An award-winning author and journalist from Marsworth is celebrating the release of her latest book with a launch event in Tring on Monday, May 10.
Emma John's latest book, Self Contained, captures what it is to be single in your forties, from sharing a twin room with someone you've never met on a group holiday (because the couples have all the doubles with ensuite) to coming to the realisation that maybe your singleness isn't a temporary arrangement, that maybe you aren't pre-married at all, and in fact you are self-contained.
The 42-year-old - who has released two successful books in the past - wrote the book during lockdown.
Self Contained is out now and the book launch event is at Our Bookshop in Tring on Monday, May 10.
Emma is neither married, nor partnered, with child or planning to be. Her new book explores the unpartnered life as never before, joyfully celebrating individuality in a world built for two.
She said: "The book's about living singly, and was written over the past year in a lovely thatched cottage on the canalside in Marsworth, Hertfordshire – a village that has been an absolute refuge for me, with its reservoirs, its fields, its footpaths and its kind neighbourly community.
"I was thinking about how I was single and had no plans to get married and the topic spinsterhood and the stigma attached to it.
"Both my previous books have been about things I loved, and they became personal.
"I'm not the sort of person who reflects on the past, I like to look forward, but the writing has helped me look at the past and as a result the books became quite personal.
"This is a topical fact that I was interested in and was quite personal to me, there are not many books like this out there.
"There are lots of dating books and romance books, the woman always ends up with someone, but the reality is, people do not always end up with their Prince Charming, and that's okay, not everyone is sad, or lonely being single.
"When you are single you are self contained, you are uncompromising.
"This is the book to confront the commonly held assumption that life is less full and less-fulfilled if lived singly.
"It is difficult to write about something that for me once used to be a bit of an embarrassing topic, but the response has been great and I'm glad I did.
"I have had the most wonderful feedback, people have loved reading it and people have told me they are glad that someone has written about it.
"I wrote this book because I don’t want to be haunted by the word “spinster” any more!"
Emma's last book, Wayfaring Stranger: A Musical Journey in the American South, was recently named one of Newsweek's Travel Books of the Decade and her debut, Following On: A Memoir of Teenage Obsession and Terrible Cricket, was named Wisden Book of the Year.
The book is out now and is available on Amazon.