IT’S certainly been a life-changing three years for Brighouse author Rebecca Kirk - she met her future husband, had a baby daughter, got married, moved to Brighouse, is now expecting her second child and working hard to finish her third book.
Thirty-year-old Rebecca, who writes under the name RL Royle, describes her books as dark, contemporary fiction. She started writing as a child and began work on her first acclaimed novel ‘Lucy’s Monsters’ when she was just 17.
Born in Canada, she has travelled widely and her adventures and experiences, which she recorded in detail in her travel diaries, inspired her writing.
Rebecca, who lives in Warren Park, Hove Edge, is now in a race to finish her third book ‘Wavemaker’ while preparing for the birth of her second child in February.
“The last three years have been an absolute whirlwind but now I feel very settled in Brighouse. I’ve never felt so at home anywhere.”
Rebecca met her husband Greg in the Cock o’ the North pub three years ago and says it was love at first sight.
“I know it sounds really corny but I just felt this zap go through my body when I met him. I knew straight away that Greg was the one for me.
“I was told I couldn’t have children yet I got pregnant with Katy very quickly and, after years of feeling that nowhere was home, I love feeling that I have put down roots in Brighouse.”
After a disrupted childhood - Rebecca was born in Toronto but moved back to West Yorkshire when she was three - she found refuge in her writing and covered notebooks with stories and pictures from the age of seven.
“Writing is just something I have to do. I take a notebook with me everywhere and I’m always thinking up ideas.
“I’ve progressed from pens and pencils to typewriters and now computers but I have to write every day.”
‘Lucy’s Monster’ was published in 2006 and, to Rebecca’s surprise and delight, it received excellent reviews and attracted the interest of an American agent.
Her debut novel was followed a year later by the supernatural drama ‘Eleven Terrible Months’, published by Dog Horn Publishing, the company she had a hand in setting up.
In 2008 she sold all her possessions and left the UK to travel to Asia, central Europe and north America for nine months.
“I had been working in a full-time job in marketing but I just wanted to get away and see something of the world. I backpacked all over the place, trekked in the Himalayas, saw all sorts of things. All the time I was away I carried on writing and kept a daily record of my travels.”
Rebecca, who writes most evenings when her daughter is in bed, is now hard at work on her third book, which she describes as a multi-choice novel.
“I’m really excited about it. There are nine interweaving stories and the readers can choose which path the characters take and what happens to them.
“The theme is how the decisions we make - either consciously or unconsciously - have an effect on what happens to us in life.”
Rebecca often gives readings at libraries, book shops and high schools and she made a guest appearance during Brighouse Arts Festival.
“Writing is the one thing I feel confident about - so I feel confident talking about it,” she said.
“I’m not sure how I’m going to fit in my writing around the new baby but I’m looking forward to writing more about family life.
“It’ll be interesting to see if my writing changes,” said Rebecca.