Cornwall LivingIssue #97

Author insight

In a recent interview with author Gail Rayner, we discover the inspiration behind her novels.

What inspired you to write
about Cornwall?

Well apart from it being a beautiful part of the British Isles, I’m also inspired by my love of the ocean. Whether it’s body boarding on the north coast or sitting in some little café looking out to sea wondering what secrets she holds, it never becomes mundane.

How do you conduct the research for
your books?

Once I have outlined a story I usually use local history from books as well as research online. I will also visit the place I’m setting the story. For example, in my first book Castles I sat on the beach to write and drew on my relationships with friends who had visited Charlestown on many occasions.

What areas of Cornwall inspire you
the most?

From the surf at Polzeath, to the small streets of Polperro and the picturesque harbour of Mevagissey – there are so many areas of Cornwall that captivate me.

Who is your favourite character you’ve written about and why?

Most of my characters are based on people I have known or still know so they all have a special meaning.

What genre would you say your novels
fall under?

Romantic and light-hearted.

Where do you live and how does it influence your work?

I live in Plymouth just across the Tamar Bridge and have access to Cornwall within minutes on a good day. I don’t have time to write as much as I would like because I work three shifts a week as a nurse in a busy environment, but I keep a pad with me to write notes whenever I’m out and about.

Are you working on anything new at
the moment?

I have come back to this side of the bridge for my next book about nursing in 1974, Rock me Baby, about a naive 17-year-old who starts training in Exeter. I’ve also done all the research for book number four which is about a nurse from Cornwall going off to the front in 1917 to find out what happened to her boyfriend.

So far, Gail has published The Lady and Castles, and here at Cornwall Living we can’t wait to see her spin on life as a nurse in her upcoming novels, both of which explore two very different eras, both equally as captivating as the next.   



All books are available to buy on the Austin Macauley website or on Amazon.


Austin Macauley

020703 88212