A FORMER Bracknell News reporter who made her way onto Fleet Street has written a racy novel about her time as a journalist in Berkshire.

In 1995 Jo Merrett joined the Bracknell News, taking on the Ascot portion of the paper’s patch and living in Fernbank Road.

The then 22 year-old would work her way up to news editor, before joining a local news agency and subsequently The Mirror.

While Mrs Merrett would remain in Fleet Street for the bulk of her career, and put down her notebook to have children in her early thirties, her formative, carefree reporting days at The News stuck with her.

“I have had the idea to write a book since I was in the town,” she explained ahead of the release of her debut novel Reading Between the Lines.

“The newspaper at the time was in Bracknell town centre. The hero propositions her colleague in the park which is just behind the British Legion.

“It was based on a real colleague.”

Although Mrs Merrett is not willing to divulge who the mystery man was in real life - there is a husband to think about - she admits main character Kate is based at least in part on her, and that some of the saucy scenes take place in Princess Square.

The novel has functioned beyond getting the blood pumping however.

She continued: “The book also gives an insight into local papers. It looks into the relationship between residents and their local paper.

“It also mortifies my 14 year-old Amelie. I think she is a bit proud that I have written it as well though. I was a stay at home mum for a decade.

“My 12 year-old son is less embarrassed. My husband knows what the book is about, but he hasn’t read it yet.”

Reading Between the Lines is published in hard and paperback this week.

To buy a copy, click here.