Today Kate Rigby joins me on my blog to talk about herself and her books.
Hi, Kate I’m glad she could make it. Welcome Kate, why don;t you start off by telling us a bit about yourself?
I was born near Liverpool and now live in Devon. I’ve been writing for over thirty years, with a few small successes along the way. I have lost count of how many babies I have (aka my books). I wrote about this analogy in my satirical novella Lost The Plot.
I realized my unhip credentials were mounting so I decided to write about it. Little Guide to Unhip was published by Night Publishing 2010.
However, I’m not completely unhip. My punk novel, Fall Of The Flamingo Circus was published by Allison & Busby (1990) and by Villard (American hardback 1990). Skrev Press published my novels Seaview Terrace (2003) Sucka!(2004) and Break Point(2006) and other shorter work has appeared in Skrev’s avant garde magazine Texts’ Bones including a version of my satirical novella Lost The Plot.
Thalidomide Kid was published by Bewrite Books (2007).
I’ve had other short stories published and shortlisted including Hard Workers and Headboards, first published in The Diva Book of Short Stories and as part of the Dancing In The Dark erotic anthology, Pfoxmoor Publishing (2011)
I also received a Southern Arts bursary for my novel Where A Shadow Played (now re-Kindled as Did You Whisper Back?).
I’m gradually in the process of re-Kindling my backlist, previously published and unpublished work. Most are also available on Smashwords including:
Suckers n Scallies (formerly Sucka!)
Down The Tubes
She Looks Pale
Tales By Kindlelight (a collection of short stories, many of them previously published or shortlisted in short story competitions)
Far Cry From The Turquoise Room
Savage To Savvy – (ABNA Quarter-Finalist 2012)
More information can be found at my website:
Or my occasional blog:
Right, now that you’ve properly introduced yourself we can get on to what you’ve come here for. We have an interview you and I. 🙂 So, first question:
Can you give me your best Whoop? Unless you have another one which works better for you?
I’m never sure what that means, Lucy! But I’ll hazard a guess. My most thrilling moment was when my book ‘Fall Of The Flamingo Circus’ was accepted by a small indie publishing house in 1988. I was on Cloud 23 for days and that was only the beginning. It was reviewed in The Times in December that year, then brought out in paperback by Allison & Busby two years later and also US hardback in the same year. That was my fifteen minutes of fame.
Okay, sounds like a winner that one, but does it work all the time, even those times when the muse has gone and done a runner on you? And when did you first start with it?
Ah, it seems I’ve misunderstood this whooping malarky after all. It’s not difficult for me to get the wrong end of the stick which is probably why I use the keyboard instead of the pen and quill these days.
Right, sounds like you are on the right track there. Let’s do a few of the yada yada questions before we move on to the fun.
What is the title of the book you would like to talk about?
Eeek. Where to start? Maybe I should stick with Fall Of The Flamingo Circus for simplicity’s sake.
Did you have difficulty coming up with the title?
Now you’re asking. It was so long ago, although I don’t recall the title being a problem. I would have to go back in my time machine for that one, Lucy. It’s a novel written in diary form, documenting the brutal life of a working-class girl from the age of seven through to her early twenties and her journey through the punk scene and beyond. I re-Kindled it last year but as it was so old I didn’t have an electronic version at all. So I had to scan the book and discovered this thing called Optical Character Recognition (OCR) which I could do for free via Google docs. It saved me having to re-type the whole novel again. (Sorry, I’m sounding a bit nerdy now).
Worry not! The readers probably will understand even if you’ve lost me. 🙂
Just to confuse you we’ll take the alternative route now.
I’m all for alternative routes!
What don’t you like about writing, or whatever you need to do marketing wise?
Marketing, yes. You’ve hit the nail on the head there. I suppose there are some writers who enjoy it but it’s time away from writing and it’s also very cringe-making. I feel a bit like one of those chuggers on the street when attempting shameless self-promotion. I think you have to be a bit tongue-in-cheek about it which is why I began a couple of threads on Amazon.uk and .com called ‘Reverse Promotion’. The idea being to put people off your book, to sell it short, with a little ingenuity and humour. I’ve no idea if it’s helped sell books or not but I think the thread, particularly the one in the UK, is more successful than my books (*sobs inconsolably*)!
Seriously though, I think the key to self-promotion is not to overdo it. It’s difficult finding that balance but I think you have to avoid over-saturation.
You know that’s exactly what I struggle with. How often to Twitter, or mention your books on the book of faces, or even share on Google+. Glad to know I’m not alone in this.
But tell me, when your muse is visiting and you’re on a roll, what would seriously drive her/him away?
Hahaha, I can understand him on that one.
What does your muse look like?
Possibly David Bowie.
Oh, I’ll come and meet your muse in person then. 🙂
Or my cat.
(Sorry…couldn’t resist sneaking the cat in somewhere.)
I’ll just pretend not to have heard that.
Do you ever speak to your characters and do you get along all the time?
You bet! The characters have often come before the books and I have been able to enact them with my sister who also invents characters, so real life conversations have taken place, so to speak. There’s nothing like being your characters to give you an insight into the way they think, feel, speak etc. As for getting along with them all the time, that’s a resounding ‘no’! It is challenging though to invent and develop characters with opposing views to one’s own.
Can you name the food and drink that will surely get you started?
A good old cuppa, not too strong. Oh and my trusty hot water bottle is never too far away. I wouldn’t recommend dunking it though, it can make the tea taste a bit rubbery.
And finally why would you ever want to live life behind a keyboard slaving over a manuscript?
I don’t know! Why would anyone? It’s a kind of OCD, I guess. But a harmless one 😉
Okay now that we have the mandatory questions out of the way, shoot your mouth off. Tell me whatever you want the blab about. But please no cat’s, dogs, or children. Make me laugh, or cry, or even envious. Tell me something none has ever heard before from you. hehehe, love those little dirty secrets, real or make believe. 🙂
You mean like learning Japanese in a weekend or playing the recorder with my eyelashes? That sort of thing? Nothing like that, I’m afraid, Lucy. I don’t know about dirty little secrets but I have a whole book of my unhip little secrets in my book ‘Little Guide To Unhip’. You will have to buy the book though, to discover what they are!
Many thanks for the opportunity, Lucy. I have to say this is one of the more wacky interviews I’ve done, if not THE most wacky one and I’ve had a lot of fun doing it!
Well, I’ve had loads of fun having you hanging around here and answering my ‘wacky’ questions. 🙂 Please do pop over again anytime you have something interesting to share.
Okay, all that’s left now is telling us where to get all those books you’ve told us about.