‘Midgie’ author’s career born in Harrogate Library

Harrogate author Rebecca Colby.
Harrogate author Rebecca Colby.

A Harrogate librarian has gotten her big break into being a successful author - in more ways than one.

Rebecca Colby, writer of hit children’s picture book There was a Wee Lassie who Swallowed a Midgie (on Floris Books), took her first steps to fame when US literary agent, Kathleen Rushall of Marsal Lyon Literary Agency, offered to represent her.

Rebecca said: “It really was a week of breaks. Kathleen offered to represent me, and then a day later I broke my wrist ice skating. I had to sign the contract left-handed!”

Although Kathleen sold Rebecca’s first book, It’s Raining Bats and Frogs, (which will be published by Macmillan US next year), it was the second book sold - ‘Midgie’ with illustrations by Kate McLelland - that was actually published first.

It’s been a long road to this point for Rebecca. She first developed an interest in writing as a child and won an essay contest aged 12. And, before becoming a successful author, she worked at Harrogate Library for nearly 10 years.

Rebecca said: “I was perfectly placed to study the market place there!”

Her ‘Midgie’ book is the Waterstones’ Scottish Children’s Book of the Month.