AN AUTHOR is set to launch her debut novel with a party on Brighton beach this evening.

Gin and It, the first book to be released by Brighton-based writer Elaine Sturgess, is about a lesbian couple who move to a remote middle-class village, thinking they will be rejected by the community.

Mysteriously, they find that instead they are very popular indeed. The book follows the couple’s tale as they unearth bizarre village secrets, discovering a big surprise about their new found neighbours along the way.

The novel – which has been described as a cross between The Vicar of Dibley and Little Britain – is a very personal tale for its writer.

Ms Sturgess said: “It’s a semi-autobiographical comedy/mystery/love story written in memory of my wife, Maria, who passed away six years ago from cancer.

“Writing the book was very cathartic and helped me to create memories of Maria as well as deliver a message about being non-judgemental and inclusive and recognising that love is what matters.

“It also helped me to deal with my grief.”

The author is celebrating the launch of the book with a gin-themed event, which includes a raffle and organised flashmob, which will meet earlier in the evening to allow newcomers to go through the simple steps before the performance at 10pm.

As part of the gathering, Sturgess is hosting what she has called an immersive experience of the book, with lesbian film actress Mary Jane Wells and Spanish actress Anna Garcia Cuartero entertaining as two of the book’s characters.

Guests will be able to step into the book by explore character Dr Taylor’s examination room and sit for the vicar’s sermon in the course of the evening.

The event also features a ticketed cocktail party in the pop-up igloos at Brighton Music Hall.

Guests with a ticket will be able try a different cocktail in each of the five private igloos while they party the night away.

Revellers are also able to enjoy the live music, stand-up comedy flash mob and the raffle outside Brighton Music Hall on Brighton beach.

Ms Sturgess hopes to a huge dance performance on the seafront, with the flashmob planning to perform to James Brown’s ‘Get Up (I Feel Like Being A) Sex Machine’.

The mob will be going through their moves from 7.30pm to 9.30pm.

If you would like to take part in the flash mob or if you would like to attend the event just turn up at Brighton Music Hall from 6.30pm

For more information about Gin & It, visit