Exclusive interview with author Sarah Rayner and a review of her book about revenge*** Three Stars
By Gabrielle Pantera
HOLLYWOOD, CA (Hollywood Daily Star) 2014/10/23 -“Like Ivy, the anti-heroine in my novel, I was a copywriter,” says Getting Even author Sarah Rayner. “I worked in advertising for twenty years. Thus when it came to writing about the machinations of an agency, I didn’t have to research a great deal. Not that I am as bitchy as Ivy in my novel, or as vengeful, but it was more a case of turning up the volume on my experiences rather than inventing them.”
Chick lit with a twist. Raynor brings suspense, intrigue and romance to Getting Even. Twists and turns in the story delight and keep the reader guessing. Ivy and Orianna are opposite extremes. Ivy is vengeful and vindictive. Orianna is naïve and clueless. At times you want to crack their heads together and say, wake up! An exploration of what not to do when your best friend betrays you. Rayner’s writing is strong and holds readers.
Ivy and Orianna work together at an ad agency in London. They present ad campaigns that win the company lots of money. Orianna is having an affair with a senior level executive and she gets Ivy’s promotion. Ivy is out for revenge.
“I’ve heard actors say it’s liberating to play a villain, and the same is true for an author,” says Raynor. “I just relished that Ivy was able to say and do the things that a sense of propriety and professionalism prohibit me from voicing. To let rip through her was very cathartic. I also play with notion that in advertising it’s often hard to tell where fact ends and fiction begins. That was very entertaining for me as an author, as it allowed me to poke fun, in an affectionate way, at the industry that had supported me.”
“Wherever Ivy goes there’s bound to be trouble, and that has a lot of potential narratively,” says Raynor. “I feel I know these all characters so well now. I’m rather tempted to throw them into a situation and just watch what happens. I suppose that most of my lead characters are likeable, although one or two of them are pretty blind, especially in Getting Even.”
Raynor has written five novels, two set in London: The Other Half and Getting Even, and three are set in Brighton: One Moment, One Morning; The Two Week Wait and Another Night, Another Day. The latter will release in the U.S. in December. She gave up a career in advertising when her third novel, One Moment, One Morning, became an international bestseller.
Sara Goodman at St. Martin’s in the U.S. is Raynor’s editor. Francesca Main at Picador is Raynor’s UK editor.
“Sarah Rayner came to me from Picador UK, one of our Macmillan sister companies across the pond,” says editor Sara Goodman. “Her novel One Moment, One Morning had become a publishing phenomenon. With its beautiful writing and searing emotional storyline, we quickly realized it would also be perfect for a U.S. audience. We were so impressed with its performance here, we also decided to publish her next novel, The Two Week Wait, which, again, hit right at the core of the women’s fiction market here in the U.S.. To my utter delight, Sarah informed me that she had published two novels back in the early 2000s that she was eager to bring back to life, The Other Half and Getting Even. We originally thought to publish them as e-originals, but liked them so much we decided to put them in print as well.”
Vivien Green of Sheil Land in the UK and Valerie Borchardt in the U.S. are Raynor’s agents. “I’m very lucky to have two such experienced and talented women to advise me,” says Raynor. “Both are highly respected and very well informed. They have worked together for many years. I found Vivien as she was recommended by a friend who had been her assistant several years previously. My friend said ‘she won’t represent you as you’re not literary enough’, or words to that effect, but she did say Vivien would point me in the direction of an agent who would be suitable.”
Raynor wrote Green a very short letter and enclosed a few sample chapters of The Other Half. “You can imagine how astonished I was when she rang me the next day and said she wanted to represent me herself,” says Raynor.
“The infectious warmth which is part of Sarah’s personality pervades her work too,” says agent Vivien Green. “One is instinctively drawn to her characters and instantly involved. It wasn’t long before editors felt the same too.”
Raynor Green lives in Brighton, UK. Raynor grew up in London and for many years worked in the city center.
Getting Even by Sarah Rayner Trade Paperback, 320 pages, Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin (September 23, 2014), Language: English, ISBN: 9781250042118 $15.99