Hilary Boyd's novel Thursdays in the Park, a version of Fifty Shades of Grey for over 60s, has become an e-book sensation

By Keith Gladdis

PUBLISHED: 13:10 EST, 11 November 2012 | UPDATED: 17:22 EST, 11 November 2012

Younger readers, be prepared for a shock. Passion among your elders is booming – in book sales at least.

Thursdays In The Park, the  romantic tale of a sixtysomething woman who meets the man of her dreams while looking after her grandchildren, has become the  latest novel to become an e-book literary sensation.

The success of Hilary Boyd’s debut work is all the more remarkable considering that it sold fewer than 1,000 copies when it was first published last year.

Saucy: Hilary Boyd and her book Thursdays in the Park. This raunchy tale about a sixty-something granny is the latest novel to become an e-book literary sensation

Reissued in August with the same marketing and same front cover design, there seemed no reason for it to fare better second time around.

But its publishers also launched an e-book edition, which steadily grew by word of mouth and has now topped the charts for four weeks, outselling noted thriller writer Ken Follett and Fifty Shades Of Grey author EL James.

Translation rights for Thursdays In The Park have been sold in France, Sweden, Finland and Germany, and the actor Charles Dance is in negotiations to write, direct and star in a film version.

In the book, grandmother Jeanie encounters the man of her dreams, Ray, by the swings in the park while on childcare duties.

She then struggles with the dilemma of having a husband who has withdrawn from the marital bed and the temptation of life with a new partner.

Mrs Boyd, herself a 62-year-old grandmother, said: ‘Old people falling in love and having passionate relationships is not a story that’s had much exposure before, but I’m in no doubt the market’s out there.’

The former marriage guidance counsellor said she got the idea for the book when she was out in the park with her granddaughter and thought: ‘The perfect place for a romance!’ Publishers now believe the book has tapped into an audience wanting ‘gran-lit’, similar to the ‘mummy porn’ phenomenon uncovered by EL James.

Thursdays in the Park comes in the wake of the phenomenal success of EL James' Fifty Shades of Grey

Thursdays in the Park comes in the wake of the phenomenal success of EL James' Fifty Shades of Grey

But referring to Fifty Shades Of Grey, the story of a masochistic relationship between a billionaire and a naïve student, Mrs Boyd added: ‘I’ve no idea at all who’s buying it. Not a clue. All I can say is that sex in the park beats sex in the basement.’

Mrs Boyd has been writing novels for more than 20 years but Thursdays In The Park was the first to be published.

Her second novel, Tangled Lives, came out in August and she is just finishing her third, Straight To The Heart, about a middle-aged nurse who falls in love with a mountaineer.

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By Staff 11/11/2012 16:22:00