Author Confessions: Lucy Ribchester

Lucy Ribchester, author of The Hourglass Factory, Photo by Kuba Kolinski
Category: Reading

Lucy Ribchester received a New Writers Award in 2013 and she hasn't looked back since. Her debut novel, The Hourglass Factory is published by Simon and Schuster this month.

The novel tells the story of trapeze artist and suffragette Ebony Diamond who mysteriously disappears during a performance at the London Coliseum. Determined to find out what happened, 'chippy upstart' reporter Frankie George enters a world of society columnists, corset fetishists and circus freaks on the trail of a muderous villain with a plot more deadly than anyone could have imagined.

Lucy's short fiction has been published Valve, Dactyl and Liars' League London. When she isn't writing fiction, Lucy also works as a freelance dance journalist and adult education tutor. 

We interruped Lucy's busy schedule to tease out a few author confessions. Want to know more? Follow Lucy on Twitter @LucyRibchester.


Have you ever said no to sex because you wanted to keep writing?

Why Scottish Book Trust! Goodness me you’re not shy. Usually when I’m writing I’m covered in biscuit crumbs and either hyper, grumpy or in the National Library of Scotland, so the short answer is: the situation has never arisen.

Which author or fictional character would you most like to party with?

This is a toughie because villains always have the best houses, however they also tend to be miserable owing to (or perhaps motivating) their villainry. I’d say me and Dora and Nora from Wise Children would get togged up in leopard print, borrow a private jet from a Dan Brown villain (because they are always minted) and head to the Carpathians, chez Dracula for some bloody good (sorry) cocktails.

Have you ever pretended to have read a book to impress someone?

No! The last person I’d want to impress is someone shallow and pretentious enough to be impressed by me having read a particular book. I did however lie in a classics tutorial at university about having read The Aeneid, not to impress the tutor, just so I wouldn’t fail the course.

How do you arrange your bookshelf?

A few weeks ago, my other half made the silly mistake of offering to alphabetise my books if I bought him dinner. I couldn’t believe my luck! 8 hours’ labour for the cost of a curry and I now have perfectly alphabetised, by author, bookshelves - my partner insisted that I specified 'by author' as he 'did put 8 hours’ work into it'.

What’s the strangest question you’ve been asked about your work? 

'Have you ever said no to sex because you wanted to keep writing?'

What your strangest writing obsession or superstition?

It’s been about six years since I read about David Lynch’s chocolate milkshake routine at Bob’s Big Boy diner in Burbank, LA. He used to go there every day, order a shake and six or seven cups of sweetened coffee then write his ideas down on napkins. And while I don’t want to completely blame my sugar addiction on him, I do tend to tell myself while I’m getting jacked up on Crème Eggs during a writing session that this is the same methodology that created Twin Peaks.

Do you use your local library?

Yes, as the large fines on my card will testify. 


Competition: Win a copy of The Hourglass Factory

Thanks to Simon and Schuster, we've got a couple of copies of The Hourglass Factory to giveaway. 

All you have to do to enter is answer this simple question in the comments below or email your answer to marked 'Lucy Ribchester Competition':

- What is the name of the trapeze artist featured in The Hourglass Factory?

Closing date: 17:00, Tuesday 20 January 2015. Open to UK entrants only. Full terms and conditions.


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