COLCHESTER author Susanna Quinn is gearing up to make her literary debut.

Susanna Quinn’s debut novel Glass Geishas is set for release next Friday, April 24.

It tells the story of a number of Geishas in Tokyo who fall into alcohol dependence, drug addiction and even prostitution.

She started writing the novel while working as a hostess, described as a modern day geisha, in Tokyo, nine years ago.

She said: “I had been applying for jobs in London as a journalist and I was filling in a lot of application forms and getting nowhere.

“I tried some freelance work but I just decided to go to Tokyo and work as a hostess.”

Hostesses are well paid women who look after wealthy businessmen.

“Western girls especially are much sought after so if you were in any way Western looking you stood out.”

She stayed in Tokyo on and off for three years, working every evening late into the mornings.

“After a while the management started putting pressure on you to get customers into the club,” she said.

“A lot of girls do that by starting sexual relationships with the men so I saw that first hand.”

While in Japan, Susanna used a shared computer in her shared, droughty flat to email herself early extracts of the budding novel.

“I wasn’t quite getting rejection letters but at that stage publishers were looking for a bit more so I actually wrote four or five editions of the novel, each one getting better, until what people will see next week.”

Educated at St George’s Infant School, St Helena School and the Colchester Sixth Form, Susanna, 32, now lives in Brighton having returned home from Japan to Colchester in 2007.

Early reviews have described the book as “gripping”, “terrific” and “unputdownable”.