Saturday Spotlight no.7 – Rachel Barnett

Complementing the author spotlights I ran from 2011 to 2016, today’s Saturday Spotlight, the seventh, is of novelist (and former 100-word competition entrant) Rachel Barnett. If you would like to take part in a spotlight, see Saturday spotlights.

Rachel Barnett lives on a farm in rural Wiltshire, almost within touching distance of Stonehenge. After a career as a primary school teacher (yes, it is as exhausting as everyone says), and then creating a little monster of her own, a chink of spare time saw her taking as many creative writing courses as she could get her hands on. Suitably equipped, she has finally managed to hide away from everyone (except for the dog!!) for long enough to achieve her life-long ambition of writing a book, or two…


And now from the author herself:

My Writing Cave

My writing space has been put to many uses over the years. It has been a storeroom, playroom, farm office… Apparently it began life as an egg room, with its own outside door for the customers. It’s a single-skin addition to the side of our farmhouse, long and narrow, cold in the winter and perfect in the summer. Just right for storing eggs!

It’s just right for me, too – with the addition of a plug-in heater in the colder months. And a pair of fingerless gloves if it’s really parky.

After inhabiting the end of the kitchen table for years, I managed to claim this space as my own a few years ago and set about redecorating it myself. With gleaming gloss work and a fresh splash of sunny yellow on the walls I became overly bold and decided to put up Venetian blinds single-handedly. This approach is not one I would recommend. Put it this way, by the time the blinds were up and working I think I’d exhausted my entire (and rather extensive) vocabulary of swear words…

My desk is the crowning glory in this space. It was a Christmas-and-birthday-and-another-Christmas present from my other half and it’s beautiful. An antique with burr walnut veneer and wonderful deep drawers which are easily big enough to hold manuscripts. With that, a windowsill full of houseplants, and my gorgeous Labrador, Murray, snoring at my feet, I have created my perfect office space.

I try to write every day – to be honest it’s no hardship. Having come to writing later in life than some, I’m loving the freedom and creativity it allows. It’s also so much fun. I can have my characters do whatever I choose – the megalomaniac in me is very happy – and I get to drink as much tea as I want.

My approach to writing is linear. Once I have an idea of the beginning, the hopeful ending and a vague idea of what’s going to happen along the way, I start at Chapter One and write forwards from there. I also tend to ‘write myself in’ to a novel, which means I usually end up cutting the first few chapters as I have used them to ‘place’ my characters. For me, this approach works well, and I enjoy the way it means I learn about my characters in the same way my readers do. It also allows me to keep my finger on the pulse of my book.

As a reader, I enjoy fast-paced novels, and I hope that’s what I deliver for my readers. I also love writing feisty characters and challenging them with difficult decisions or circumstances – mostly because I want to find out what they’ll do – and I wrap the whole package up in a gorgeous location.


Rachel online…

I have two novels publishing with Embla Books (an imprint of Bonnier Books) this year. The first was out on 16th May and is set on a luxury yacht in the Italian Riviera. You’ll find sunshine, sea and secrets galore in A SUMMER ON THE RIVIERA (pictured above). Available on Kindle, as an audiobook and in paperback

I also write romantic suspense for Champagne Book Group under a pen name – Laura R Leeson. THE VALENTINE RETREAT, set in glamorous Los Angeles, is available in eBook and paperback  and its sequel – Valentine’s Revenge – is due out any time now.

My social media platform of choice is Instagram – you can find me there at or

I also lurk occasionally on Twitter:


If you would like to take part in an author spotlight, see Saturday Spotlights or email me for details.

Guest post: How to desire the superlative Writing Dissertation Topic by Karen R Robinson

Today’s guest blog post, on the topic of academia, is brought to you by Karen R Robinson.

How to Desire the Superlative Writing Dissertation Topic?

Finding a superlative dissertation-writing topic is as tough as writing a good dissertation paper. It is obvious that students are required to write dissertation papers during their higher studies. Writing a good dissertation is very important for the students since it can influence their final grades considerably. There are indeed a lot of things that students must to consider before writing their dissertation. One of the most important things that students should focus on while writing their dissertation is choosing a superlative topic. Let it be any kind of assignment writing, selecting a good topic plays a huge role.

Deciding your dissertation topic is one of the first steps of your dissertation writing procedure. Most people find choosing a suitable and relevant dissertation topic as one of the most challenging things when getting started. They will have to spend a considerable amount of time and will even be required to work late into the night in order to find a superlative dissertation topic. The topic that you pick should assist you to remain engaged and provide a good working mood since the dissertation writing process is a lengthy one.

How to find a good dissertation title?

The majority of people are uncertain and lack knowledge about how to choose a good dissertation topic. They may be under pressure to find an apt dissertation topic, or not certain if the research they want to carry out will fit into a dissertation. Without a doubt, there are many remarkable topics out there but this is most likely the first time they are researching finding a superlative dissertation topic. There are indeed certain things that should be considered carefully, such as:

Don’t Stretch Yourself

When you are in need of writing a dissertation, you should concentrate on finding a topic that helps you get your writing done. A lot of people make a mistake by choosing a topic that is beyond their capacity. They end up tired of writing their dissertation and stop. Hence, don’t go selecting a hard topic, and research a lot to come across a dissertation topic that goes well with your writing knowledge and skills.

Find Topics That Are Engaging and Fruitful                  

Choose a topic that will prove engaging and fruitful. Your writing should be free from boredom and tiredness. The topic you select has therefore got to be engaging and fruitful. Keep in mind that dissertation writing is a long process. Thus, be wise and choose an engaging topic.

Don’t Go For an Overly Ambitious Topic

The best dissertation is generally written by means of simple topic. When you choose a topic with too many variables, there is always a probability to make it hard to research, complicated to write, and not easy to find any conclusions. Therefore, it is always healthier to pick a topic that you can complete in plenty of time and at ease.

Pick a Topic that Fascinates You

It is vital to pick a topic that fascinates you the most because it assists you to reach effectively and write with more enthusiasm. If your dissertation topic fascinates you, then you will come up with a professionally graceful piece of work, and as I have mentioned above, within a limited amount of time and with a limited sum of difficulty or hard work.

Decide On Something You Really Love

One of the most imperative features in finding a doable dissertation topic is to work on something you really love. If the topic is in your comfortable zone or what you love the most, then you can mull over staying with it over a quite lengthened phase of time. However, make sure to find a topic that is compelling as well. All in all, be certain that you have a plausibly clear research technique or track determined before confirming your dissertation topic.


Author Bio:

Karen used to compose academic and non-academic expositions as an outcome of his boundless contribution in the writing business. His experiences with this top thesis writing services have allowed him to concentrate on both academic and non-educational topics. He recognizes that to be an effective writer, one needs to consider the business side of the business, and focus to succeed.

Very interesting. Thank you, Karen.


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