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My First Time...with Kelleigh Greenberg-Jephcott

Kelleigh Greenberg-Jephcott was born and raised in Houston, Texas, before eventually coming to call London her adopted home.

She has studied screenwriting at the University of Southern California, been honoured by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences as a Finalist for the Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting, and in 2006, Kelleigh was the recipient of the Abroad Writers’ Conference Fellowship in Provence, where the germ of an idea for a book about Truman Capote’s betrayal of his Swans was born; a decade of research and gestation later, her debut novel Swan Song was born.

The winner of the 2015 Bridport Prize Peggy Chapman-Andrews Award for a First Novel, Swan Song was also shortlisted for the 2015 Myriad Editions First Drafts Competition, the 2015/16 Historical Novel Society New Novel Award and the 2016 Lucy Cavendish College Fiction Prize.

So she's quite good at writing, then,

It's our pleasure to welcome Kelleigh to The Riff Raff on Thursday August 9th...

Get your tickets here >>

Here's the blurb for Swan Song...

'They told him everything. He told everyone else. 'Over countless martini-soaked Manhattan lunches, they shared their deepest secrets and greatest fears. On exclusive yachts sailing the Mediterranean, on private jets streaming towards Jamaica, on Yucatán beaches in secluded bays, they gossiped about sex, power, money, love and fame. They never imagined he would betray them so absolutely. 'In the autumn of 1975, after two decades of intimate friendships, Truman Capote detonated a literary grenade, forever rupturing the elite circle he’d worked so hard to infiltrate. Why did he do it, knowing what he stood to lose? Was it to punish them? To make them pay for their manners, money and celebrated names? Or did he simply refuse to believe that they could ever stop loving him? Whatever the motive, one thing remains indisputable: nine years after achieving wild success with In Cold Blood, Capote committed an act of professional and social suicide with his most lethal of weapons . . . Words.'

Describe the exact moment you decided to write your book?

It’s a bit of a two-beat journey. Growing up in a tradition of Southern colloquial storytellers, I’ve always been drawn to Capote. I read the Clarke and Plimpton biographies early on and became fascinated by mentions of the powerful, vulnerable women in Truman’s life – his ‘Swans’.