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Author Writes Novel in 6 Days

8 July 2002

The latest 'hot' book from the US is journalist Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez's novel Dirty Girls Social Club, the story of six women who met at college and whose lives stay connected. The women are all Latina and their narratives are told in the first-person. The agent Leslie Daniels said: 'There's a huge market for books speaking to this Hispanic population...What's breakthrough about this book is that it's inclusive. It speaks to that market in a very particular way, but it's also mainstream.'

The publishing house St Martin's Press paid $500,000 for the novel. People working for the company were hugely enthusiastic. The book's editor, Elizabeth Beier said: 'People all over the company dropped everything they were doing and read it. The characters dance off the page. I can see women all over the country adoring this book.'

But the thing which makes this book really stand out was that the author wrote it in six days. Her agent was trying to sell a non-fiction book about Hispanic singing stars. Publishers didn't want that book, but they liked the author's writing and asked if she had written a novel. Valdes-Rodriguez set to with lightening speed. Six days later she had finished Dirty Girls Social Club, which she and agent polished before it was sent out to publishers in an auction.