Writing Under Pen Names – A Guest Blog from Ruth Saberton

Writing under several pen names can be a bit confusing at times but it’s enormous fun. Being a writer I love pretending to be somebody else and I guess this is just another way of exploring imaginary worlds and identities. So far I’ve been Jessica Fox for five books and Georgie Carter for one book, as well as writing under my own name for the lovely folk at Orion.

Jessica Fox sounds exciting, doesn’t she?  I like to think of her as a sexier version of me!  Sometimes people get a bit confused about my alter ego but it’s really not that complicated. I’m not running around Cornwall with my pants over my tights (well, not on purpose anyway, but I do get dressed in the dark a lot if my husband is trying to sleep in and I’m up at some silly time to muck out the horse) Jessica Fox and Georgie Carter are the names I use for the writing I do in collaboration with Working Partners.

Even if you haven’t heard of Working Partners it’s very likely that you’ll have come across a book that’s been produced by them. They’re a creative team who work with writers to come up with story lines and ideas for novels.  They’ve been really successful with children’s books. The Rainbow Fairies series is one of theirs and the Animal Ark stories too. It’s a bit like ghost writing except that
 the writer is involved with the plot and characters and can be very creative (I cause all sorts of trouble deviating from the storylines and inventing new characters!) It’s also a great way of learning how to become disciplined with deadlines, to work with editors and generally to sharpen your skills as an author.  It’s also a lot of fun and you get to work with some fantastic people and go to fab parties!

A few years ago Working Partners decided that they wanted to do something similar to their children’s series but for adults.  At this point of my career I was in the process of securing a book deal and my agent suggested it might be something I would like to do in order to gain more experience. Writing’s a profession like any other and the more experience you have to hone your craft the better.

To cut a long story short, Working Partners liked my style and ideas so we joined forces.  I wrote one book under the pen name Georgie Carter, which has already sold to Germany and will be out in England in September, published by Avon and with the title The Perfect Wedding. As Jessica Fox I’m published by Headline under their Little Black Dress imprint. There are five books out and they are part of a series called “The Hen Night Prophecies”.  Each book centres on one of five girls who all see a psychic at a friend’s hen night. The psychic gives each girl a prophecy and the books deal with how these unfold. You don’t need to read the books in order as they all stand independently.  They were great fun to write and hopefully a lot of fun to read as well.

I’ve really enjoyed writing as Jessica as she’s a lot sexier in style than me! The characters I write about for my novels with Orion are more likely to go to Primark than Prada and certainly don’t have glamorous careers in film or publicity. Katy Carter is a teacher, Ellie Andrews works in a shop and Issie Elliot in my latest book is a PA to a grumpy but gorgeous widower.  When I’m Jessica I get to explore my fantasy life whereas the Orion books are more down to earth and comical. It’s great to get the play with style and language.

Did I intend to keep my alter egos secret? The answer is yes but this was soon rumbled because Little Black Dress kindly put a “With Special Thanks to Ruth Saberton” in the front of the first
 book.  As an Orion Writer I’m all over the internet and before long confusion 
reigned!  So I had to explain it all and I did so on my Web site

I’m now busy writing my third book for Orion and getting more exciting by the minute as the May 12th publication date for Ellie Andrews has Second Thoughts draws closer. I’m also in the early stages of plotting the sequel to Katy Carter – Katy Carter hits New York – which is huge fun.

Writing under a pen name has been fantastic for developing my craft as a writer and reaching even more lovely readers. I’ve loved every minute of it.

Ruth’s next novel is called Ellie Andrews Has Second Thoughts and is out now!


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4 Responses to Writing Under Pen Names – A Guest Blog from Ruth Saberton

  1. Jenni says:

    Really interesting post.

  2. momochii says:

    Great site. A lot of useful information here. I’m sending it to some friends!

  3. Thanks for an idea, you sparked at thought from a angle I hadn’t given thoguht to yet. Now lets see if I can do something with it.

  4. Many thanks for the amazing article.

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