Mature ladies give their readers an adult education

SIX mature Irish women, including a couple of grannies and a nun, have written a steamy best-seller - the product of their adult education creative writing class.

Last Tango in Ibiza took two years to write under the direction of retired journalist Willie Rocke, who suggested that the group write a novel. Each of the class took responsibility for one or more characters. Rocke had to knit the different story lines together. "There were times when I thought it would be bigger than the Yellow Pages. Juggling six different manuscripts was a challenge," he said.

Getting it published was equally difficult as it was rejected by a number of Irish publishers. Rocke reckoned the group had a book that would sell and they each put up e570 (pound;366) for an initial DIY print run of 1,000 copies. Dublin's Lord Mayor launched the book which is now in its fourth reprint. Rocke is now in discussions about a UK launch.

The story centres on a large cast of characters on holiday in the Balearic island. There is plenty of mystery, romance, drama and comedy. And, of course, steamy scenes.

But the women have taken a collective vow of silence about who wrote what. "We have our reputations to keep," said one.

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