Author Laura Moriarty spoke to a packed room at the Hutchinson Public Library on Thursday evening, October 9.
She talked about the process of researching and writing her book, “The Chaperone.” The book is historical fiction, based on the idea of the chaperone who accompanied 15 year old Louise Brooks to school in the East.
Brooks was born in Cherryvale, Kansas, and her family later moved to Wichita. Moriarty said the beautiful young woman was a true “flapper” at heart and really didn’t care what people thought of her. When she was accepted at a New York dance school summer program, she needed a chaperone. When Moriarty read about the 36 year old Wichita housewife who went with Brooks – it was just a paragraph or so – she decided to build her book around this person, creating a character as she went.
The auditorium was full, and staff had to bring in extra chairs to accommodate everyone who came to hear Moriarty speak. This is her fourth book, and Moriarty says it has been optioned for a movie. It was optioned by Elizabeth Montgomery, who plays Cora on Downton Abbey. Julian Fellowes, who writes Downton Abbey, has written the screen play.