Q&A With Jessica Rudd, Author Of Campaign Ruby

Campaign Ruby

Published by Text Publishing. RRP $32.95.

1. Do you pinch yourself when you see your book in book stores?

Yes, and I go all gushy like a proud dad watching his daughter kick a goal in an under eights soccer game. That’s my girl!

2. How long did Campaign Ruby take to write?

It took seven months to get the first draft done and another four months to edit it. I culled 30,000 words. May they rest in peace.

3. Who is your favourite character and why?

Must I pick one? Okay. Clem—Clementine Genevieve Gardner-Stanhope—who is Ruby’s precocious five-year-old niece. She asks questions adults can’t and stuffs up all her Ws and Rs. ‘Aunty Wooby…’ Adorable.

4. Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

Politics isn’t boring. In fact, it can be a total riot (the fun kind, not the ugly, violent kind).

5. Did you find it difficult to get your book published?

I found it difficult to share my book with anyone, particularly publishers — I was worried they would send rejection letters. ‘Dear Ms. Rudd, your book makes an excellent coaster. Thank you for saving my Edwardian mahogany desk from Starbucks-related stains. Sincerely, R Soul Publisher.’

6. Are there any fellow new authors that have sparked your interest?

Steph Bowe who has written Boy Saves Girl. Terrific chick. She has pluck.

7. Did you ask your dad for any advice while you were writing?

Not really, but I did my first edit while he was working on a speech once. We shared a study and took turns changing CDs and making fresh pots of tea.

8. Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?

I learned that I love storytelling and that I want to do it from hereon in.

9. What is your next project?

I just cooked dinner for myself. I should probably do the washing up — last night’s stir-fry never looks pretty the morning after.

When she gets the email announcing her redundancy, Ruby Stanhope hopes to maintain the composure expected of your average London investment banker.

Instead, the next day’s hangover brings two unfortunate discoveries. First, her impromptu reply to the bosses has gone viral, published everywhere from Facebook to the Financial Times. Second, she has a non-refundable, same- day ticket to Melbourne thanks to a dangerous cocktail of Victorian pinot noir, broadband internet and a dash of melancholy.

Landing in Australia, Ruby plans a quiet stay with her aunt in the Yarra Valley—but a party at the local winery results in an unexpected job offer: financial policy adviser to the Federal Leader of the Opposition. Intrigued, Ruby heads to Melbourne for morning coffee with the Chief of Staff—and finds herself in the middle of the Treasurer’s overthrow of the Prime Minister and the announcement of an early election.

Rookie Ruby, dubbed ‘Roo’ by her Aussie colleagues, is thrown into the campaign and spends four weeks circumnavigating Australia while trying to stay afloat in the deep end of politics. Through trial and plenty of error
(including wardrobe malfunctions, media mishaps and a palate for unsavoury men) she finds passion, not just a flair, for her new career.

With its light touch and deft comic instincts, Campaign Ruby is a delightful combination of fashion, faux pas and the unexpected fun of federal politics.

Have you read Campaign Ruby? What did you think?