And down the rabbit hole we go…in Rachel Tey’s lovely and charming new book Tea in Pajamas.
What if by doing something ordinary, you unlocked the gateway into a world of the extraordinary? For Belle Marie, having tea on Wednesday afternoons—barefoot and in her pajamas—mysteriously transports her from her home to the charming storybook land of Belzerac. Soon joined by her best friend, Tess, the girls enjoy weekly adventures in this wonderful new place of talking animals and a glittering blue forest. But one particular Wednesday, Tess suddenly vanishes and things go awry…
Tea in Pajamas is a story of hope: of a life that is beautiful and inspiring when seen through the eyes of a child—and with a discerning heart.
Maybe because the author has such a personal connection to the story (read the Author’s Note) or maybe it’s because the writing itself is simply so enthralling, but you can feel the depth with which this book was written. It’s a read that reminds of Alice in Wonderland meets Dorothy–just without the ruby slippers. It’s a gentle and carefully told tale–and nothing too scary even if events sound ominous (the Musicians!) at times. I’d dare say best read it while drinking tea curled up on the couch.
To all this, Belle paid little attention, for there were more pressing matters at hand. Unbeknownst to her family (and the rest of the world), a midweek tea session at home in sleepwear was no ordinary time. It was the crucial step in unlocking the doors to a wondrous place of magic—Belzerac.
About the Author: Rachel Tey is an editor who works in academic publishing. A mother of two, she enjoys writing, playing the piano, and reading books on medieval European history. In time, Rachel hopes to publish a volume of spiritual reflections. She resides with her husband and children in Singapore.
Rachel graciously answered some of my nosy questions, more or less relevant to her book and writing in general.
Please join me in making her feel welcome here on my fishy blog! 🙂 Welcome Rachel Tey!
Please recommend a children’s book for me to read that you’ve read and liked at some point in your life:
Rachel: Ruby Holler by Sharon Creech. I love the pair of rambunctious orphan twins in the book and their feisty neversaydie spirit. I love Creech’s fun and snappy writing style that keeps this novel lighthearted and humorous. Above all, I’m sure adults and children alike can identify with the underlying message of this book: the strength of the human spirit to overcome all odds.
What is your favorite dessert?
Rachel: Coffeeflavored soufflé. I think I’m addicted!
If you were an animal, what would you be?
Rachel: A flappyeared puppy dog. I’m fiercely loyal and deeply affectionate.
What does your writing process look like?
Rachel: How about how I WISH my writing process looked like? Ideally, I am productive every day and I spend each morning typing fiercely on my laptop in a determined and focused way until about noon. And then I stop and enjoy the rest of my afternoon/day.
BUT…that isn’t how it works.
I am not productive every day and I only sit down properly in front of a word processor and write when there is an opportunity. Being a mother of two who also works full time means I have limited time for myself, but the good thing is, when I’m not writing, I’m always aware of everything happening around me that I can use as potential material for writing. Most of my insights and ideas come from my daily habit of journaling (a physical, offline journal). It can feel mechanical in the beginning, but once you start to recount the experiences that touched you or wonder why certain people acted a certain way, a chain of thoughts just flows naturally. I think it’s important for a writer to find little ways of getting in touch with themselves and their inner “movements” and study patterns of human behavior in daily personal encounters so they can write about characters based on what they know.
What are you working on now? What is your next project?
Rachel: I’m working on an ongoing online series entitled Everything Takes Forever: A Story of Waiting. I struggled with an eating disorder some years back, and coming out of it, I really wanted to share my experience of how I learned to be more selfaware, discerning, and protective of my freedom in my choices. It’s quite a departure from Tea in Pajamas (which is more allegorical), but in sharing my journey, I hope to send a message to those still suffering from disordered behaviors that yes, there is hope, and yes, life is worth fighting for. At some point I’d like to make this into a permafree ebook anyone can download. But for now, I’m only about a third into the story. I’m also hoping to begin writing the sequel to Tea in Pajamas. Yes, Belle Marie and gang will be back!
Rachel is currently having a giveaway to celebrate the paperback launch of Tea in Pajamas; she’s giving away Amazon gift cards worth US$25, $50, $75 and $100 to 4 lucky readers! Do head on over to Rachel’s Blog to find out more.
Rachel, thank you so much for being a guest on my blog today. I enjoyed reading Tea in Pajamas immensely.
Happy reading, everyone!