It was a rainy Saturday, a perfect day for snuggling under the covers at home with a cup of cocoa. Yet a determined group of writers chose to meet up for a book reading and author signing session. Cocooned within the red brick walls of All Saints Church in Borehamwood, they took turns reading selections from their works and discussing their craft. At the event, guests listened to a mix of literary pieces that ranged from artistic poetry to children’s and adult fiction.
This group, aptly called “Writers in the Wood” is a writers circle for people to share their written work with others and connect with similar minds. It’s been put together by the delightful Lorraine Reed. Lorraine, a bubbly lady with a heart of gold, passionately runs the group primarily via Facebook and organises regular readings in the community. A writer herself, with a couple of books under her belt, Lorraine is keen to create a healthy space for writers to thrive.
Speaking to Bolaji Eyo, one of the lovely authors whose debut novel was published last year, I learnt a bit more about the group. Eyo discovered Writers in the Wood through a fellow author, Franca Lawrence. Eyo is a huge chick-lit fan who loved reading Marian Keyes, Fiona Walker, Adele Parks and Sophie Kinsella in her late teens to late twenties. Her new favourite author is L.A. Wood, whose recent book ‘The flow of light’ blew her mind.
I also discovered the inspiration behind Eyo’s book, particularly the decision to delve into the world of older, wealthier men who seduce young college girls. It’s best heard in Eyo’s own words.
In 2010, I started again from scratch and before I knew it, the back story for unborn babies took a different turn and became ‘Good girls’. Back at Uni, I was fascinated by ‘Aristo’ babes, an informal term used to describe girls who sleep with men for money. They were nothing like the prostitutes I’d seen on roadsides and street corners at night or the ones I’d seen on TV. These girls wore designer clothes and drove nice cars. I remember a conversation I was involved in with a group of friends and someone asked why Aristo girls slept with men for money, some of these girls had rich or financially comfortable parents. It was greed, they all agreed. Why else would they do it if they didn’t need the money. As usual, my imagination went into overdrive, I thought, ‘but what if?’ I wanted to write an Aristo girl’s side of the story. I believe that Jade, the protagonist, is every girl (or even boy) despite moral standards and inclinations. It’s easy to judge without knowing the full story.
A lovely lady from church contacted me after she read the book to chastise me (in a nice way) for writing a book that seemed to glorify what Jade did. ‘Why didn’t something worse happen to Jade?’ the lady asked. ‘It just felt like she got away lightly.’
My main motivation for writing this book was to entertain myself doing something productive. I enjoyed writing every word of this book. My mom used to say to my siblings and I when we were kids, ‘you’re watching these actors get paid whilst wasting your life away. Why don’t you do something productive with your time?’ However this book wasn’t written to teach young (or older) girls not to sell their bodies, I’m sure they know not to do it.
I wrote ‘Good Girls’ as a cautionary tale, to show how easy it is to slip down the wrong path.”
It’s been about about a year since I read “Good Girls don’t put out”, and till this moment I can vividly recall the journey Jade took in first losing and then finding herself. It’s a cautionary tale indeed.
Please bear in mind that there’s quite a bit of sexual content, so tread carefully.
Intrigued? Simply click here now to buy ‘Good girls don’t put out’.
Also visit Writers in the Wood here to learn more about the group.
Till next time!
PS: This isn’t a paid feature and no money will be made by clicking through to make a purchase.