Pat Kirby – Biography
Pat Kirby has lived in Southwest Scotland for forty years and is almost considered Scottish by some of her friends and neighbours. But she was born in the United States and went to college there before coming to St Andrews as an exchange student – and falling in love with everything Scottish, even the weather.
She has worked as a guidance teacher, stress counsellor and English teacher. She also taught maths in a convent, philosophy in a very posh girls school and conducted drama lessons in a disintegrating shed for several months until it collapsed. She tried for a career as a taxi driver but didn’t make the cut. Her greatest work success was founding an experimental charity to encourage outdoor learning and increase the connections between young people and their local environment, while trying to help them find jobs. She resigned from it after several years but it’s still going strong without her.
Reading obsessively and writing in all sorts of genres is one of Pat’s ways of entertaining herself and keeping awake on those long Scottish evenings. Pat always enjoyed teaching the creative writing parts of the syllabus she was delivering when she was a secondary school teacher and would do all the exercises she set her students for her own pleasure. Wild swimming is her greatest claim to eccentricity. Her delight in discovering that a wet suit means you don’t have to give it up in the winter has been considerable.
Pat is lucky to have friends and family scattered around the world, so she has a good excuse for frequent travels. She also loves really good hotels, preferably those with outdoor swimming pools and first-class steam rooms. She spends time in Japan most years and is looking forward to placing some of the action in her next novel there, giving her a good excuse for visiting a variety of onsen spas.
Pat has children and grandchildren, chickens, a husband, an enormous garden and her house has a brilliant view of the hills of Lowland Scotland. She loves walking in that landscape, even when it’s raining, which is, of course, usually the case.