An Interview with Bethany Rutter: Author of No Big Deal + Giveaway
We caught up with blogger, podcaster and author of 'No Big Deal' - the multi-talented, Bethany Rutter for an inspiring interview. In our interview with Bethany Rutter, she shares her reasons behind starting her blog and tells us more about her latest book. We also have a signed copy of No Big Deal to give away to one lucky Joanie gal, plus you can win your favourite piece from the new Joanie collection!
For those who might not know you, would you like to tell us a little about yourself and what you do?
I’m Social Editor at a women’s plus size fashion brand, where I sometimes design clothes alongside my usual work, as well as being the co-host of the books podcast, What Page Are You On? and the author of two books!
Your new book, No Big Deal has just launched – what’s the book about?
It’s about a cool, fat teenage girl trying to navigate the world of romance, as well as dealing with how her body impacts her relationship with her friends and family.
What inspired you to write the book?
I guess it’s at least partly inspired by my own experiences, but the main character is much more self-assured than I was at 17!
Who is the book aimed at and what’s the key message in the story?
Because it’s a young adult novel, it’s theoretically aimed at girls in their mid to late teens, but I’ve had such an incredible response from women in their twenties and thirties about how much they wish they had this book when they were younger. The key message is all about knowing who you are and being assertive about it.
Not only are you an established writer, you’re a successful blogger too – what got you into blogging?
I did a year abroad in Montreal when I was at university as part of my French degree and I moved there with one suitcase with clothes largely designed to help me through their absolutely brutal winter that lasts about twice as long as ours. During that year, I got really into reading plus size fashion blogs, like Nicolette Mason’s and Gabi Gregg’s, but felt frustrated that I didn’t have my cool clothes with me, and couldn’t wear anything very fun because of the weather. So I decided when I got back to London and was reunited with my wardrobe, I would start my own blog, and I did! I’m quite good at doing things I set my mind to.
You also have a podcast, What Page Are You On? – what topics do you cover and why would you say people should tune in?
It’s a books podcast that I do with my friend Alice who I met on LiveJournal (RIP) back in the day! We choose a theme, like contemporary true crime, the New York party scene, or isolated communities, then read a couple of books that fit with that theme and chat about them on the episode. I hope it manages to straddle being fun and informative, so people should tune in if they want great book recommendations in the company of two friendly gals!
You are an advocate of the body positivity movement and we love you for it! How would you say the world of blogging and social media has played its part in the conversation - is it always a positive force?
I think in general the internet has been vital in fat positivity in particular, just the idea that you can’t be what you can’t see. You don’t know you’re allowed to be a confident, relaxed, proud, fat woman if you never see anyone embodying those qualities, and Instagram has been amazing for that. But it’s got to the point where everyone wants to jump on the bandwagon and pose for those ridiculous ‘Instagram vs real life’ photos where they’re contorting their bodies so there’s one tiny roll of fat and claiming that’s somehow empowering. It’s lost a lot of its radical usefulness because people are refusing to own their privilege and just want to be able to use the label ‘body positivity’ without suffering the various indignities and injustices that come with actually having a non-normative body.
What would be the best advice you have ever been given and would like to pass on to our readers?
Probably that people believe what you tell them. So if you keep talking about something about yourself you don’t like or feel self-conscious about, they will start to notice it even if they hadn’t before.
What’s next for Bethany Rutter?
I’m working on my second YA novel which is a standalone novel that focuses more on family and figuring out who you are, then I’d like to write a sequel to No Big Deal, and at some point I’d like to write a romcom for adults. All while trying to hold down my day job!
Finally, what are the top five Joanie pieces you’re currently coveting?
We hope you enjoyed our interview with Bethany Rutter!
For a chance to win a signed copy of No Big Deal, enter below:
Ends Midnight Tuesday 3rd September 2019.