Tuesday, 15 July 2008


Rachel Campion had to be pretty special. And nice. I wasn't going to let just anyone have Orlando.

Because of Orlando's sight problems it was important to me that Rachel should have vivid red hair, but beyond that I didn't really focus too much on what she looked like-- in the book much more emphasis is placed on her voice and her evocative rose scent. I chose the name Rachel simply because I liked it and it suited her, so it seemed rather spookily satisfying when during my endless hours of research/ cyber-stalking in the early stages of writing the book I came across pictures and clips of James D'Arcy in An American Haunting. opposite gorgeous redhead Rachel Hurd-Wood. The film was dire, but although she's a good few years younger than my heroine, I'd found a face that seemed to fit the girl in my head.

Rachel Campion is the only child of a controlling single mother-- single of status and single of mind. Elizabeth Campion is totally obsessed with her daughter's career as a pianist and Rachel has been brought up in an intense hot-house environment that has turned her into a brilliant musician but left her isolated and totally ill-equipped to cope with the practicalities of everyday life. When the book opens she is poised on the brink of international stardom, thanks to a PR coup performed by a triumphant Elizabeth, in the form of Rachel's impending marriage to one of the music world's most influential composers. The fact that he is also a loathsome bully is something Elizabeth is quick to sweep under the carpet, and Rachel, sweet-natured and conditioned to be utterly obedient, sees no way out. Until she encounters a dark, beautiful man in the graveyard of the church on the morning of her wedding.

Lucky girl.

Today's question, and a little administrative information bulletin, (thanks to Trenda!):
What is Rachel's signature perfume?

Answers can be submitted via the website contact form. You can answer each question as it comes along, or wait until Friday and answer them all-- whatever you prefer. The closing date will be August 3rd, when I get back from holiday and can pick a winner for my growing collections of goodies. So far these include one of the fabulous Mills & Boon centenary posters (see here...) and some luscious rose-scented treats that Rachel would just love! (Oops. I think I just gave away the answer to today's question...)

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