Saturday 14 July 2018

Addiction - Kate Rigby

In this special feature about addiction I am truly delighted to have, Kate Rigby sitting in the hot seat talking about her book, Down the Tubes. Please sit back and be prepared to be hooked!

Thanks so much for having me for this important feature, Pauline

Tell us a little about your book

The story is a hard-hitting one, beginning in the late 1980s and set mainly in London, Bournemouth and Hampshire. It is (mainly) dual-narrated from the point of view of Michael, who left home at the age of sixteen to escape child abuse, and from the point of view his mother, Cheryl, who comes to work in the addictions field in an admin capacity now that most of her children have grown up.

Michael aka Dodo, now aged twenty, hasn’t been seen by his family for years but is living with various other junkies in a succession of rundown flats and maisonettes in London until he eventually ends up on the streets with his dog Woodstock.  He is vulnerable to nasty characters who prey on him until he finally goes to rehab in a rural setting to deal with his issues, though it’s a bumpy ride for him as he needs to face his past.

Meanwhile his mother, Cheryl, is ill-suited to working in the addictions field in many ways (though she herself felt addicted to the adoration she got when she had her babies) and ends up working in an admin role at a Drug Project, 484, almost by default, having not been in the labour market for many years. She and Michael’s paths almost collide, and then, when she gets a job at the rehab, she soon discovers Michael has just left. What she discovers there, in the files, she finds quite unpalatable and she herself goes into a kind of meltdown. 

They're each on a journey, but can there be reconciliation as well as rehabilitation?

I better not say too much more otherwise I’ll be in danger of giving the whole story away!

What or who inspired you to write about addiction

It was inspired by working in the addictions field in the late 80s and early 90s but also there were a lot of drug problems in Bournemouth where I lived from the early 80s. A lot of seaside towns do have or have had similar problems. When I worked in the drug services there was a change in strategy for treating ‘problem drug users’ in the light of HIV. So harm reduction services such as needle exchanges and Methadone programmes were being introduced. I met all sorts of different people, both users and workers and they have inspired some of the anecdotes of this novel. But all characters are fictional. 

As part of my work I also did some research in an all-female rehab and what hit home then was the link between problem drug use and child sex abuse.

Tell us a little about you?

I’ve been writing for many years now with a few small successes along the way, the main one being the publication of my punk novel Fall Of The Flamingo Circus in 1990.  Writing is my biggest passion and creating characters, but away from writing (and reading) I love cats, music, photography and LFC! I have an autoimmune-type illness and so my days are restricted but when I can I’m also a keyboard warrior campaigning against social injustice.

A little bird told me you are writing a follow up, are you able to tell us anything about it yet?

That little birdie told you right although I never set out to write a follow up!  It is still very much a work in progress but it’s about Michael’s story two decades on when something momentous happens in his life, which knocks him off course (again) causing him to relapse. There are more family strains as his past comes back to haunt him and new revelations come to light.  He finds he’s not beaten the addiction demons yet after all but the opening event acts as a catalyst for change. Michael is a survivor and hopes to get his life back on track again in his life though perhaps not quite as he thought. At the moment I’ve not decided yet whether Cheryl’s point of view and/or other narrators will be included.  It will very much depend on how it seems as a whole when I’ve finished the first draft and of course anything can change in a second or subsequent draft!

You can find Kate on all these social media platforms…

Details about Down The Tubes and all my other books can be found at my website:

Or my occasional blog:

I would love to connect on social media: - Occasional Unhip Discussions!

I am sure you agree this books is addictive, so please check it out. 
And, don't forget to come back and meet another and their page turning books.

See you tomorrow! 
Until then, have a fabulous day and I hope the sun is shining on your face and in your heart.


Brought to you by
 In the Cold Light of Day


Chill Awards for Independent Authors

1 comment:

Kate Jay-R said...

Thanks so much for having me on your blog to talk about addiction in fiction, Pauline.