Page last updated at 12:20 GMT, Saturday, 3 April 2010 13:20 UK

Richard Madeley helped Cornwall author win book deal

Ruth Saberton
Ruth Saberton is now in talks about a film deal

A struggling Cornish author got her breakthrough after her manuscript was given to TV presenter Richard Madeley who was staying at his holiday home.

Ruth Saberton, 37, from Polperro, was on the verge of giving up her dream of getting her work into print.

But her mother-in-law, who runs the village shop, gave Madeley the manuscript when he popped in one day.

He called Mrs Saberton and thanks to his recommendation her book Katy Carter Wants A Hero has just been published.

Mrs Saberton, a media teacher at Bodmin College in Cornwall, said: "He lugged all 500 pages back to his house nearby, read it and rang me on the same day.

"He said he and his wife Judy had read some of it to each other and it had made them laugh out loud.

I spent the morning and afternoon reading the whole thing. It was such a good funny read
Richard Madeley

"I was quite stunned to think that someone so busy and famous would take the time to read it."

Madeley wrote a review of the book which she was able to include in submission to publishers and three months later she got a book deal.

Mr Madeley told BBC News: "I took the manuscript back to the house, not intending to read it.

"I was just being polite because Judy and I get inundated with manuscripts and unpublished books.

"On this occasion - maybe I was in the right kind of mood - but I thought I'll just take a look at it and break the rule.

"I spent the morning and afternoon reading the whole thing. It was such a good funny read."

Mrs Saberton is now in talks with film producers about the book, based the story and characters on the people she met in the fishing village of Polperro.

Mrs Saberton, who moved to Cornwall with her fisherman husband Martin in 1995, said: "My novel is loosely based on my own experience of dropping out of the rat race and running away from London on a whim to Cornwall."

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