Author inspired by her childhood roots

JPCT 180814 S14340838x Steyning author, Rebecca Whitney-Leggatt -photo by Steve Cobb SUS-140818-141941001
JPCT 180814 S14340838x Steyning author, Rebecca Whitney-Leggatt -photo by Steve Cobb SUS-140818-141941001

A STEYNING born author has come full circle and returned to her roots to give a talk about her debut novel that is influenced by the childhood town she adores.

Rebecca Whitney spent her formative years in Goring Road, Steyning with her parents and two siblings.

With the release of her psychological thriller, The Liar’s Chair, this month Rebecca tells the Herald how she unknowingly infused memories of the town into her story.

“With writing you don’t always know what you’re going to write. Some people plot it out from the beginning, but I don’t really do that.

“Steyning was one of these things began to tie into the place, because our roots are very much part of our psyche and subconscious.”

Rebecca began her life in Kingsmead Close before she moved to Goring Road at the age of 10.

“As children we used to walk down Sopers Lane, near Maudlin Lane which is probably mentioned in the book.”

The Liar’s Chair is about a woman who is having an affair and on one drunken night, she accidently hits a man with her car, and in a state of panic hides the body.

Rebecca said: “It’s about a woman who has lost herself and she has a very unhappy marriage, but on the surface she has a big house and a nice job.

“She’s consumed with guilt and takes it upon herself to self-destruct and it begins to undo her.”

Released last Thursday, the book is published under Mantle and has already received positive reviews from the Sunday Times and The Observer, which have associated the 48-year-old with the new Gone Girl [a popular American thriller] genre movement in literature.

“It’s strange – it wasn’t intentional. I hadn’t read Gone Girl, it wasn’t part of my reading world at the time. I suppose in a way it’s flattering and there does seem to be a thirst for more of this fiction,” she said.

Now a Brighton resident, Rebecca is to return to Steyning tonight for an author supper event, organised by The Steyning Book Shop and hosted at the Sussex Produce Cafe.

“I have known Sarah [owner of The Steyning Book Shop] for years and hopefully there will be a lot of local people, some that I know.”