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My First Time...with Rosie Wilby

Award-winning comedian Rosie Wilby has appeared on BBC Radio 4’s Loose Ends, Summer Nights, Four Thought, Midweek, The Human Zoo and Woman’s Hour, and at festivals including Glastonbury, Secret Garden Party, Green Man, Larmer Tree and Latitude. She was a finalist at Funny Women 2006 and Leicester Mercury Comedian of the Year 2007 and she’s been touring acclaimed solo shows internationally and steadily building a word-of-mouth army of fans ever since.

Her writing has been published in The Sunday Times, The Guardian, The Independent, New Statesman and more. Her first book, Is Monogamy Dead? is published by Accent Press and follows her TEDx talk of the same name.

She co-hosts Radio Diva on Resonance FM alongside Heather Peace every Tuesday and has presented for BBC Sussex and Surrey.

Rosie will be reading at our festive meet up on Thursday 14th December, get your tickets right here.

Rosie Wilby | The Riff Raff

Here's the blurb for Is Monogamy Dead?...

In early 2013, comedian Rosie Wilby found herself at a crossroads with everything she'd ever believed about romantic relationships. When people asked, 'who's the love of your life?' there was no simple answer. Did they mean her former flatmate who she'd experienced the most ecstatic, heady, yet ultimately doomed, fling with? Or did they mean the deep, lasting companionate partnerships that gave her a sense of belonging and family? Surely, most human beings need both.

Mixing humour, heartache and science, Is Monogamy Dead? details Rosie's very personal quest to find out why Western society is clinging to a concept that doesn't work that well for some of us and is laden with ambiguous assumptions.

Describe the exact moment you decided to write your book?

I'm a comedian. My 2013 Edinburgh show was titled Is Monogamy Dead? and was a sequel to an award-winning show called The Science of Sex. It soon became clear that I'd opened up a real can of worms and there was something more serious in this topic that needed to be explored. So I did a TEDx talk and some serious articles.

Then it was when I wrote my script for a Radio 4 Four Thought piece and dug a little deeper that I realised I had the beginnings of a book.

What’s the one thing you wish you’d known before starting to write your book?

That readers would enjoy me making the story quite personal. It took me a long time to give myself permission to put the really personal stuff in. That's actually the strongest element I think – the way it reads like a novel as I make discoveries about how relationships work.

What’s your go-to procrastination method?

Walking in Brockwell Park, swimming in the Lido or snuggling with my cat Lily.

What was the biggest tantrum you had while writing it?

It was probably during the proofing process which was very frustrating and difficult. It's amazing how many errors slip through.

Is Monogamy Dead? | The Riff Raff

Best thing about writing your book?

Interviewing really interesting people – academics, experts and friends in non-conventional relationships.

And the worst?

Worrying about cash flow and how to recoup the money I lost turning down work while I was busy writing.

Go-to writing snacks?

Peanut butter toast.

Who or what inspires you to write?

I'm inspired by the ultimate goal of being able to read the book in front of an audience. I'm a performer. That connection with a live audience is what it's all about.

The book that changed you?

Caitlin Moran's How to be a woman opened up the idea of how I wanted to go about writing... by using my own life to investigate a societal issue.

Your pump up song?

Goldfrapp 'Rocket'.

If you could share a bottle of wine with one writer dead or alive, who would it be?

A teetotal one so I can have all the wine!

One piece of advice you’d give first time writers hoping to get a book published?

Enter a competition. My momentum began when I was shortlisted by Mslexia in their Memoir competition 2014. There's nothing like a deadline to focus the mind.


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