TINSLEY, BY THE BOOK: Following in the well-trod footsteps of Candace Bushnell, Plum Sykes and, more recently, Dan Humphrey on “Gossip Girl,” Tinsley Mortimer has penned her debut novel. Titled “Southern Charm” (Simon & Schuster), the book follows Minty Davenport, a small-town Southern belle who leaves Charleston, S.C., for New York with visions of skyscrapers and yellow cabs dancing in her head. Before long, Davenport has landed a p.r. gig, her picture in the pages of fashion magazines and the city’s most eligible bachelor. Everything is peachy until a fellow “It” girl makes Minty the target of some nasty rumors. Luckily, Davenport’s Southern charm prevails.

“Obviously real life inspires a lot of people when they write fictional stories,” said Mortimer of the book, which is due out in May and is being billed as a summer read. “There are definitely some similarities between me and Minty — she has blonde hair, and she curls it, and she wears a lot of color.” Mortimer’s been at work on the book for a year. Rather than hire a ghostwriter, she said she relied on the help of a close friend who is a writer and prefers not to be named.

This story first appeared in the November 15, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

As for any juicy plotlines that could ruffle the feathers of Manhattan’s elite, Mortimer said “readers will probably play a guessing game as to who’s who in the book. There are certainly things that happened in my life, and people surrounding my life, but they are honestly all fictional characters. They are totally made-up people.”

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