Really excited to share with you my interview with the very lovely Jennifer today. She is the author of Beginner’s Guide To Salad, which I reviewed here.
1. Where did Ruth’s story come from?
I wanted to write a makeover story with a difference. Usually, they’re about the heroine’s appearance, with the hero barely noticing her until she transforms herself (either by losing weight or slapping on a load of make up). I wanted Ruth to be accepted for who she was – and I also wanted her to accept herself too.
2. Have you tried any of Ruth’s diets for yourself? If so which was the worst one?
I haven’t tried any. I’m far too greedy to go on a diet! But, I have joined the gym since writing the book, which has been an ‘interesting’ experience for someone as lazy as me.
3. Would ever attend a school reunion? For me I couldn’t imagine anything worse! Haha.
I’m not sure anyone other than my two best friends (the only people I’m still in contact with) would know who I was if I did attend one! I was a bit like a little mouse hiding away at school. I’d probably hide away in a corner if I went to a reunion, so I don’t suppose there would be much point!
4. Are there traits of yourself in Ruth, if so what?
We’re both sarcastic, massive fans of chocolate and too fond of the sofa. I also passed my preference for cheesy pop onto Ruth – although she loves it far more than I ever could.
5. What did you edit out?
In the original version, Ruth and Zack, her former crush, were in a secret relationship while at school. He was a total pig towards Ruth and was embarrassed to be seen with her (hence the secrecy). He cruelly dumped her in the restaurant, which made her run away to live with her brother, Stephen.
After some feedback, I changed this part and so had to cut out the entire prologue and start it from scratch and then edit out any reference to the relationship.
6. What was your writing process?
I took quite a while to plan the novel – around a month – as there are three stories and points of view that needed to be plotted and then weaved together. It then took three drafts before I was happy enough to send it off to an editor. I made the necessary changes and then it was ready to be proofread.
7. Poor Ruth had a really crappy boss, was this from a personal experience?
Sort of. I’ve never had a boss quite like Kelvin (which I am VERY grateful for), but he was a mix of the worst traits I’ve seen in people of authority.
8. Describe your book in 3 words?
Light but heartfelt
Jennifer Joyce is a writer of romantic comedies who lives in Manchester with her husband and their two daughters. A Beginner’s Guide To Salad is her first novel.
You can find out more about Jennifer and her books at
or follow her on twitter: @Writer_Jenn