My First Time with...Rebecca F John
Rebecca F. John was born in 1986, and grew up in Pwll, a small village on the South Wales coast. She holds a BA in English with Creative Writing (1st class hons) and an MA in Creative Writing (distinction) from Swansea University, as well as a PGCE PCET from the University of Wales Trinity Saint David.
Her short stories have been broadcast on BBC Radio 4 and BBC Radio 4Extra. In 2014, she was highly commended in the Manchester Fiction Prize. In 2015, her short story 'The Glove Maker's Numbers' was shortlisted for the Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award. She is the winner of the PEN International New Voices Award 2015, and the British participant of the 2016 Scritture Giovani project. In 2017, she was named on Hay Festival's 'The Hay 30' list.
Her first short story collection, Clown's Shoes, is available now through Parthian. Her first novel, The Haunting of Henry Twist, was published through Serpent's Tail in July 2017.
When she is not writing, Rebecca enjoys skiing, reading, sketching, watching tennis and playing music. Rebecca lives in Swansea with her three dogs, Betsy, Teddy, and Effie.
Here's the blurb for The Haunting of Henry Twist...
London, 1926: Henry Twist's heavily pregnant wife leaves home to meet a friend. On the way, she is hit by a bus and killed, though miraculously the baby survives. Henry is left with nothing but his new daughter - a single father in a world without single fathers. He hurries the baby home, terrified that she'll be taken from him. Racked with guilt and fear, he stays away from prying eyes, walking her through the streets at night, under cover of darkness.
But one evening, a strange man steps out of the shadows and addresses Henry by name. The man says that he has lost his memory, but that his name is Jack. Henry is both afraid of and drawn to Jack, and the more time they spend together, the more Henry sees that this man has echoes of his dead wife. His mannerisms, some things he says ... And so Henry wonders, has his wife returned to him? Has he conjured Jack himself from thin air? Or is he in the grip of a sophisticated con man? Who really sent him?
Describe the exact moment you decided to write your book.
I decided to write The Haunting of Henry Twist the instant I woke from a dream I had about the main character. It was such a vivid dream, clearly set in 1920s London, during which Henry – though he had a different name then – answered his door to a gang of thugs and was informed that his friend Jack needed his help.