1) Hi Emily, thank you for taking the time to answer some questions. First of all, would you like to tell us a bit about Rafferty Lincoln Loves…
Rafferty Lincoln Loves… is a young adult novel that follows the story of Rafferty Lincoln, a boy in his last year of high school. He is popular with his peers but always falls short romantically and has set his sights on Liberty Ashburn, the school’ queen bee. Together, Rafferty and Liberty get a chance to bond after they stumble across a missing horse. Along with Liberty’s brother and Dexter, the odd kid at school, they forge a unique friendship over a summer that they’ll all never forget!
2) Where did you get your inspiration for the story from?
I’ve always wanted to write a horse-related novel. When I was in my teenage years there seemed to be a lack of good novels related to horses that fitted my age range. They were aimed at much younger children. I wanted to write a book that I would have read and enjoyed at high school and into early adulthood.
I wanted to write for a charity and the British Thoroughbred Retraining Centre was a charity I had supported since childhood. I made the missing horse a racehorse to tie in with the charity and give an added dimension to the story.
3) Rafferty Lincoln Loves… is your first YA novel. How did this differ from writing adult fiction?
I didn’t find it much different. I thought it would be harder to write but the words from Rafferty just flowed. I had to go back through and check scenes and language were appropriate for the age range but found it easier to get into the teenage mindset than I thought! Perhaps I haven’t quite grown up yet! Young adult books have developed a long way over the last few years and teenagers have a range of good strong storylines that meet current topics in their lives.
4) What would the soundtrack to Rafferty Lincoln Loves… include?
This is a brilliant question! I love a good movie soundtrack! I’ll have to have a think… but definitely something by Ed Sheeran during the emotional parts of
the story. Even though the story is set in modern day, I feel a good 80s soundtrack would fit it nicely!
5) Who was your favourite and least favourite character to write?
As much as Dexter is the underdog in the story, I really enjoyed writing his unique and quirky character. Rafferty was hard to write as some of the things he did made him unlikeable but he always meant well in his teenage way. He was often far from the mark with the things he did to try and win over Liberty. I enjoyed writing all of the teenagers, they all developed much further than I thought possible!
6) As a primary school teacher do you often find yourself making up stories to tell your class?
I read A LOT to my class. I see how important it so, so I fit in storytelling at every opportunity. From when they’re changing for PE to a quick minute before lunch. It is so important to read with children especially as some might not get read to at home. Making up stories, well I do this during writing lessons, as I love to develop children’s imaginations and encourage their own story writing skills. I’m great at giving interesting story starters to get children going.
7) When did you first realise that you wanted to write?
Back in the early years of my primary school days. I always loved writing animal stories and it just developed from there. It was always in my head to be a writer, I just didn’t realise I could do it as a career so pursued other areas first.
8) What does your writing process involve?
A quiet evening without distractions and a good couple of hours without my partner nagging me to finish so he can start the film! I try and write a chapter an evening when I am writing the first draft. I have to dictate the novels now due to an autoimmune condition that affects my wrists.
9) What advice would you give to any wannabe authors out there?
Never give in! Start early with the marketing and reaching out to others side as this takes many more months than you realise. Don’t just rush your novel out there. And have fun, writing is meant to be fun!
10) And lastly, what is next for you with regards to your writing?
I will hopefully finish my latest novel, a psychological thriller, later this year and then look to my next novel. Some have suggested a sequel to Rafferty Lincoln Loves… I’m open to the idea as feel the characters haven’t quite finished yet!
The proceeds from the novel Rafferty Lincoln Loves… will be donated to The British Thoroughbred Retraining Centre.
BTRC is dedicated to improving and promoting the welfare of retired race horses through education, retraining and suitable rehoming in order to ensure that our Thoroughbreds have a rewarding and valuable life after their racing careers have ended.
Each year thousands of horses leave racing, some because they reach the natural end of their career and others through injury or lack of ability. Established in 1991, The British Thoroughbred Retraining Centre was the UK’s first charity dedicated to ex-racehorse welfare, retraining, rehoming and protection for life.
‘I am thrilled to have written this novel for the BTRC and to be donating the proceeds to such an important and dedicated charity for the welfare of retired racehorses.’ – Emily Williams
Rafferty Lincoln Loves… is her first YA novel after the success of her debut adult novel, Letters to Eloise, released in 2017.