Friday, March 6, 2015

INTERVIEW: Rosalind Gibb

Author Rosalind Gibb writes from the heart. In her award-winning book Show Me Colour, she tells of her experiences with friendship, love, loss, grief and her eventual renewal. Gibb is Scottish, so her spelling and language are a bit different from my own. She graciously agreed to allow me to interview her.

Describe your childhood home. Does your childhood influence your work? If so, how?
It was a top floor flat in the south of Edinburgh, Scotland. There were five kids, a dog and a cat. It was a very busy, rambling, laidback house, always open to friends and neighbours.
My mum was a freelance journalist for a time and I have vivid memories of her using her typewriter at the kitchen table. She used to take us to nursery and write her articles before picking us up just before lunch.
I’m not sure that my childhood influences my work, other than that I was always encouraged to be creative, and enjoyed watching my mum – who was also a strong role model – type up her newspaper articles.

How did you first get into writing?
I loved writing as a kid. I studied Criminology at university but always had an ambition to work as a journalist. So when I was 27 I enrolled on a Masters in Journalism at a college in London. I worked as a reporter at local newspapers and soon realised feature writing was my thing. I loved telling people’s stories or highlighting an issue. With feature writing you have the space to get pretty creative. There are lots of rules for reporters writing news stories, whereas feature articles can be more fluid and inventive. 

What is your writing process?
I don’t really have a process! Last year when I wrote Show Me Colour I mostly followed my instinct: if I was in the mood to write I would, and sometimes for hours and hours on end. Some weeks I didn’t write at all. I think that was necessary given the subject matter.
I did give myself a deadline (otherwise I wouldn’t have finished it!) but I am not one for a strict routine. If I had an urge to go for a wander or to see a film, I would do that instead. I definitely believe that going with your instinct is good for getting your creativity flowing. As is getting out and about and finding inspiration; on walks, from unexpected happenings or from people you meet.

What has contributed to your success?
Perseverance, self-belief (which can so easily be replaced by self-doubt, especially after days of writing alone) and encouragement from friends who read an early draft of the book.

Who inspires you?
Anyone who has overcome adversity, worked hard and achieved a dream. I never fail to be amazed and inspired by the strength of the human spirit. 

What do you love most about writing?
It's a wonderful creative outlet and good for the soul. And it's ultimately incredibly satisfying: starting out one day with the very first line, and ending up with a completed book filled with stories that will (hopefully) take the reader on a real journey. 

What do you do when you’re not writing?
To earn money, I do copywriting and edit publications, at the moment for various companies and charities in Edinburgh. For pleasure, I love going to Sh'bam classes (dance exercise classes), watching films, reading, daydreaming about future travels, and spending evenings with friends, sharing food, wine and conversation.

Do you remember the first thing you wrote?
I don't, I'm afraid!

What are you working on now?
I am promoting Show Me Colour, which I self-published in December. It's very different to the solitary writer role, and I'm learning a lot.

For more information about Rosalind Gibb or her book, Show Me Colour, log onto

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