Leigh Russell joins me today to talk about her latest release Rachel’s Story…..Which is out now and only 99p
Hiya Leigh thanks for joining me today
Can you tell me about your new book?
Thank you for inviting me to chat to you. It’s lovely to be here. Rachel’s Story is my first dystopian novel, so although it’s my 24th book it feels to me like a debut. I’m hoping many Geraldine Steel readers will indulge me by reading it, and hopefully everyone is going to love it! The story is set in a post-apocalyptic world where food is scarce, the government wields absolute power, and ordinary people obey the laws or die. As a child, Rachel is initiated into The Programme where selected young girls are medicated to make them fertile. Fearing for her future, she escapes, only to discover that freedom comes at a price when she joins a community of outcasts struggling to survive beyond the city walls. The book explores issues of women’s role in society, addiction, love and betrayal.
When is it set?
The story is set at some unspecified time before the year 2100, as Rachel hears stories about the world when her grandmother was alive, which sounds very like our world today. The apocalypse which wipes out almost all of life on earth was caused by (sorry about this) a toxic pandemic that swept through the world…
Is Rachel based on anyone you know?
She probably has certain aspects of my own character – hopefully the more positive ones – and of my daughters as well, but I don’t really know where she came from. She just appeared in my imagination and led me into her world.
What made you write a novel about dystopian?
The honest answer is that I never had any intention of writing a dystopian novel. But I never planned to write crime books, and have written 23 in that genre in the past 12 years. Sometimes ideas just take over and we have to write them down. It might have had something to do with lockdown which forced us all to experience a different kind of world, and led us to speculate about where we might be heading.
Who would you like to see play Rachel if your book was made into a film or TV show?
Rachel is quite a complex character who develops and changes through the narrative, but if I’m honest, it would great to see someone famous in the role, as that might attract more viewers. Anya Taylor-Joy was brilliant as Beth Harmon in The Queens Gambit, as was Maisie Williams as Arya Stark in Game of Thrones, but there are so many amazingly talented actors around, I’d really be happy with anyone as long as she was brilliant and sensitive in her portrayal. There has been some interest expressed by a major Hollywood director, but that is just a faint sliver of a possibility as yet, so I’m excited but I’m not holding my breath. In the meantime, I’m hoping the book does well enough to attract some serious interest from readers, who are my real audience.
Thank you again for your interest in Rachel’s Story. I hope you enjoy reading it!
In a world where food is scarce, the government rules and ordinary people only exist to serve, can there ever be happiness?
As a child, living in a post-apocalyptic world, the only person Rachel can rely on is her mother. But when her mother is killed, Rachel is initiated into The Programme where selected young girls are medicated to make them fertile.
Fearing for her future, Rachel escapes. But freedom comes at a price and Rachel must navigate through a terrifying landscape of persecution to survive.
What is on the other side of the city wall?
Will the repressive government hunt her down?
One thing is certain. Rachel’s world will never be the same again…
Discover a completely gripping dystopian saga today. Rachel’s Story is the perfect read for readers of women’s fiction as well as for fans of dystopian novels, such as Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale.
Rachel’s Story was published on 6th April 2021 by Bloodhound Books
The Geraldine Steel series is published by No Exit Press.
Leigh Russell has written twenty-four novels so far, and her Geraldine Steel crime series has sold over a million copies. In addition to her crime series featuring detective Geraldine Steel, Leigh has written two trilogies and two stand alone psychological thrillers. Rachel’s Story is her first dystopian novel. Leigh chairs the judging panel for the Crime Writers Association’s prestigious Debut Dagger Award, and is a Consultant Fellow for the Royal Literary Fund.