Saturday, 29 April 2017

Back Catalogue Books - Q&A with Ruth Saberton

Back Catalogue Books is my new regular Saturday feature, focusing on books that are not the latest releases. There is going to be a mix of Q&As and also reviews, depending on what I have the space for. 

If you are an author wanting to take part in Back Catalogue Books then please do email on gilbster at gmail dot com and I'll whizz the questions over to you. 

I hope everyone enjoys this weekly look back at some of the slightly older books that are about but still great, and that I eventually make a dent in my TBRs as a result of it!

Today I'm talking to the wonderful Ruth Saberton, author of amongst others the Polwenna Bay series that I absolutely love.

1) Please tell me about your first book, and what started you writing in the first place

I’ve wanted to be a writer for as long as I can remember! As a child I filled endless notebooks with stories about ponies and forced my poor family to read them. I wrote all the way through university and always told myself that one day I would do this full time but of course mortgages and my teaching job took up a lot of time and although I carried on writing it felt like a distant dream.  A few years ago I decided that rather than just fantasising about being an author I was going to really go for it.  I wrote my first novel in about five months and writing it was the easy bit.  There then followed endless rejections from agents and publishers and it was soul destroying.  I didn’t give up though and writing about what I knew proved to be the key and I started Katy Carter Wants a Hero, the very fictional tale (!) of a teacher who dreams of being a best selling novelist.  This is the novel that was championed by Richard and Judy, hit the national press over the Easter weekend in 2011 and the rest is history!

2) How many books have you written and what are they?

I’ve written over twenty books now. (if you have a look at my website they are all listed. You might just want to pop a link on rather than a long list!) Eight are written under a variety of pen names from Jessica Fox to Georgie Carter as I was writing for different publishers and had a non compete clause as well as being a ghost writer for Working Partners. I’m currently working on the next book in my Cornish set Polwenna Bay series, RECIPE FOR LOVE, and a fun novella.

3) Which book are you most proud of writing?

I don’t think I could pick a book I am most proud of. That’s like asking a parent to chose their favourite child. Obviously I’m hugely fond of KATY CARTER WANTS A HERO as it was my first published novel and the one that started my writing journey but I know I have moved on as a writer now – seven years on! I’m hugely proud of my latest novel THE ISLAND LEGACY It’s sweeping romance set on a Cornish island and embraces the beauty of the county, mystery, a dark brooding hero and a spirited heroine. I’m hoping it will be a summer must read in 2017!
4) Which book was your favourite to write?

It’s always the book I’m writing at the time! That is the book that takes all my focus and passion.

5) Who are your favourite characters from your books and why?

I love Katy Carter, the hapless wannabe writer teacher heroine from KATY CARTER WANTS A HERO and KATY CARTER KEEPS A SECRET. She gets into all kinds of scrapes and none of them are based on me, of course not! I also have a soft spot for Ashley Carstairs the wealthy property developer with a devastating secret in the Polwenna Bay series and in my heart I’d love to be Amber from CHANCES, my pony novel, with her spirited Arab horse.

6) If you could go back and change anything from any of your books, what would it be, and why?

If I could go back in time and change anything from my books I think it would be to have started Indie publishing much sooner. Having creative freedom and building a publishing business has been so exciting and rewarding and I would have loved to have been there from the very early days. I also wish I’d written a best seller about boy wizards!

7) Which of your covers if your favourite and why?

My favourite cover is the original cover for my novel DEAD ROMANTIC. This is my paranormal romance about a non nonsense scientist who begins to have a some very strange experiences. The novel begins in the past when the heroine has a chance encounter with a handsome stranger on a snowy railway platform one Christmas Eve and my cover artist’s design transported me straight there. This is the book that I HAD to write because the characters were shouting at me to get their story down!

8) Have you ever thought about changing genres, if so what else would you like to write?

I’d love to write a sexy bonk buster! I have one half written on my lap top but I’m scared it will shock my readers! It has horses, motorbikes, sex, ambition, villains and a to die for bad boy hero and it’s great fun. One day, maybe. I also have an unfinished historical novel calling me…

9) Looking forward can you let us know what you are working on next?

I’m busy writing my next Polwenna Bay novel, RECIPE FOR LOVE, having just finished 2017’s Christmas book SEASON OF SECOND CHANCES. It’s felt like a very long Christmas!

10) I dare not ask for a favourite author, but is there any author’s back catalogue you admire and why?

I love Jilly Cooper! I have all her books from the early romances right through to MOUNT. I love the way that the RUTSHIRE CHRONICLES follow the characters from the early days of the 1970s right though to modern time. They feel like family and friends to me and I cried my eyes out when (spoiler alert) Billy Lloyd Fox dies. I’m also in awe of the back catalogues of American Indie writers like Bella Andre and Marie Force. They have written huge numbers of books and series of novels and readers are able to spend many happy hours with them. I’m doing my best to write as fast!

11) Finally, is there anything else you would like to say about your back catalogue of books?

I’m incredibly proud of my big back catalogue of novels, especially when I remember that until 2016 I was teaching full time and writing in the evenings and at weekends. I truly love what I do and I look at each book with huge pride and fondness. ESCAPE FOR THE SUMMER was my first big Indie success and it really changed my life and enabled me to write full time so I’ll always be grateful to that one. CHANCES is my pony novel and has been #1 in the YA Kindle chart for weeks, and THE ISLAND LEGACY is the first in my new collection of sweeping romantic reads in the tradition of Daphne Du Maurier and Rosamunde Pilcher. I’d love my readers to have a wander through my previous books.There are lots of new adventures ahead!

Thank you Ruth for coming to talk about your back catalogue, I really should read your Katy Carter series, and also love the Rutshire Chronicles by Jilly Cooper.

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