Friday, 16 May 2014

Interview with Ruth Saberton

Today I have the pleasure of an interview with Ruth Saberton.

Hi Ruth,

Welcome to cometbabesbooks, thank you for agreeing to be interviewed.

My pleasure! Thanks so much for inviting me!

Can you tell us more about Escape to the Summer?
Esape for the Summer is the tale of three young women who, fed up with useless boyfriends/rubbish jobs/the city, decide to throw caution to the wind and head down to Cornwall for some sunshine and surf.  The three girls are all very different and they all have their own issues to deal with and, as the novel unfolds, we get to see their individual stories develop. Each girl has her own path to follow but the story shows how they are linked – often in ways that they would never have expect.  By the end of the story they have all learned something about themselves that comes as a surprise.  There are also supporting characters to join them on their adventures too, including some gorgeous heroes.

I really wanted to write a big fat read for the summer, the sort of book that you can take down to the beach and chill with or take on the plane, with twists and turns and laughter and – if I have got it right –a satisfying ending.  When I began the book I was still living in Cornwall and I was lucky enough to be able to visit the pretty town of Rock which instantly became the setting in my mind for this book.  Also known as “Knightsbridge on Sea”,  Rock is popular with the very and the Royals, as well as having Jamie Oliver and Rick Stein nearby, and it was instantly apparent to me that I could have a lot of fun setting a book here. I also knew I was moving to the Caribbean for two years and writing about Cornwall has really helped me to cope with being homesick.  When I finished the novel I really missed Andi, Angel and Gemma and my daily trips back to the Duchy. I have more planned for them…

I read on you author page you were inspired to write the story by seeing four friends hire a boat across the River Fowey, what made you think I can write this story?
That is exactly what happened and I love it when stories arrive unexpectedly like this!  It was just seeing the girls having so much fun on the water and enjoying each other’s company that made me start to wonder who they all were and why they were in Cornwall.  Were they all single?  Was it a hen party?  Had they hired a house?  My brain went into over drive.  I was going to ask them if I could take their picture but just as we were about to steer our boat across they crashed into us and we got chatting.  I managed to give them my email and took a few snaps on my mobile and then they were gone, far away across the river and into my imagination.  When I arrived home after the regatta I began to make some notes…

Did you ever trace them all?
I did!  I put their picture on my website and a few weeks later I had an email from one of the girls who simply couldn’t believe it. A friend of hers had seen it and was amazed.   She filled me in on their real identities and, although I hate to say it, the truth is even better than fiction!  One was a WAG, one was a fashion designer, one worked in retail and one was a teacher.  They were with four other friends and had all been to Uni together.  Every summer they meet up for a reunion in Cornwall.  This year they are meeting for a wedding and there is even a baby now too.  This is anovel in itself!

What are you plans for your next book?
I have so many plans for books and my biggest problem is having the time to write them all.  At the moment I am teaching English in the Caribbean and doing this full time so all my writing has to fit in around the day job. Consequently I get little sleep and have eye bags you could put the shopping in.

At the moment I am half way through “Dead Romantic”, which is a paranormal Rom Com and should be out in the early autumn.  Then there is “The Little Caribbean CafĂ©”, followed by the Christmas novella and then the sequel to Katy Carter. Phew!  I tend to try and write every day and although it takes discipline I absolutely love it.

I’m also writing a short 10,000 story that will be out in the midsummer too…

What inspired you to write your first book? 
I have always written and as a child I was forever filling exercise books with stories and novels about ponies.  I think that writing is something that is in you; there isn’t really a choice whether or not to write, it’s a necessity. I had written three full length novels by the time I was in my late twenties and I hadn’t had much luck at all with finding them a home.  My agent was trying her best but the publishing houses were flooded with rom coms/chick lit in the post Bridget Jones days and their lists were full (sadly I did not then go away to write about boy wizards/vampires/dystopian violence/porn) I was on the verge of giving up when I met the very elderly and prolific writer E V Thompson at an event in Cornwall.  I asked him for any advice he may have for an aspiring author and his reply was, “Write about what you know” and “Never give up.”  I went away and thought about this.  What did I know well?  What could I write about?  Then, in the middle of a very boring school meeting as I was writing a story in my teacher planner, inspiration struck and “Katy Carter Wants a Hero”, the tale of an English teacher who longs to be a writer, was born. This is the book that caught the attention of the national press when Richard and Judy liked it and launched my writing career.

Do you have a specific writing style?
I think that as a writer, especially in the age of digital publishing, you have to have a brand identity and I think that mine is probably my humour.  The odd thing is that I often don’t realize I am being funny, which says a lot about me I guess!  I enjoy romantic comedy because it offers escapism yet I believe it can also use its lightness of touch to explore some very serious issues.  I do want to write something a bit racier, a Jilly Cooper style bonk buster, so I may need a pen name so I don’t shock my readers!

How did you come up with the title? 
The working title for this book was “Rock Chicks” but my agent and publisher felt it might confuse the readers a little and in retrospect they were right.  I then had a long chat with Michele Gorman at Notting Hill Press and we decided that we liked the idea of escaping and summer holidays.  Since Andi does escape to Rock for the summer “Escape for the Summer”  seemed to be the perfect title. 

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp? 
I don’t generally set out to teach anyone a lesson through my novels but I think that a general theme of my books is that it’s only when you are happy with yourself that you can be happy with somebody else.  Sometimes the one thing you really want is the thing that has been under your nose all along!

I noticed your books would be classef as chicklit , would you ever consider writing a different genre book?
I’m never sure about the term ‘chick lit’ as I am not much of a chick these days!  I think that this was a marketing term that’s stuck and I see myself as writing fiction for young women – although I do have a lot of male and older readers too.  I do fancy writing something a bit more racy and I also have a historical novel that I wrote a long time ago that I would really like to dust down.  I think I will need some pen names?

Do you think the cover sells a book?
I think that a cover is a really important part of a brand identity and I am really lucky because I have worked with some very talented artists over the years who have designed some amazing covers.  The English and the US covers are very different though and the US market tends to prefer photographic images whereas in the UK we like artistic designs on our covers.  In this age of digital publishing the jpeg image needs to really stand out too so this is another consideration.  I hope that readers see my covers, recognize a Ruth Saberton novel and know exactly what they are buying. 

Who designed the cover for Escape to the Summer, it really has summary feel to it?
Carrie May designs my covers and she is fantastic.  You can see more of her work on 

I have not finished Escape to the Summer yet but would you consider doing s follow up to it?
Absolutely!  I really miss Andi, Angel and Gemma and I would love to see them again.  I am planning to bring them back for my Christmas novella so watch this space!

I read somewhere that bloggers/reviewers are killing the book market, do you think that is true or do you consider them essential when you have a  book published?
I LOVE book bloggers!  Honestly, I am in serious awe of you folks for reading so many books and writing such detailed reviews as well as trying to organize all we scatty author types.  I wonder if this is a quote from a publisher who is a little sour at the power the book bloggers have these days?  Bloggers can make and break novels, that’s for sure and it is a very scary time for readers when you have our ARC. I am always so grateful to any bloggers who are kind enough to review my book and the amount of publicity and marketing that you guys do for us is absolutely priceless.  In this age of digital publishing and social media books are sold through word of mouth and bloggers play a vital role.  Look at the careers of writers like Amanda Hocking and E L James whose careers sky rocketed beyond their wildest dreams thanks to the bloggers and book forums.  I believe that a relationship with book bloggers is vital to launching a book!  I love you guys!  

When will your next book be released after Escape for the Summer?
“Dead Romantic” will be published by Notting Hill Press in early September 2014.  Please feel free to review it! : )

Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions.

Thanks for having me!

Jo xx


  1. Great interview, I'd love to read the book!

    1. The book is brilliant, proper summer feel to it, I'm dying to visit Rock x