My First Time...with Rosy Edwards
Rosy Edwards is an author, journalist and proud co-founder of The Riff Raff. After reading Politics at Durham, she moved to London to work in PR despite having no idea what PR was. Turns out it didn't matter, as she fell ill with kidney failure (for the second time, which is careless) and left to pursue her three-month held dream of becoming a teacher on the Teach First scheme. She taught for a bit before doing a Masters in Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy then got a transplant and book deal within four months. Her first non-fiction novel, Confessions of a Tinderella, was born.
She now works as a freelance journalist and copywriter but everyone knows her true love is The Riff Raff. She lives in Balham, London with her boyfriend and is seriously considering rekindling her passion for the descant recorder.
Describe the moment you decided to write your book.
At home, after another ridiculous Tinder date, probably a bit drunk.
I was having a litany of laughable experiences and it struck me that if I wrote about them I could connect with someone else, anyone else, who was having the same.
A few days later, a friend was telling me how shit she felt at having been rejected yet again. I wanted to show her it was happening to everyone. This is Tinder – if you haven't been rejected at least once, you're doing it wrong.
That all sounds terribly worthy. Can I just say I did it for the money?
What’s the one thing you wish you’d known before you started?
The value of planning. Really planning, not just making a table in Word and filling it with some notes.
Also, you can't worry what your readers will think. Write for yourself, and the people that you want to like your book, will. The rest are not your audience, god bless 'em.
What was the biggest tantrum you had while writing it?
I had a total freak-out just before it came out. I convinced myself that I should have written the whole thing differently.
I emailed my agent a stream of consciousness whilst snot and tears streamed down my face. Fortunately my agent is not just a friend but a lovely person and a sentient adult and said all the right things.
Best thing about writing your book?
How much I learnt about writing. Your first book is a baptism of fire but once the heat has cooled off you come away with a whole new skill set that you could not have acquired in any other way. And the worst?
The first is the constant re-editing. Not from my editor, you understand – that was all me. I doubted and second-guessed myself every step of the way. It was fricking exhausting.
The second was the terrifying, mortifying, paralysing writers block I had. You have never experienced writers block until you have 30,000 words to deliver and you cannot think of the right words, or indeed any words. There were days when I would have struggled to write my address.
What’s your go-to procrastination method?
Buzzfeed quizzes. Man, those things suck you in.
Go-to writing snacks?
Everything and anything that is remotely disgusting.
I don't want to admit I am procrastinating so I won't let myself go to the shop. Instead, I scour the cupboards and eat anything I can find that doesn't involve cooking.
Cold baked beans, mixed with tuna, eaten from the can, was a low point.
Your pump up song?
Cool Girl by Tove Lo. Sometimes I dance to it in front of the mirror, which is mildly humiliating.
If you could share a bottle of wine with one writer dead or alive, who would it be?
Well first off I don't really 'share' wine, so we would need two bottles.
Caitlin Moran would clearly be a hoot... otherwise the late Sue Townsend. Adrian Mole was my first literary friend and Sue's ability to create characters was something else.
The book that changed you?
The Wonder Spot by Melissa Bank. It was the first time I realised that beauty can shine out of the mundane.
Who or what inspires you to write?
People who are better writers than me, and people who mistakenly believe they are alone.
One piece of advice you’d give first time writers hoping to get a book published?
The first is to write. It sounds obvious, probably moronically so, but write everything and anything and challenge yourself to write genres that are unfamiliar. Persistence is a huge factor in success but you only get better by writing a lot.
And believe in yourself. There will be a lot of people telling you it will never happen. You have to ignore them.