RUTH Kelly has gone from Taunton to prison to Provence.

The author grew up in Bishops Hull, Taunton and has launched her debut fiction novel. The romantic comedy, The Little Vineyard in Provence, was inspired by her summer spent on a 13th Century vineyard - Chateau Peyrassol - near the glamorous Cote d’Azure.

It tells the story of Ava Chiltern. When her world is falls apart, the only ray of sunshine is that she unexpectedly inherits a small vineyard in the south of France from her estranged grandfather. But she knows nothing about wine, is terrified of venturing out into the world alone, and is unsure whether she really wants to start over.

This is not Ruth’s first book. She’s had a successful career as a ghostwriter - penning novels for celebrities such as underwear, tycoon Michelle Mone as well as normal people with extraordinary stories.

The Prison Doctor tells the story of a Dr Amanda Brown, who left her upmarket GP practice to work in some of Britain’s most notorious Prisons.

Ruth was granted exclusive access by the Ministry of Justice to sit in on Dr Brown’s consultations at maximum security prison HMP Bronzefield, where serial killer Jonna Dennehy was locked up until recently.

Ruth said: “I wrote the books one after each other and I couldn’t have experienced two more opposing worlds. One minute I was chatting to women who had been locked up for diamond smuggling or arms dealing, the next, I was walking between the vines laden with juicy grapes.

“In true journalist fashion, I knew that in order to make the descriptions of France authentic and evocative, I needed to ‘research’ my subject matter! So I contacted Majestic Wine to see if they could arrange a stay for me on a vineyard (in exchange for a mention in my book).

“I was very specific about what I was after - The Little Vineyard In Provence is all about family and community so I wanted to experience a family run vineyard.”

Ruth will be speaking at the Taunton Literary Festival on November 27 at Brendon Books.