Alex Cameron has spent years traversing the globe, living in between her hometown of Sydney and London, via Paris and Provence, before settling down in London with her husband and young son. Her BA in Film and French, and a background in film and TV production / development helped as research for the novel. As a freelance writer, she studied novel-writing at City University in London. Rachael’s Gift is her first novel. Here we caught up with Alex and find out just how she came to write a best selling novel
SA: Firstly congratulations on writing a best seller! Its been a long journey for you of seven years, did you have a lot of support from people around you during this time?
Alex: Absolutely! My husband is a huge champion and has been from the very beginning. Friends and family have also endured years of talking about ‘the book’ and not really knowing when or if it would ever appear, and in spite of this, have been amazingly supportive. I also spoke to a lot of other writers and teachers who were always happy to give feedback and advice.
SA: Where did you find the inspiration for the story? Are the characters in the book inspired by people around you?
Alex: I lived in Paris for a year when I was eighteen and always wanted to write about that experience. However, the only thing that remains true to that experience is several locations. I think the characters probably have facets of people that I have known during my life but they are purely fictional.
SA: What was your motivation to complete the book?
Alex: After I signed a publishing deal I had a to meet deadlines – therefore that was part of a contract that I had to complete. Before the publishing deal though, I knew I had to make the book the best that I could make it and just had the drive to do that – I’m not sure where that came from, but it kept me going.
SA: Where do you see your self in the next 5 years?
Alex: Hopefully, with a second book published and working on a third. Perhaps, dare I say, also, expanding the family…
SA: What is the next one about?
Alex: This one is also about a mother and child relationship – I’m not sure what this says about me but anyway… It’s set in nineteenth century Tasmania and is about the plight of young maid, Nelly, who becomes pregnant and is sent away to a Mother’s Home in Melbourne to have the baby. Single mothers were an epidemic in those days and many homes were set up to deal with the issue. Nelly is established in a boarding house and given a job at the local butchers but one day she disappears, abandoning her child.
SA: When did you know that you wanted to be a writer?
Alex: I have always been scribbling away at something from a very young age, but it took me a long time to gain the courage to actually admit that this is what I wanted to do and also to pursue it.
SA: One of your favourite places to spend in Summer with your family would be…
Alex: Balmoral Beach!
SA: You are currently living in London. 3 of your favourite places in London?
1) Queen’s Park – that’s currently home or or near home, which is Kensal Rise, and that’s where we hang out most days with my eighteen month old!
2) E & O – still one of my favourite restaurants. Great food, fun atmosphere and have been going there for years.
3) Tate Modern – Spectacular building with incredible art exhibitions.