your favourite chickflick of all time and which is your showpiece memory moment?
Oh there’s so many! 

I loved Bride Wars - couldn’t seem to stop laughing through that movie. I adore Anne Hathaway and Kate Hudson and found the revenge scenes immensely funny. 

I also like Chocolat (of course!) the book and the movie. 

And Beaches. 

Sob-fest, but oh, it’s so good!  (I'm sobbing already: Pass the hankie! - ED!)

Scooped up by a twister as you scribbled happily in your garden, you land on a sandbank near Tasmania. Next to you is a sack containing two books, one CD and a DVD. What would you like them to be?
Good one! I’m so glad I survived! 

OK, I’d take Love Begins in Winter, by Simon Van Booy. He writes love like a pro. I am kind of in love with him too. He’s a bit of a cutie. 

Simon Van Booy

And Gourmet Rhapsody by Muriel Barbery. 

I loved her first book Elegance of the Hedgehog. She’s brilliant, quirky, and compelling. 

Mumford and Sons, for the CD. Love those folky guys!

For the DVD it’d have to be Dirty Dancing. I don’t think I could ever watch that too many times. 

Give us a chicklit/romance Indie scribbler worth keeping an eye on in the future.
My friend and fellow Carina buddy, Katie Oliver is one to watch! I’ve just read her debut Prada and Prejudice, and it’s so well written! 

Meet Cauldron friend Katie Oliver HERE

If you like movies like Love Actually, you’ll love Katie’s work. She manages to weave different story lines together seamlessly. There’s to be three books in her series, and they are hilarious! 

Are you proud of the international achievements of AC/DC?
Words cannot describe it. They’re so popular here in Australia a huge bronze statue was erected at a park in Fremantle where one of them came from. 

 Classic AC/DC in London 1978 - "Let There Be Rock"
"There was this huge party to celebrate this ginormous statue, and lots of singing, and merriment. Pretty sure the statue was stolen and hasn’t been seen since". 

Hahahahahahahaha. What did you and the gang eat for tea last night?
OK, wow. This is going to sound weird. We made a broad bean, feta and mint salad for the Australia Day festivities, so there was some of that left over. We had some really nice bread from a baker who uses a wood fired oven that’s over a hundred years old. So I layered the bread with the broad bean salad, added some ham and cheese and toasted it under the grill! 

"I may or may not have been feeling slightly off-colour from the previous night’s champagne quaffing!"

And finally, what do fans of Rebecca Raisin/Billie Jones have to look forward to in 2014?
I am all set to write six novella length stories for Carina UK this year. The first one is done, and that is a follow up to Christmas at the Gingerbread Café and will be available in March.
I also plan to go back to the gym. (Maybe)

Hang on, aren’t I stuck in Tasmania still?

We airlifted you out on the Snake Typhoon helicopter, Rebecca.  :-) I'd like to thank you for coming round the Cauldron and on behalf of the Wizardwatchers, I wish you the best of luck in the coming year.

 Thanks for inviting me, Wiz. It's been a blast!

Contact Rebecca here

Amazon Australia http://goo.gl/eaxTX6

Or the ‘real’ me, Rebecca!


  1. Great choice on Dirty Dancing - loved that movie, too. Best of luck with sales, Rebecca. Keep up the quality interviews, Great Wizard. Job well done.

  2. Thanks for having me, Wiz! Those photos are killer!

  3. Awesome interview Rebecca! I have no doubt you have so much success ahead of you! xx


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