My first book Flat Track Fashion: The Roller Derby Look Book has just been published this week. I spent a lot of time over the last year putting this project together, and now that it is finally finished, I can’t believe it’s real! I’m so pleased with the way the book has turned out.
Writing has always been a big passion of mine. I’ve been writing since I was a teenager and studied English literature at university, both for my undergraduate degree and my Masters. After I finished studying, I continued to write fiction and poetry on my own and as part of a writing group, as well as bits of journalism here and there wherever I found an opportunity.
While I was still a postgraduate student, I got my first job working in publishing. I have since become an editor for a small publishing company and although editing books is a job I enjoy very much, there is nothing I enjoy more than having a large writing project to get my teeth into, other than playing roller derby of course!
In my previous job, the editorial department I used to work in had meetings every month where ideas for new books would be presented and discussed and then were eventually commissioned if they were deemed to be ‘good ideas’. At the time I started working there, I was just getting into roller derby. My colleagues listened and looked on in horror as I told them all my stories of what we did at practice, came in with bruises, played my first bout and fell in love with the sport. After I had been playing for a while, I started suggesting to my boss that we should publish a book about roller derby. I never dreamed that she would take the idea seriously and at first she laughed it off but I kept talking to her about the idea until one day she said ‘Ok then, write me a proposal’. So I did. I was editing fashion books at the time so I thought it would be great to make a beautifully designed, illustrated book with photos from all the leagues that have formed all over the world and really showcase the whole culture and style of roller derby and how it has developed over the years.
To my surprise, the company really liked the idea so I suggested that I write the book and manage the project myself. I really enjoyed the challenge and researching and writing about it all. There are chapters on everything from the history and origin of the sport to uniforms and logos, personal styles and fashions from leagues around the world, protective gear and skates, including the history of the roller skate, to menswear, referees and men’s roller derby, make up and tattoos, as well as a Foreword written by veteran skater Virginia ‘Cheap Trixie’ Evans of the Texas Rollergirls. I wrote to leagues all over the world and got some pretty amazing photos of some very stylish rollergirls from around the globe. We also did an exclusive fashion photo shoot with rollergirl models from London Rollergirls, London Rockin Rollers and Croydon Roller Derby especially for the book here in London in the atmospherically moody setting of a graffiti spattered tunnel under Waterloo station.
Photo by Danny Bourne
Photo by Danny Bourne
You can view a sample of the book here:
Check out the Facebook page:
Watch a video about the book here:
Or buy the book here: