Interview with Kate Rigby

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I was born in Crosby, now on the map for Gormley's Iron Men, though when I was a child there were lumps of oil on the beach. I moved to the pretty market town of Cirencester in mid-childhood before moving back up to north Liverpool again until early adulthood. They say write about what you know or in this case where you know and both placers have provided the backdrop in some of my novels as has Bournemouth where I moved to at the age of twenty-one.
When did you first start writing?
I think I always enjoyed writing stories but I began writing a novel at the age of nineteen. I know most 19 year olds don't think of writing novels, even less back then, but my mother was writing a novel and so it didn't seem an alien thing to me.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I've not taken the usual route as I was first published by what is now known as a traditional publisher. 'Fall Of The Flamingo Circus' was published in 1990 by Allison & Busby and in the US by Villard. This book was reasonably successful and was also reviewed in The Times as well as The Face. I then won an arts bursary for my first novel but my agent was unable to place it. Suddenly that early success eluded me and I spent many years trying to build on that early success while the publishing industry changed around me and things became much harder for literary fiction writers. It was left to the small presses to take the risks on unknown or non-genre writers and two separate small presses did just that, publishing another four of my books between them. But as print publishing started to decline, the digital age took off. Authors could now cut out the middle man or woman and self-publish. I was a bit hesitant at first but I find it very empowering. It reminds me of the punk era when many indie bands sprung up and musicians weren't constrained by what the industry dictated. Yes, that cuts both ways but these are exciting times!
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I think it has to be the process of watching an idea or a character or a theme take shape and then evolve into a book. It's also very satisfying when people enjoy and appreciate your work.
Who are your favorite authors?
My love is for literary fiction or character-driven fiction, anything that is fresh and innovative. Some of my favourite authors include Jon McGregor, Penelope Lively, Paul Magrs, Rachel Joyce, Dylan Thomas, Gerald Hansen, Ali Smith, Sue Monk Kidd, Jane Gardam, John McGahern, Mark Haddon, Margaret Forster and many more.
How do you approach cover design?
My sister is an artist so I have asked her to design some of my covers for instance 'Seaview Terrace, Thalidomide Kid' and 'Down The Tubes' and some of these I have enhanced in Photoshop. Other times I have bought an image from a royalty-free site for a small fee and again worked on the image, colour and lettering in Photoshop. I enjoy doing this and of course the cover is not set in stone but can be replaced any time. I have also used myself in various guises on several covers!
When you're not writing, what are your other interests?
Reading, photography, singing, 60s-80s music, nostalgia, football (LFC), cats, campaigning for social justice and genealogy. And watching Corrie!
Published 2013-09-22.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Little Guide To Unhip
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 35,820. Language: English. Published: July 28, 2014. Categories: Nonfiction » Entertainment » Humor and satire, Nonfiction » Reference » Personal & Practical Guides
Have you ever worried about not being quite hip enough? Or maybe you are one of those who flaunts your unhipness with abandon. Either way, Little Guide to Unhip is for you.
Thalidomide Kid
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 83,660. Language: English. Published: October 17, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Literary
Meet Daryl, a survivor of the Thalidomide tragedy who calls himself Thalidomide Kid. Meet Celia, the new girl at Lewis Lane Primary School and daughter of the deputy headmaster of the local comprehensive school. Together they form an alliance and a special friendship is born. But who is Stephen Arundel and what does he want? A bittersweet story about young love and emerging sexuality.
She Looks Pale
Price: $1.50 USD. Words: 9,430. Language: English. Published: December 15, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Literary
A noveletta told by a young girl confined to the house by her over-protective parents.
Did You Whisper Back?
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 42,890. Language: English. Published: June 14, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Literary, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Psychological thriller
Did You Whisper Back? is a psychological novel about family secrets and a disturbing portrayal of the fragility of the mind.
Fall Of The Flamingo Circus
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 47,990. Language: English. Published: June 5, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Coming of age, Fiction » Literature » Urban
“Fall Of The Flamingo Circus is the story of a strong and independent girl’s childhood and adolescence, her desperate battle to make something of the fearful hand dealt to her …over the years we watch Lauren’s voice grow in power and imagination, as her life – a rebel, a punk, admired by her gang but rejected and victimised by men – bursts out of its sad confines…”
Savage To Savvy
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 67,700. Language: English. Published: November 3, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » General
Psychology graduate, Heidi Harper is appointed to work with Professor Mala, pioneer of a new project to rehabilitate dog-reared feral child, Nicki. Heidi is soon asking questions and her mission takes on sinister overtones. As the truth outs, the lives of all concerned begin to unravel.
Tales By Kindlelight
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 47,730. Language: English. Published: August 21, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Anthologies » General
This bittersweet collection reflects themes for our time, be it the angst of reaching fifty, emerging sexuality or sexual experimentation. In other stories, patterns of behaviour across generations or within a lifetime are explored. Other stories look at life from unusual viewpoints, while others still have voices of a generation.
Lost The Plot
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 27,940. Language: English. Published: June 20, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Humor & comedy » General
LOST THE PLOT is a satirical piece about the process and rules of creative writing in today's climate. The narrative sets out to examine some of those rules in relation to novels. It unashamedly loses the plot and doesn't stick to the knitting pattern but deliberately exposes the seams. You as reader are invited to collude with this approach to see whether it can be sustained.
Far Cry From The Turquoise Room
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 51,480. Language: English. Published: April 16, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Literary, Fiction » Literature » Coming of age
'Far Cry From The Turquoise Room' is a coming-of-age, riches-to-rags tale of loss, resilience, and self-discovery. It is also about the passage of childhood into puberty.
Suckers n Scallies
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 60,540. Language: English. Published: March 31, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Coming of age
Loss and loneliness in childhood lead introvert middle-class Kit Ramsay into forbidden friendship and taboo territory with Liverpool tough boy, Terry Dacosta. Violence and deprivation in Terry’s childhood, drive him to aspire to a life like Kit’s. Their early experiences in 60s and 70s Liverpool are to have far-reaching effects on their adult lives and relationships
Down The Tubes
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 47,220. Language: English. Published: March 3, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Urban
Down The Tubes is the story of a dysfunctional family riven by lack of communication, addiction and abuse.
Break Point
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 31,050. Language: English. Published: February 23, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Gay & lesbian fiction » Lesbian, Fiction » Women's fiction » General
It's the start of the 1999 Wimbledon Tennis Championships. Break Point is not only about an obsession with Wimbledon: the game of tennis itself becomes a metaphor for the other psychological matches taking place at the house of peevish old Gwen McMahon. Carers come and go, but who will survive to the final?
Seaview Terrace
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 52,380. Language: English. Published: February 18, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Literary, Fiction » Humor & comedy » General
Seaview Terrace is a contemporary character-driven novel in a nineties seaside setting about the fragile relationships between neighbours, and the passions and prejudices that arise when so many disparate personalities live in close quarters.