Thursday, 19 January 2012

'Never Mind the Botox' with the Authors Penny Avis and Joanna Berry!

Release date: 11th January 2012
Published by: Matador
ISBN No: 978 1848766 624

Never Mind the Botox is a four book series, of which Rachel is the second, about four professional women all working on the sale of high profile cosmetic surgery business the Beau Street Group. Each book reveals how the women cope with one of the most glamorous but challenging deals of their careers and the dramatic impact it has on their personal lives. With a briefcase in one hand and a glass of wine in the other, can they navigate their way through a surreal world of cosmetic surgery by day and intrigue by night - and still keep their own love lives on track? The series can be read in any order.

In the second book of this series, Rachel Altman is a corporate financier with a prestigious accounting firm who's desperately trying to keep on the straight and narrow. Hopelessly led astray by her bar-diving boyfriend, she gets the chance to turn things around when her boss gives her the break she's been waiting for. But when the deal doesn't go as planned Rachel panics, sparking off a chain of betrayal and lies that threatens to ruin both her love life and career.

Rachel is a light, easy adult read. When being read it can be dipped in and out of quite easily. Recounting the 'highs and lows' of a city girl trying to develop her career in the business world, you get the odd chuckle with some of the situations that she finds herself in. This could be a book that you should have in your bag, so that when you find that you have some spare time on your hands, you can pull it out and have a good read!

Meet the Authors!

Penny Avis and Joanna Berry are the co-authors of Never Mind the Botox and have been friends for over ten years. Penny, an accountant, and Jo, a lawyer,  were tired of unrealistic role models in women's contemporary fiction and wanted to write a book where the main characters worked in the professions and cared about more than just shopping, shoes and searching for Mr Right! 

Joanna Berry is an Oxford graduate and a qualified solicitor, specialising in media and entertainment law. At 31, she became one of the youngest partners in her firm and career highlights include working with the Spice Girls and on the launch of Channel 5.  Joanna was a working mum for several years working full time, part time and flexibly, until finally taking a career break after her third child.  With her youngest still in nappies, and with the help of a nanny, Jo was able to renovate a house in Cheshire for her family to live in and start writing her first book with her best friend Penny. Jo now works part time for Children in Need, dedicating the rest of her time to her young family and writing the next book in the Never Mind the Botox series.

Penny Avis is a trained accountant, currently on a career break from her high flying job as a corporate finance partner at Deloitte. Career highlights include working on the acquisition of Body Shop by L'Oreal, being named as one of the UKs top ten accountants under 35 and being appointed to the UK Board of Deloitte. Penny is also a business coach for prospective female partners at Deloitte and has a wealth of career advice for working women looking to get ahead. Penny is herself a working mother and has spent years juggling the diary from hell with bringing up two young children, organising her nanny and life at home.  Penny lives in London with  her family and escapes to their holiday home in Majorca whenever she can. She is currently working on the next book in the series with Jo. 

Penny and Joanna agreed to answer some questions for me about their books, so here they are:

Penny and Joanna, how did you get your initial idea for your 'Never Mind the Botox' series of books?

We started with the premise that we would write about what we knew, being the careers of young professional women. We also decided that the business that they were involved with needed to be interesting, so we opted for cosmetic surgery as we felt it tapped into the current zeitgeist. 

Rachel is the principal character in the second book. How would you describe her character?

She’s a bit of a party girl who loves life, her boyfriend and her job. She’s very keen to get the next big promotion, so needs to do well on the cosmetic surgery project she is given. This is where her ‘Never Mind the Botox’ story starts.  But things don’t quite go to plan for her!

Can you give any hints in relation to the personalities of Alex, Stella and Meredith who are the principal characters in the other books that make up this series?

If you have a look at the four book covers, there is a secondary image next to the bag on each one, which gives you a clue. Alex has rose petals, Rachel has cocktail umbrellas, Stella has a credit card and Meredith has a hotel room key. We’ll let you make up your own mind as to what they mean!

Your books are written within a partnership between two authors. How does this partnership work to actually finish a story that you both agree on?

We designed the stories to all four books together before we started, so we made sure that we were both happy with all the key plot points and endings before we started. This really helped to make sure that we knew where we were going. 

What actor would you really like to play the part of Rachel, if this book was ever made into a film? 

We’ve actually recently signed a TV deal for the series with Future Films! So hopefully, with a fair wind, it will end up on the small screen. It is therefore more likely that we would have up and coming actresses, a bit like Downton Abbey did for many of their characters, so they are not already well known for something else and can create a fresh new image for viewers.

Thank-you Penny and Joanna for your very interesting answers to my questions and for visiting 'The Secret Writer today!

The books
Alex, the first book in the series, was published in June 2011 while Rachel was published in January 2012. Stella will be released in Summer 2012 and Meredith in Autumn 2012.

Further information about these books can be found on the authors website at:


  1. Wow. It was a short interview, but it made me want to know more. The book sounds very promising. You didn't mention where readers can buy it.

  2. I've added the web link to the authors website at the end of the post so you can follow up on this! :-)

  3. Interesting interview...



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