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 had slunk sideways into studying Russian. By the end of her degree she had learned two very important things: that she wasn't going to be a journalist; and that there are hundreds of types of vodka and they're all pretty good.
After several years spent whining about how hard it would be to write a novel, she finally tried writing one and found it was quite an enjoyable experience. Since then, she has had nine novels published. She keeps up her education by sampling new kinds of vodka on a regular basis.
The Heiresses by Allison Rushby
Publication date: May 7th, 2013
by St Martin's Press
Genre: New Adult Historical
In Allison Rushby's Heiresses, three triplets--estranged since birth--are thrust together in glittering 1926 London to fight for their inheritance, only to learn they can’t trust anyone--least of all each other.
When three teenage girls, Thalia, Erato and Clio, are summoned to the excitement of fast-paced London--a frivolous, heady city full of bright young things--by Hestia, an aunt they never knew they had, they are shocked to learn they are triplets and the rightful heiresses to their deceased mother's fortune. All they need to do is find a way to claim the fortune from their greedy half-brother, Charles. But with the odds stacked against them, coming together as sisters may be harder than they think.
Q. Where did you get the inspiration for The Heiresses?
A. 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 makeup and asked my husband (a medical specialist) about it all that evening. This led me to wondering how this 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.
Q. What's The Heiresses about?
A. The Heiresses revolves around triplets Thalia, Erato and Clio. Estranged since birth, they are thrust together in glittering 1926 London to fight for their inheritance. They quickly learn they can't trust anyone in their new lives – least of all each other.
I had an absolute ball writing The Heiresses with all its dramatic highs and lows. I was even lucky enough to be living in Cambridge at the time, so had the advantage of being able to research in London whenever I needed to.
Q. Who are your favourite authors?
A. 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! Some other favourites are Stella Gibbons and anything at all Mitford.
Q. What was the hardest part about writing The Heiresses?
A. 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 (I usually live in Australia), 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, despite the fact that it snowed (Australians don't do snow well…)!