WRITERS are not all tortured, serious people scribbling endlessly at their latest novel.
At least, none of those at the Examiner Literary Luncheon fitted that description.
At yesterday's event at Huddersfield's McAlpine Stadium four guest authors had audiences rolling in the aisles with funny anecdotes and interesting stories.
The authors - booked by Sonia Benster, of the Children's Bookshop at Lindley - were former West Yorkshire Chief Constable and national drug tsar Keith Hellawell, children and adult novelists Anne Fine and Adèle Geras and comic writer and performer Barry Cryer.
Each gave a speech to the 200- strong audience at the event, organised by the Examiner and Huddersfield Arts Council.
Mr Hellawell, who lives at Kirkburton, spoke about his life and autobiography, The Outsider, released last year.
It details a journey from a tough and abusive upbringing in Holmfirth and Huddersfield to becoming a chief constable and later the Prime Minister's drugs policy adviser.
Examiner columnist Mr Hellawell said success was open to anyone willing to work hard.
He added: "Everyone in this society has the opportunity to make good. I tried hard at everything. I didn't have any enormous talent."
Anne Fine, who lives at Barnard Castle in County Durham, spoke about the personality and life of a writer.
She said: "The weirder and more twisted you are, the more the job suits you. It is deeply anti-social. It is a totally warped way of looking at the world."
With quirky wit, she talked about her new book, The More The Merrier, about a dysfunctional family at Christmas.
It is aimed at anyone over nine.
She added of the book: "Christmas spirit takes a knock or two, but I'm nothing if not honest. It's the artists' job."
Adèle Geras, of Manchester, was born in Jerusalem and taught French, acted and sang for a living before writing in 1976.
Her new book, Facing the Light, is an adult one about a family of women across the generations.
She spoke about the trials and tribulations of being a children's author. She said: "I'm pleased to be here. It combines two of my favourites things - food and talking about myself. I was never invited to these events as a children's writer.
"One question I have never answered was from my great-aunt Sylvia. She said: `Will you write a real book once you've had the practice?' "
Barry Cryer closed the show with a string of jokes.
Leeds-born Mr Cryer has written a book of anecdotes called Pigs Can Fly, due to be published soon.
He said young comics were as good as some of the greats he knew when he started his career: "Arthur Askey said every generation's the same - a lot of crap and a few brilliant ones. So look out for the young comedians."
His anecdotes and punchlines are too many - and some too rude - to list, but all had the audiences in stitches.