April 2010


California-based Rachael Herron’s debut novel How to Knit a Love Song (aka Eliza's Gift) was released in March – the first in the Cypress Hollow Yarn series. She learnt to knit at the age of five and has a knitting blog (Interview by Angela Smith)

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  1. 1. Tell us about your book How to Knit a Love Song?

    It's the story of a knitter and a sheep rancher - they both need wool but neither of them need it to keep warm - they generate enough heat of their own!

  2. 2. Where did the inspiration for the main character, Abigail, come from?

    Abigail is mostly made up, of course, but there is a bit of me in her, I have to admit. She's impetuous and more than a little bit of a Pollyanna, an eternal optimist. And I could definitely embrace the fantasy of being willed a cottage on a ranch where I could open a yarn store and do my writing upstairs while watching the ocean overlooking sheep grazing on gorgeous, rolling hills...

  3. 3. Which scene in the book is your favourite?

    I think I love the party scene the best, when the knitters are acting shamelessly. It makes me laugh. Of course, knitters would NEVER do that. (Would they?)

  4. 4. You run a popular knitting blog, how long have you been blogging and what made you want to start?

    I've been blogging for about nine years now. I started because my sister said I should, and I usually do what she tells me to (it just takes me a while sometimes to figure out that she's right). I started it as just a place to keep a journal online, but every once in a while, I'd post pictures of my knitting, and the knitters found me. I became a knitting blogger by happy accident.

  5. 5. How long have you been knitting?

    For thirty-two years, since I was five.

  6. 6. Was it a natural transition for you to go from blogging about knitting to writing a novel about it?

    It was really natural. I've always written fiction, and I have an MFA in writing, so writing about what I love most, knitting, just made everything that much more fun. Knitting is my own language, almost as much as English is, so I loved it.

  7. 7. Why do you think women find knitting to be so comforting?

    There's a natural repetitiveness about knitting that's echoed in life, I think, but in knitting (if you're lucky), you end up with a pretty garment that's useful, that shows love. In life, the repetitiveness of things we do can wear us down, but in knitting, it's simply soothing. The click of the needles and the drag of the wool across them is comforting.

  8. 8. Why did you decide to include a knitting pattern at the end of your book?

    Throughout the book, Abigail, a knitwear designer, is working on a man's sweater pattern that she thinks is just going to be for her next book. Of course, it ends up being a perfect fit for our hero, Cade. While I was writing, I was also designing the sweater pattern, and I included the pattern (a raglan guernsey) as a free gift with the book, so readers can make it for the men they love (or for themselves - it's a good unisex sweater).

  9. 9. Are you planning a sequel to How to Knit a Love Song?

    Yep, this is the first of three novels called the Cypress Hollow Yarns. They're all set in the small town of Cypress Hollow, a fictional place on the rugged central coast of California. They'll all have the same characters walking on and off-set, but the main love interests will be different in all three.

  10. 10. Have you always wanted to be a writer?

    Yes, ever since I could hold a pencil. I wrote my first book as soon as I could spell my first words (and boy, did I spell those words badly!), and I think it was about five pages long. And seeing How to Knit a Love Song on bookstore shelves is truly a dream come true.

  11. 11. Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

    My advice is to write every day. Just like knitting, a little bit of work, done every day over time, adds up to a larger body of work. Even five minutes of writing, stolen here and there, can make all the difference.

  12. 12. How long have you been a fan of the chick lit genre? What is your favourite chick lit book?

    Ever since I first found it! And my favorite chick lit book right now would have to be Crossing Washington Square by Joanne Rendell - a great mix of academic lit with chick lit - fun and smart and just right.

  13. 13. Which authors do you admire?

    So many! Barbara Bretton and Susan Wiggs and Sophie Littlefield and Juliet Blackwell and every single writer out there who sits at her desk every day and pounds out words with the hope that somewhere, someday, they'll help someone have a better day.

  14. 14. What is one thing you'd like to learn to do?

    Draw. I can't draw a straight line.

  15. 15. What's next for you?

    Book two in the series is just about wrapped up and it's in edits, and I'm jumping into writing book three! I feel like I live in Cypress Hollow, and I can't wait to see what happens next. Always, always writing and moving ahead.

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