The Heiresses Interview

The Heiresses

Seventeen-year-olds Thalia, Erato and Clio are summoned to glittering 1926 London by Hestia, an aunt they never knew they had. They are shocked to discover they were separated at birth and are in fact triplets and the rightful heiresses to their deceased mother's fortune. All they need to do is find a way to claim the inheritance from their greedy half-brother, Charles.

The sisters move to Hestia's house in Belgrave Square to begin their new lives. But amid the confusion of new romances and money, they each struggle to find their way. Thalia knows she can never return home to her dark past; Erato's dreams threaten to slip from her grasp; and Clio must save the only mother she has ever known.

As the battle for their shared fortune grows more complex, the girls realise that they can't trust anyone – least of all each other.

A thrillingly addictive saga of love, betrayal, money and intrigue.

Having failed at becoming a ballerina with pierced ears (her childhood dream), Allison Rushby instead began a writing career as a journalism student at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia. Within a few months she slunk sideways into studying Russian, began writing her first novel and, most importantly, joined the Chocolate Appreciation Society. Over the past ten years, she has published five books for young adult readers and five for adult readers in the women's fiction genre. She is originally from Brisbane, Australia, but spent 2011 and most of 2012 living in Cambridge, UK, where she mainly spent her days whingeing constantly about the weather.

The Heiresses
Author: Allison Rushby
ISBN: 9781742613147
RRP: $14.99

Interview with Allison Rushby

Question: What inspired the idea behind The Heiresses?

Allison Rushby: This is extremely embarrassing, but I think it was actually from watching a Dr Phil show, years ago. I can't say too much as it will spoil the plot completely, but I saw a segment that involved a family and their genetic background and asked my husband (a medical specialist) about it all that evening. This led me to wondering how this modern family's scenario might have played out if genetic testing was not available to them, which is the case in The Heiresses, set in 1920s London.

Question: What do you enjoy most about writing books for young adult readers?

Allison Rushby: I'm really enjoying writing for the older young adult crowd at the moment (16 and up) and writing about bridging the gap between childhood and adulthood. The three heroines in The Heiresses are 18 years old and I do feel bridging that gap is just a fascinating time in life – a time that's very tricky to navigate. You don't necessarily feel like an adult, but you have sudden adult responsibilities (working, studying in the kind of way where no-one cares if you go to classes or not, maybe being a parent if you have children early…). Everyone has a different experience and everyone deals with that experience differently. There are endless story-telling opportunities!

Question: What was difficult about writing The Heiresses?

Allison Rushby: The most difficult part was the historical research. Although I love to read historical books and watch documentaries and historical dramas on TV, I hadn't actually written anything historical before. When I started writing, I found myself stopping after every second sentence or so to research this point and that point. After a while, I realised I had to write on and put little 'x' signs where I needed to research and go back later to do all my research in one session, or I'd never get anywhere!

Luckily, I wrote The Heiresses while living in Cambridgeshire in the UK while my husband pursued some further medical training, so could pop on a fast train and be in London in under an hour to research anything I liked. Being so close to London was an enormous bonus – from the London Transport Museum, to simply walking around Belgrave Square, it really brought the story to life for me. I even managed to crash the village set of Downton Abbey, which was a hugely exciting day as I'm a massive fan of the show.

Question: What are you reading at the moment?

Allison Rushby: I'm currently reading Rebecca Skloot's The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, which is absolutely fascinating and horrifying all at the same time.

Question: Who or what originally inspired your passion for writing?

Allison Rushby: I'm extremely lucky that my mother is also an author, so writing has always felt a very normal thing to do for me (which might sound odd, but I do know many authors who were initially discouraged by their parents). As for writing about the 1920s – this has always been a reading passion of mine. My very favourite author is P.G. Wodehouse. So much so that for Christmas I received the five book The Jeeves Omnibus set because I'd worn my old five-book set out!

Question: Are you working on your next book? Can you share anything, with us?

Allison Rushby: I've just finished another upper Young Adult novel (this time contemporary, rather than historical). It's about a charismatic modern artist and a young woman who becomes his muse and is set in Paris, London and New York.


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