Janurary 2012


Georgie Carter is the author of The Perfect Christmas. Under her real name Ruth Saberton, she has written three novels, including the upcoming Amber Scott is Starting Over. She has also published The Hen Night Prophecies series under the pen name Jessica Fox. Originally from London, she now lives in Polperro, a fishing village in Cornwall. (Interview by Swati Sharma)

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  1. 1. Tell us about The Perfect Christmas.

    The Perfect Christmas is all about wedding planner Robyn who although wonderful at arranging other people’s weddings is really unlucky in love herself. Robyn makes a vow that by Christmas she will have sorted out her life and be ready to move on from her own broken engagement. But events don’t go quite according to plan!

  2. 2. Which was your best Christmas?

    I love Christmas! I’m a a real sucker for the whole shebang, from the tree to the lights to racing around Oxford Street trying to find gifts. I think this Christmas is my best one ever because I am very happy with my new partner and we are just spending time being together and doing all the things we enjoy the most. Christmas Day will involve lots of time with our horses and eating far too much food!

  3. 3. How much of you is there in your books?

    I think all writers can’t help putting parts of themselves into their books and I’m sure that my friends and family can spot details about me a mile off. Sometimes they are very obvious - Katy Carter has red hair and Ellie Andrews wears platform boots! - but they can be far more subtle. Amber Scott in my next novel (Amber Scott is Starting Over, April 2012) has a very unpleasant fiance. My lips are sealed as to where I got my inspiration but a word to the wise. Never upset a writer...

  4. 4. What made you choose to write under pen names?

    My editors and agents pick them for me! It just helps to keep the boundaries between the books I write for Orion and the ones I write with Working Partners.

  5. 5. What inspired you to be a writer?

    I have always wanted to write 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! When I was 14 I discovered Jilly Cooper and from then on my career path was set - I was going to write big fat blockbusters! I filled two arch folders with my historical bodice ripper (now hidden in my office, so cliched it makes me blush) before going on to write several shorter contemporary novels. It was at this time that I began my impressive collection of rejection letters! I can’t think of any job I’d rather do, I love telling stories so much.

  6. 6. Tell us about your journey to published author.

    A few years ago I decided that rather than just thinking about being an author I was going to actually really go for it. I wrote my first novel, Clover, 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. Some people were helpful and encouraging - Jilly Cooper and Richard Madeley were wonderful - but my impressive collection of rejection letters was starting to get me down to say the least. I was on the brink of hurling my manuscript and myself off the nearest cliff (rather too easy to do when you live in Polperro) when a chance meeting with veteran author E.V. Thompson galvanised me into action. “Never give up,” he told me. “Not giving up is what separates a published author from somebody who just writes.” He also said that the secret to success lay in writing about what you know. Encouraged, I went away, determined not to give up. Writing about what I knew suddenly seemed to be the key and before I knew it I’d begun to write Katy Carter Wants a Hero, the very fictional tale of an English teacher who dreams of being a best-selling novelist. (I actually started this in an English department meeting - sorry ex boss Pete if you are reading this!) This manuscript attracted the attention of literary agents and I signed with the lovely Eve White ( In 2009 Orion bought Katy Carter Wants a Hero and it was published on April 1st 2010. The rest all followed from there!

  7. 7. Which of your books have you enjoyed writing the most?

    I’ve loved writing all of them and this question is a bit like asking a parent to choose their favourite child! But I did really enjoy writing Amber Scott is Starting Over because it reflected a lot of the things that had been happening in my life and was a really great escape for me while horrible things like divorce and mortgages were going on. I guess writing that book was cathartic for me. It’s a little bit darker than “Katy” and “Ellie” but still fun and hopefully takes the reader on a journey! And of course, I love Pinchy the Lobster!

  8. 8. Why did you choose chick lit?

    I think that “chick lit” is just a term for women writing about female experiences - so really Jane Austen was the first to discover it way before Helen Fielding’s Bridget Jones’s Diary. For me this was just a really easy way to write about the issues that real everyday women have to contend with and although it may seem lighthearted actually deals with some pretty serious issues. My novels engage with themes such as divorce, cancer, death and adultery. Not quite the light-hearted fluff that critics seem to think the genre is solely preoccupied with!

  9. 9. Tell us about your writing courses.

    When I look back to the beginning of my writing journey I really wish I could borrow a time machine in order to whizz back and give myself some advice. I’ve learnt so much over the past ten years - most of it the hard way - and if I’d known then what I know now I could have saved myself a lot of time, angst and agonising. How to plan a novel so that it is tight and structured, how to present a manuscript for publication and how to approach and secure a literary agent are just a few of the things I’ve learned. So, when people ask me for tips and advice I have so much to share that brief emails or questions following a talk aren’t always enough. My writers’ retreats are designed to share my experiences in an in-depth way as well as to help aspiring writers craft their own work and move a step closer towards publication. We tend to spend a lot of time looking at structuring novels, book proposals and how to approach agents. We also have a lot of fun too! So far one writer from the course has secured a six-figure book deal and another has just met with a major literary agency, so something right is happening on these courses! The next course is in February in beautiful Polperro and is about writing romantic fiction - very appropriate for Valentine’s Day!

  10. 10. What’s the best writing tip you’ve ever received?

    It has to be E.V. Thompson’s advice to never give up! That’s what makes the difference between published and unpublished authors!

  11. 11. How the life in Polperro is different from one in London?

    Life in Polperro is a lot slower and I am so lucky because I get to ride my horse every day in the most beautiful countryside. It’s also gentler because everyone knows everyone else and we all tend to look out for one another. I love going home to London and having a good blast round Selfridges and Oxford Street but coming back to Cornwall is always a relief!

  12. 12. Who are your favorite authors?

    Jilly Cooper! Fiona Walker! Sophie Kinsella! Miranda Dickinson! And, of course, Jane Austen!

  13. 13. What advice you would like to give to the aspiring authors?

    Write about what you know and what you love. Write because you can’t not write rather than because you might make money! And enjoy every minute - there’s no better job in the world.

  14. 14. What you are working on at the moment?

    At the moment I’m planning my next novel for Orion and working on a teenage pony book. There’s also a top-secret project too. More of that in the autumn!

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