Interview with Kate Hargreaves aka Pain Eyre and Book Birthday for Talking Derby!

I am so happy to havTalking Derby: Stories from a Life on Eight Wheelse Kate Hargreaves on my virtual couch today! It’s her book birthday for her debut story Talking Derby: Stories from a life on eight wheels. I adored this book. Click HERE for my review.

Also… Telling my friends I was reading Talking Derby was fun because they thought I said I was Talking Dirty. 😀

Please grab a cookie or handful of m&ms and join the fun. Oh! Wish Kate a happy book birthday too.

(((hugs))) Kat

The Queen of Tarts

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Me: Kate! Hey hon 😀 Come on in and get comfortable on my red virtual couch. I’m giddy to have you here at The Book Tart. *Kermit Flail* I’m fascinated by roller derby and your book Talking Derby just made me fall even harder… Oh! Before we start, can I get you anything? Coffee, tea, water, soda… something celebratory? Congratulations on your book birthday!


Kate: Thank you! I’m so happy to virtually be here. What a comfy couch! It’s nice to sit down for a few minutes instead of racing around from work to practice to boxing to home and back again. I’ll take a hot chocolate if you’re offering. Small indulgences!photo 1 (2)


Me: *hands Kate her drink and settles in on the couch* Small indulgences. *nods* I like small… small snacks.

ALWAYS have snacks. Feel free… cookies and candy. *nods* Yes, there’s chocolate! So darlin’ you just had your first roller derby bout of the season – How was it and how many more bouts in your season?


Kate: Snacks are always welcome with me! I’m one of those consistently hungry people, and skating for hours on end doesn’t help! *helps self to a big handful of chocolates*

Yes, we just had our first bout this year and it was an absolute blast. I was a little terrified going into it, as our season ended in October kate skateand my league had been without a full-size practice space for most of the off-season. That means we couldn’t scrimmage until this month, plus the rules changed pretty substantially between our last bout and the beginning of this season, so it was like coming back to a new sport! I came off the track after this first bout of the season feeling bruised and sore, but totally exhilarated. Our team really worked together, we came back from a deficit at half-time to win by a substantial margin, and I was pretty proud of my own performance as well. It was one of those bouts that motivates you for the rest of the season and reminds you why you love derby so much.

Sorry, can I grab some more of these chocolates? And you said there are cookies too?


Me: *passes Kate the cookie plate and noms on a cookie*


Kate: As per the rest of the season, our travel team has seven more bouts plus we are hosting the Roller Derby Association of Canada tournament for our region, and my home team has four bouts. Lots of derby this summer!


Me: Woohoo! *bounces on couch*

I was sucked into your book Talking Derby and felt immersed in the world of derby. *grabs a handful of M&Ms*  I could feel the rush and crash and smells (eww! Lol) You made it relatable and recognizable even for those of us are very unfamiliar with the sport…. Thank you 😀 have you heard back from many newbies (who want to be Freshies!) like me yet? Oh! By the way, I loved your glossary.


Kate: M&Ms too? You know how to treat a guest! I’m glad you weren’t turned off by all the bad smells and grime. They’re sort of standard in the world of derby! I’ve actually had a really good reaction from people outside the derby community who have read the book, which was a welcome surprise for me. I’ve had people who had never heard of derby before picking up Talking Derby telling me they are intrigued enough to want to check out their local league, which is very gratifying. I thought the glossary was important to include because the language of derby is so unique and so ingrained in the culture of the sport, but it can be a bit confusing or intimidating to the uninitiated. This way, there’s a handy way to look up the terms you don’t recognize!


Me: You’ve only been involved with derby for a few years right? I learned (from you!) that it’s a totally different style of skating than traditional rink skating… Harder. My thighs ached in sympathy. Has your body changed a lot from derby? I loathe exercise. 😛


Kate: I joined derby in 2010 when my local league was starting from scratch. I played my first season last year, so it took us a little while to get on our feet (in more ways than one). It has only been a couple years, but I really wonder sometimes what I did with all my free time before derby, because it has completely taken over my life. I actually never skated before derby, so I’m not sure how different it is for people who are used to speed skating or rink skating. I do know that the learning curve was pretty steep, and I realized pretty quickly that derby is a difficult, difficult sport. I used to work out before derby, doing boot camps and jogging and that sort of thing, but never really had the motivation to keep at any routine. Now, derby is my motivation. I don’t go to derby to work out, I go to boxing or boot camp to be a better derby skater. My legs have definitely become a lot stronger (one slightly stronger than the other from all the counter-clockwise skating!) and I’ve put a lot more commitment into being as strong as possible on the track and off. As I mentioned, I go to both a bootcamp and a boxing club to train twice a week, which involves a lot of burpees, push-ups and upper body work, and there’s no way I would be able to drag my ass to either if I didn’t have derby motivating me.


Me: I’m exhausted just hearing all that.  Ok… lol I think you need another cookie! It’s time for me to bring the silly! Get ready….


Kate: Well, if you insist on another cookie…I’ll take two.


Me: Oh! I think I love you! girl scout cookies

I just made up a word gishship please make up a definition and use the word in a sentence *giggle*


Kate: Gishship: A cross between a girdle, a slip and a shirt, as in “I wonder if that girl knows her gishship is hanging out the back of her dress?”


Me: *snort* I can totally picture that too. lol Good job!


How could you compare your writing process to Derby Suicide Seats?


Kate: Sitting in the suicide seats at a bout means never knowing when you’re going to end up with a derby skater in your lap. Sure, you get the best view, but there’s the risk that a derby girl is going to come careening off the track after a big hit and take you out. I suppose the same thing happens with my writing in that I can spend and awfully long time with absolutely no ideas and no inspiration, and I can never tell when an idea will hit full force.


Me: Nice!

Summarize Talking Derby twitter style in 140 characters or less?


Kate: Bruises and smelly gear, on the track, in the locker room, the kitchen, the grocery store and everywhere else: my roller derby love letter.


Me: Perfect 😀 140 characters on the nose.


Tell me a story please or make up a poem or limerick with this phrase….

Once every afternoon she takes a spin,

Straps on skates and hits the road.

It’s raining so she’s staying in

Watch out, she might explode.


Me: bwahahahaha! love love love!

It’s time for The Book Tart Quickie

  1. What was your last dream about?: The last one I can remember I was visiting another city. A strange man in the street started chasing me and trying to scratch me with his long nails. I called my friend who lived there to ask him to come and help me and he told me he had forgotten to mention that we weren’t going to be friends anymore, and wished me luck with the scary guy. When the guy with the nails caught me he scratched my arms up and I started bleeding black blood. Then I woke up super pissed off at my friend and sent him an angry text message for not saving me in my dream. He was pretty sorry. *snicker* Good friend!
  2. What’s the furthest you’ve ever been on holiday?: Probably Geneva, Switzerland? My grasp of geography isn’t fantastic, but I think that’s further away than Amsterdam, isn’t it? oh my! I’m jealous! And very directional challenged so I’ll just agree. 😉
  3. How many bones have you broken or sprained? Surprisingly, none officially. I have a mysterious rib that sticks out that I apparently broke as a teenager and let heal on its own. I have no recollection of breaking it, and this was ages before I started playing derby!
  4. What was the last film you saw?: I rented a Welsh independent film called Submarine.
  5. Favorite Jane Austen book?: Probably Pride & Prejudice. I know that’s the obvious answer, but I used to love the BBC television version as a kid so I have a soft spot for it.
  6. Can you blow bubbles with bubblegum?: Not particularly effectively.
  7. Spike or Angel? I love that this is a question! I’m such a Buffy geek that there is even a Buffy reference in my book! Spike’s sarcasm and bitterness was always funnier and more engaging than super-serious Angel, so I was always team Spike. However, I recently watched the later seasons (much of which I must have missed when I originally watched them on TV) and was so shocked by Spike’s rape attempt (why, Joss, why?) so I might have to give this one to Angel. I just pretend that Spike thing was a really bad dream and didn’t happen… I LOVED your Buffy reference cause I’m a fan too. 😀
  8. If you were in a band, what instrument/role would you play? I used to play keyboards in a band, but I’ve always wanted to sing. Too bad yelling at derby practice three times a week makes me the croakiest girl around. I can’t even sing along to the radio anymore.
  9. Do you always wear identical socks? I try to, but don’t succeed. Getting up early isn’t my forte so I sometimes get dressed with my eyes closed. The key is to wear boots so that no one can tell! *snicker* I’ll remember that tip!
  10. What was the last thing you ate? Plain rice cakes, natural peanut butter, and cinnamon. Mmmmmm.



Me: Awww! Thanks Kate for hanging with me here at The Book Tart. I’m excited to follow your adventures in writing and in derby. 😉


Kate: Thanks so much! I’m going to grab a cookie for the road! You’ve been a wonderful host! Derby love!

(((hugs))) Kat

Talking Derby: Stories from a Life on Eight Wheels

Talking Derby:

Stories from a Life on Eight Wheels

Release date: Apr. 1, 2013 |
ISBN: 0887535178 |
ISBN-13: 9780887535178 |
Format: Paperback


Talking Derby: Stories from a Life on Eight Wheel is Kate “Pain Eyre” Hargreaves’ love letter to the sport of roller derby. A derby skater since 2010, Hargreaves takes readers behind the scenes, both on and off the track, into the world of women’s flat-track roller derby. Her vignettes play with language and humour, incorporating the sport’s unique terminology and culture, as well as a glimpse into the very real athleticism and powerful friendships of its players. With a full glossary of derby terms, including “jammer,” “goat,” and “cougaring,” this book is perfect for derby fans, fresh meat, or those who are looking for their first introduction to the sport. Talking Derby thrusts smelly gear under its readers’ noses and proudly displays its bruises.

♥ Buy this paperback from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Books-A-Million | Chapters | IndieBound

Buy this ebook from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble*

*will be updated as soon as available


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kate skate 2More Kate

Kate Hargreaves is a poet, freelance writer, editor and designer who spends her spare time playing, watching, and generally devoting her life to women’s flat-track roller derby. Her work has appeared in publications such as filling Station, Rampike, Windsor ReView, Room, Off the Coast, and is forthcoming in The Antigonish Review.
For more information on roller derby check out the Women’s Flat Track Roller Derby Association or Windsor, Ontario’s own league, the Border City Brawlers.

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