Author’s inspiration is all around

Oakham author Rhian Ivory
Oakham author Rhian Ivory
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Like every budding author who sends their manuscript to a publisher but has no idea if they will strike it lucky, Rhian Ivory had all but given up 
hope of seeing her book in print.

Then a commissioning editor’s eye caught sight of a draft with a long title on a large pile.

That was the start of a successful writing career 
for the Uppingham Community College drama teacher who has since had four books published 
by Bloomsbury Children’s Books.

The 38-year-old from Oakham, who writes under the name of Rhian Tracey, has now been commissioned to write a fifth novel - The Boy who Drew the Future.

Rhian, who was teaching at a Northampton school when she started her first novel said: “I read bits of what I had written to my class one day, and they loved it.

“That encouraged me to send it in to Bloomsbury and it ended up on a pile.”

Rhian said the title of the book When Isla Meets Luke Meets Isla was so long that the commissioning editor Emma Matthewson was intrigued when she spotted it on a pile of manuscripts.

“She picked it up out of curiosity and read it just because of the very long title, which was very lucky for me,” said Rhian.

“I got a two-book deal because she wanted me to write a sequel.”

Luke: Make or Break? was the second book which was followed by The Bad Girls Club and True Colours.

Rhian, whose inspiration comes from “everywhere, including films, documentaries, poems, postcards, gossip and eavesdropping on conversations” said: “I also dream a lot of plots.

“So I have a notebook by my bed and get up and write it down.

“Once I get the idea I see related things everywhere and also do a lot of research, which I find really interesting.”

A National Trust writer in residence at Sudbury Hall, Rhian will be running children’s writing workshops for the next 12 months at the National Trust Museum of Childhood.

The Boy who Drew the Future is Rhian’s first historical novel set in two different time lines - 2015 and 1865.

It will be published on October 27.