Why I Love To Write About Strong Women…

I’ve always wanted to write, but it wasn’t until my youngest daughter started school full-time that I started to pursue my dream of becoming a published novelist. That was in 2005 and, when my first book was published in 2007, I was ecstatic!

Just recently, I handed in my twenty-third full-length novel to my current publisher (Aria Fiction). I have always loved drawing inspiration from real-life progressive and inspirational women, and this is reflected in the types of heroines I like to portray in my books.

As I write women’s fiction with romantic elements, these women ultimately end up falling in love, but it’s their journey of self-discovery and empowerment that drives me to ensure my characters succeed. The love aspect is merely a much-welcomed added extra!

My latest series is set in the fictional Pennington’s Department Store in Bath, England. Influenced by my love of the TV series Mr Selfridge and The Paradise, I was inspired to write a series that focused on the women’s issues of the early 20th century.

Once I’d decided on the theme of ‘female empowerment’, there was no stopping my fingers at the keyboard. I am passionate about self-growth, belief and achievement and to write about women determined to make a societal change appeals to me in every way. Book 1 in the series (The Mistress of Pennington’s) is about women striving to make their mark in business amid an extremely male-dominated world, book 2 and my latest release (A Rebel At Pennington’s) is about women’s suffrage and book 3 (Christmas At Pennington’s, coming in September!) is about the stigma surrounding divorce at the time.

The research to uncover the required characterisation and inspiration to create these female protagonists led me to learn about some truly phenomenal real-life women. Discoveries that will stay with me forever. There are so names we are familiar with – famous suffragettes, women aviators, doctors and scientists who all excelled and made their mark at the turn of the century, but there were also many women who remain unknown to us. Or at least, they were to me.

It is these women that inspire my work and the heroines I want to spend months and months with as I pen a 100,000 word novel about their evolving lives. The Edwardian period was a time of great change for women and it’s exciting to be a part of that. I love bringing historic women’s issues to the foreground of my novels and hopefully inspiring readers in their lives today.
I could not write without women from the past, the present and undoubtedly, the future.

Here’s to the strong women who have gone before us and who continue to walk with us today!

Rachel x

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