Is Monogamy Dead? by Rosie Wilby
Bittersweet, original, honest and so funny. Rosie Wilby nails the challenges of intimacy and romance in this depressing age of Tinder. Would it be wrong to end a life of monogamy and leave my husband for her? Viv Groskop “My favourite way to learn is when a funny, clever, honest person is teaching me- that’s why I love Rosie Wilby!” Sara Pascoe
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.
Q) For the readers, can you talk us through your background and the synopsis of your new novel?
A) I’m a comedian and, over the last eight years, I’ve written and toured a trilogy of solo shows about love and relationships. The middle part was called Is Monogamy Dead? and centred around a survey I devised asking ‘what counts as cheating?’
Q) Can you talk us through the journey from idea to writing to publication?
A) The comedy show spun off into a TEDx talk, numerous articles and a Radio 4 Four Thought piece as I realised that the topic had a more serious side. I thought that a book would give me the space to explore both the humour and deeper emotional and scientific aspects of how we behave in human relationships. So I set about getting an agent and a publisher. I’d entered a slightly different Memoir into a Mslexia competition and had been shortlisted. So, along with my comedy profile and broadcasting and social media platform etc, I guess I was lucky enough to have a tiny bit of a ‘calling card’. But it was still a very difficult process. One or two of the big publishers called me in for meetings or showed interest. But, in the end, an indie publisher Accent expressed the most real excitement about it. They have the UK and Ireland rights and I’m currently looking to publish in other territories. There is also an audio book with Audible.
Q) What are your favourite authors and recommended reads?
A) I like nonfiction that has a strong element of personal narrative and humour. Caitlin Moran’s How to be a Woman was a bit of a template for how I approached my book.
Q) What were your childhood/teenage favourite reads?
A) I loved drawing cartoons as a child, so particularly enjoyed the Asterix books.
Q) What has been your favourite moment of being a published author?
A) I’ve really enjoyed the conversations I’ve had about the book on podcasts. The High Low show was a particularly fun one. Dolly and Pandora had both throughly read the book and made tons of notes.
Q) Who has been your source of support/encouragement, throughout the writing process?
A) I met my new partner Suzanne when I was right in the thick of writing. So that not only gave me a happy ending for the book, but also a companion to help me get through all of the difficult and stressful processes that come after you’ve submitted, such as proofing and then all the marketing. Being an author is a desperately lonely process compared to the hugely social aspect of being a comedian.