Author Interview with Rachael Rippon

The Bagman (The Abigail Cobble Trilogy, #1)I was lucky enough to get an interview with Rachael Rippon, the author of The Bagman (which I really enjoyed by the way)! Stayed tuned for the interview and review!

Goodreads blurb: In the midst of the Second World War, Abigail is deposited at St Winifred’s Orphanage for Willful, Wayward and Wicked Children. As soon as she arrives, Abigail is warned of the Bagman and what will happen if she misbehaves. But Abigail is too busy trying to escape to listen. Her estranged twin, Tabitha, is close by and Abigail has to find her before their 16th birthdays. Besides, she doesn’t believe in the Bagman.
He believes in her though. Appearing when she least expects it; he asks her to play his Game. He will give her seven wishes to be used in seven days. But the Game is not as easy as Abigail supposes, and the wishes not as nice…
Soon, Abigail is getting exactly what she wished for. And the effects are catastrophic.
If you loved ‘Coraline’ or ‘Alice in Wonderland’, then you’re sure to love ‘The Bagman’.

About the author:

Rachael Rippon is researching digital publishing for her PhD. She has been writing since she was eleven and reading even longer. She has won several short story competitions and had a few short stories published. She lives in a caravan in Australia, loves reading crime stories, loves writing fantasy stories and is terrified of zombies.

The interview:

Q. Tell us five things not many people know about you…

1. I hate eating spaghetti after nearly choking to death on it as a child.

2. I love looking at other people’s bookshelves.

3. In winter my feet get really cold so I wear colourful woolly socks underneath my black leather boots and nobody can notice.

4. I’m terrified of zombies to the extent that I can’t go to sleep after watching ‘Walking the Dead’.

5. Even though I’m supposed to be an ‘adult’ (who decided 24 was grown up? WHO?) I love kid’s movies.

Q. What inspired you to write The Bagman?

I heard the name ‘Bagman’ on a television series once and it stuck with me. According to Wikipedia (font of all wisdom), a Bagman is a person ‘designated to collect dirty money’. The term ‘Bagman’ has also been used in TV and books to describe heroes/villains who wear bags on their heads. For some reason. Certainly not fashion.

One day I sat down to write and this creepy  evil villain appeared on my computer screen. And he was the Bagman. My Bagman, however, holds his bag. He’s much to stylish to wear one on his head.

Q. Do you listen to music when writing? If so, pick a theme song for The Bagman!

I don’t listen to music when writing – it’s too distracting – but ‘Cold as Ice’ by Foreigner? Because the Bagman’s cold? Sigh. That’s the best I can do.

Q. What’s your favourite book?

I don’t pick favourites. But if you held a gun to my head, I would say ‘The Lioness Quartet’ (yes, I know it’s a series) by Tamora Pierce. I loved them as a teenager and I love them now.

Q. Do you have a favourite quote?

‘The only thing worse than being talked about, is not being talked about.’ ~ Oscar Wilde

Either that or ‘She has read too many books and it has addled her brain.’ ~ Louisa May Alcott.

Q. Any upcoming books?

Yes. ‘The Bagman’ is the first of the Abigail Cobble Trilogy. I’ve finished the first draft of the second book, ‘The Physician’, but it’ll take at least ten drafts before I’m ready to show people. After that is the third book, ‘The Grave Digger’ which I haven’t started yet. But I know what’s going to happen.

Q. Which do you prefer? ebooks, paperback or hardback?

ebooks are good because you can take as many as you want anywhere and read them anytime. That said, I still read a lot of paper books – hard or paperback, I don’t care.

Q. Any advice for aspiring authors?

Always believe in yourself (corny adivce), always get other people to edit your work (practical adivce), don’t cry when you get a bad review – because you will (tough advice), never take a writing class. Ever. (crap advice) and when you finally self publish, go crazy and scream and by yourself a pile of books as a reward (my advice). Because the hard work has only just begun…

My review of The Bagman:

I think that this would be a fantastic book for middle grade readers. It is very unique because it introduces bagmen, which I have never really come across in reading before.


– The settings was great. They were described very well which made the story very easy to picture.
– The characters were likeable and understandable.
– I loved Rachael Rippon’s writing style because it was a little creepy and was very entertaining.
– The main character Abigail was intelligent.
– There were a few good twists in the story that I never saw coming.


– At first the pacing was a little bit slow.
– Sometimes I found the story a little bit too unbelievable which made it difficult to identify with the characters.
– It took a while for me to get into the story.

I would recommend this book to tween readers (in the 10 – 12 age group).

3.5 out of 5 stars.


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