READING is definitely sexy again.
There might have been a time when putting it down as your hobby on a job application made you look like you didn’t lead a very exciting life.
But after the triumph of Richard and Judy’s Book Club and its successors, saying you’re a bookworm is cool.
Nowhere was this more in evidence than at Worksop Library’s Girls Night Out event.
Four women authors took part in a question and answer session with their fans and the evening also included Body Shop makeovers, cupcakes and wine. The perfect ingredients for a great night.
The quartet of Amanda Brookfield, Fiona Walker, Jessica Ruston and Jojo Moyes are all established authors whose books were clearly well-loved, judging by the warmth of the female audience of all ages who responded enthusiastically to them.
Library events officer Marie Davis said: “Events like these are about getting people into the library and helping them feel they belong here.”
Jojo, who is a winner of the Romantic Novelist Association’s Novel of the Year, said one of the most often-asked questions was: “How did you become a writer?”
She said: “I’ve done a few of these talks and you often get people who want to be writers asking questions.”
“I wrote three novels which were all rejected before my fourth one, which got published, so it’s not always easy.”
“I have children so I have to be fairly regimented about my writing and sit down and do some every day while they are at school, otherwise it would never get finished.”
Jojo said that most writers are nosey and her latest novel The Last Letter from Your Lover was inspired by a conversation she overheard in a pub.
“A group of women were trying to decipher a text message from a man which said simply ‘later x’. It struck me that communication in this day and age has actually become more opaque because we’re constantly trying to read between the lines, unlike the days when people sat down to express themselves in long love letters.”
Amanda introduced herself as “the old bag, or the grande dame” of the group, having started writing in 1985 and with 15 books to her name.
She said: “I moved to Argentina with my husband’s work and I had nothing to do so I decided to start writing. My novels are about relationships and people often ask how I keep coming up with new plots, but there are a myriad of ideas out there.”
Her latest work Before I Knew You is about two families who swap houses for the summer and find that there are repercussions when they return to their own homes. “I’d describe myself as a romantic realist and I’m fascinated by the way we react when we’re in other people’s houses,” she said.
Fiona has been writing for 18 years. She said she tends to write “doorsteps” and her latest offering Kiss and Tell is no exception at 900 pages long. “It includes characters I have used before, they become like family,” she said.
Jessica is the newest published author, her debut novel Luxury came out in 2009. The latest, To Touch the Stars, is an epic family saga. She said: “It took me about 18 months to write and is set partly on Capri where I was on holiday when I first started thinking of it.”
VIDEO: Click the play button to hear an interview with the four authors