Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Spotlight/Book Giveaway/Interview: Three Lives Down by Rachel Amphlett

About the Book

Genre: Thriller, #3 in A Dan Taylor Thriller Series
Publisher: Rachel Amphlett
Release Date: November 2015

Synopsis from Goodreads...

Dan Taylor has survived two attempts on his life. The rest of his team are missing, and now a terrorist group has stolen a radioactive isotope from a top secret government project.

Can Dan survive long enough to prevent a nuclear disaster on British soil?

With the Prime Minister determined to re-negotiate the country’s place in the European Union, and deals being struck behind closed doors, Dan stumbles across a plot that will shake the country to its core.

If his mission fails, his enemies will overthrow the British government, and Dan will be a wanted man.

If he wants to succeed, he’ll have to sacrifice everything.

Get into the action... travel into the heart of suspense

About the Author

Rachel Amphlett previously worked in the UK publishing industry, as a TV/film extra, played lead guitar in rock bands, and worked with BBC radio before relocating from England to Australia in 2005.

After returning to writing, Rachel enjoyed publication success both in Australia and the United Kingdom with her short stories, before her first thriller White Gold was released in 2011, with the Italian foreign rights being sold to Fanucci Editore’s TimeCrime imprint in 2014.

You can keep in touch with Rachel via her mailing list by signing up at www.rachelamphlett.com

Contact details:
Email: info@rachelamphlett.com
Website: www.rachelamphlett.com
Twitter: @RachelAmphlett
Facebook: Rachel Amphlett - author

Author Interview

Socrates’ Book Review Blog welcomes author Rachel Amphlett to our little corner of the world. Rachel is the author of the Dan Taylor international thriller series. The first book in the series is White Gold. The third book, Three Lives Down, will be released on November 16th.

Welcome Rachel and let’s get started …

1. Who is the greatest influence in your writing career?

I think it’s fair to say that the friends and family that have encouraged me to use my imagination have been the greatest influence. Plus, I had a couple of great English teachers while I was at secondary school in the UK and they usually gave me free rein with my creative endeavours!

2. As a child, did you read thrillers or other genres?

I read thrillers and adventure stories for the most part, outside of anything I had to read for English exams.

I’d outgrown most books for kids by the time I was 12 or 13 – remember this was years before The Hunger Games and books like that. I recall being at my grandparents’ house one rainy weekend, bored out of my brain, and my Grandad gave me a copy of Jack Higgins’ The Eagle Has Landed to read. I devoured it over the space of a week, and then went on to read everything by Dick Francis before I was 15, and some of the classic Alistair MacLean novels such as Where Eagles Dare.

3. Do you have any favorite authors or books to recommend?

Plenty! My favourite authors include Lee Child, Chris Ryan, Clive Cussler, Michael Connolly, Robert Crais, and Daniel Silva, but I read in other genres too – I enjoy the Harry Dresden series by Jim Butcher, and I loved the Wool series by Hugh Howey. I also enjoy romantic suspense authors such as Sandra Brown and Helene Young. The book that has blown me away recently is Andy Weir’s The Martian – superb storytelling.

4. Do you outline a book before you begin? In other words, do you know what’s going to happen from the beginning or are you as surprised as the readers are?

I do outline – I like to know where the beats of the story fall, and because I still do this around a full-time job, I have to be sure that when my bum hits that train seat every morning and evening, I’m going to be productive. I’ll jot down bullet-points for each scene, and then it’s just a case of picking a scene that takes my fancy when I sit down to write and off I go.

Having said that, it’s fair to say I do allow my characters a bit of wiggle room, but only if the overall outcome is as planned. I find characters grow and do come up with some surprising actions that get mixed in with the story as it evolves, but I couldn’t just sit down and start writing without some sort of roadmap as to where the story is going.

5. How long does it take for you to write a book and get it published?

It depends on the book. Before Nightfall was a very quick first draft – the words just poured out of my head over the course of about nine weeks! On the other hand, my Dan Taylor novels involve a lot of research so I’ll learn as much as I can while I’m outlining, then if I discover any gaps during that first writing process, I’ll type a note to myself in the manuscript, keep going, and then check those missing facts before doing the second draft. Three Lives Down took about four months to get the first draft complete.

6. How did you feel when your first book was published?

The same as I do with the sixth one about to be published – pride, relief, and a sense of urgency to continue working on the current writing projects.

7. Do you write any other genres?

Not yet, but I haven’t rule it out – I’ve got a bulging ideas file!

8. Do you do any research for your books? What is involved in your process?

Most of my ideas come from reading something in the news – all the Dan Taylor books in particular are based on fact. I’ll sort through newspaper articles, scientific papers, and I read a lot of military non-fiction.

Once the manuscript starts to form and I’m actually writing, I’ve got a ‘go to’ squad of experts who I can email and ask them for advice.

I also like to do ‘hands on’ research wherever possible, and to date that’s included pistol shooting and flying a Blackhawk helicopter simulator!

9. Do your books need to be read in order?

No, not really. I really liked what Clive Cussler did with the Dirk Pitt series – you could pick up any of those, such as Sahara, read it, get to know the characters a bit, then go back to the beginning of the series and catch up.

10. Can you give us a sneak peek into future releases?

I’m aiming to publish at least two books next year, but as they’re still in early draft stages, I can’t give anything away. Suffice to say, readers won’t have long to wait for the next thriller from me!

Thank you so much, Rachel, for taking the time to visit with us.


Thanks to the author, I can offer three e-books of Three Lives Down by Rachel Amphlett to three lucky winners.

Just a few simple rules...

1) You must fill out the rafflecopter form below.

2) Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old

3) US Residents Only

4) For one extra entry: Tweet about this giveaway.

5) For one extra entry: Leave a comment for the author.

6) For one extra entry:  Follow this blog...old followers, too!  Just let us know how you follow and under what name.

7) For one extra entry: Follow me on Twitter.

8) For one extra entry: Follow or friend me on Goodreads

No purchase necessary.  Void where prohibited.

The giveaway begins on November 17th (midnight est) and ends on November 24th (midnight est).

The winner will be chosen randomly by Rafflecopter. The winner will be notified by email and has 48 hours to respond, otherwise a new winner will be chosen. I will announce the winner here on my blog.

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I like that you can pick up any book and don't have to read in order. I used to glom the Dick Francis books, he was so good. Three Lives Down sounds thrilling; I think I'd enjoy it.

  2. Great interview and sounds like a thrilling read.

  3. Enjoyed the interview. Book sounds like a thrilling read.
    Carol Smith

  4. Aha, an outliner, that is always interesting to see


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