Tilbury-born author, Lesley Jones has joined other local writers in donating copies of their works to Thurrock's libraries.
Cllr Deb Huelin, Portfolio Holder with responsibility for libraries, said: "Thurrock is full of talented people. Grays library's ‘Made in Thurrock' collection gathers together a range of local popular authors such as Russell Brand, Michelle Harrison and Virginia Heath.
"Recent books donated are Lesley Jones’ breath-taking 'Carnage' series, Dave Petrie’s children’s 'tail', 'The cat who flew', and Vicky Jones and Claire Hackney's 'Meet me at 10'."
She added: "It's always interesting to find out more about a local author and Lesley Jones is no exception. She donated her books recently to Grays Library and told us how she got writing. Thurrock is full of talented and interesting people and its great to hear her story."
Lesley Jones said: "My writing journey began, as most probably do, with me being a voracious reader as a child. Hans Cristian Andersen was one of my favourite authors and The Little Match Girl remains one of my top ten books to this day. Perhaps it's that book I have to blame for the angsty and emotional reads I'm now known for producing.
"I was born in a flat above a DIY shop in Civic Square, Tilbury. My dad worked in the docks, my mum at the power station. We later moved to Russell Road in Tilbury and I was educated at Lansdowne and St Chad's schools.
"English was always my favourite subject and I loved to write poetry. On leaving school, I had no idea what I wanted to do and I wandered from job to job never really finding my calling.
"I spent almost 14 years working for Marks and Spencer when Lakeside first opened, then a little over a year as a teaching assistant at the Grays School.
"My love of books never waned but it wasn't until after I moved with my husband and three boys that I finally gave writing a shot.
"I never intended to publish a book, I just had a story in my head that wouldn't go away and so I worked away at it until I had a ninety thousand word manuscript, which I sent out to a few friends that I knew read, totally lying to them by telling them it had been written by another friend.
"They loved it. They wanted more. They told me I should publish my work – so I did."
She went on to explain: "My first two books, 'Saviour' and 'Resolution', plodded along quietly, selling enough copies and garnering enough positive reviews that I started to think that maybe I was OK at this writing game.
"My third book, 'Carnage', hit the best sellers lists in 2014, has won numerous awards and has so far been translated into four different languages.
"I've now written and published eleven books, all within the contemporary romance, including a five-book series, two duets, a stand-alone and a romantic comedy. Over the last four years I've travelled the world with my writing, attending book signings in London, Chicago, San Francisco, Melbourne, Berlin, Sydney, Manchester, Niagara Falls, Boston, York, Edinburgh and Los Angeles so far. But it's my Tilbury upbringing and the unique and interesting people I was surrounded by growing up I have to thank for my skill at writing and developing such relatable characters in my work today."
To find out more about your local library, go to thurrock.gov.uk/libraries