Otley author's unique new coffee-flavoured project

Wharfedale Observer: Otley author Emma Tenniswood. Otley author Emma Tenniswood.

A "hopeless romantic" from Otley is hoping hundreds of people will help her create a unique new book.

Emma Tenniswood, a curriculum support worker at Prince Henry's Grammar School, has already self-published one novel and is working on its sequel.

But for her next project Emma has decided to abandon the conventional approach and instead ask a series of book-lovers to contribute a page to create a kind of multiple-viewpoint snapshot of life in 2014.

The Coffee Shop Book will be passed from one person to another in local cafes until it is completed, and bears the introductory message: "You are the newest caretaker of this book (The Coffee Shop Book), for a little while at least.

"You have been chosen by the previous caretaker to be part of this book’s life because you seem to be someone who loves reading as much as I (the owner) do.

"Please write a page in this book. It can be anything, your thoughts, dreams or views. Maybe you are a poet and would like to share a poem. What you write is up to you."

Explaining the inspiration behind the concept, Emma, 38, said: "I was sitting on the Chevin with my dog and the idea of a book popped into my head - that’s where the idea for my first novel, Simply Complicated was conceived.

"The Coffee Shop Book idea was another idea that popped into my brain whilst I was reading in Starbucks one day. I stared around at the various people, some on their laptops, others like me reading and writing, and thought: ‘I

wonder what their story is? And if they were to write it down, what would they write?’.

"After that day, I couldn’t get the idea out of my head and so I thought let’s do it and see what happens.

"I just hope the book will find its way back to me when it’s completed so I can keep it and pass it down to my children, almost like a time capsule."

Her first novel was a contemporary romance/erotic work set in a small Yorkshire market town that sounds - though it is not mentioned by name - suspiciously like Otley, and the sequel, Simply Conflicted, shares the same location.

Simply Complicated has sold more than 6,500 copies to date, and Emma is passionate about the impact writing can have.

She said: "I love the way that books can make you feel in a way a movie can’t."

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