Madelyn Scott-Crane is a smart, 42-year-old professional and single mom. After 22 months of self-imposed abstinence, she’s having the best sex of her life — thanks to her all-female book club (The Muffia), and their latest read.
But on their 2nd date, as Maddie and her mysterious Israeli heartthrob Udi come together (so to speak), Udi collapses on top of her. Dead.
That’s the start of The Muffia, Ann Royal Nicholas’ latest book.
And because “06880” is more than a blog about suburban women and gratuitous sex, here’s the local angle: The author grew up in Westport.
And her real Los Angeles women’s book club (“think ‘Sex and the City’ meets Jane Austen,” she says) evolved out of a group in New York, in the early 1980s. It was filled with post-grad women from Westport.
Ann/Annie (as she was known then) loved growing up here — though, like many, she did not realize it until she left. She hung out at Compo Beach and Klein’s. Her teenage years were “filled with longing for love,” starting with Jim Ainsworth as he sang “Something” at a Long Lots Junior High 8th grade dance.
An avid reader who became an actor, playwright, screenwriter, journalist, essayist and finally novelist, Ann loves fiction because she “writes for one person at a time.”
Throughout her life, she says, “I’ve been lucky to find tribes of incredible women.” After college, she landed in New York “to begin an unsuccessful modeling career.” She reconnected with a group of girls from Westport. Calling themselves the Borneo Society, they met once a month to share stories and food from a country one of them had visited (or wanted to).
Years later, in LA, she and a friend formed the Muffia. (This was “long before promoters of lesbian porn and militant English mums got hold of the name.”) Their gatherings are “always X-rated, and fantastically fun.”
Like any good writer, Ann mines her entire life for material. Mrs. Sperry — her 2nd grade instructor at Burr Farms Elementary — is the face Ann sees when she writes about a teacher.
“I think of Remarkable Book Shop even when I’m writing about Book Soup on Sunset Boulevard,” she says. “I have no idea if there was an erotica section at Remarkable. Was there?”
The Muffia is about “the sexy, funny women in my book club,” Ann adds. “They are very much like my friends from Westport, and women everywhere.”
The book was also written for those women. Her typical reader is “approaching middle age — if not already there — with loads of life left.
“She could be married, but not necessarily. She’s smart, likes sex — quite a bit, actually — but can live without it.
“And she likes to read, often choosing a book and a ‘toy’ over yet another internet date.”
Ann says that those women are “huge in number, but underserved. Women like me tend not to be the ones novels are written about. Usually we’re relegated to supporting roles.”
The Muffia, she says, “makes us heroes.”
She herself is a hero. She will donate 10% of all profits to girls’ and women’s charities.
Ann is already at work on Muffia II. She’s also started a new series of books.
“I can’t reveal much,” she says. “But they’re part 50 Shades of Gray, set in exotic locations. And part personal experience.”
Which no doubt makes her Westport friends — and many worldwide readers — quiver with anticipation.