It was an experience as a volunteer at Dress for Success that inspired NSW south coast author Christine Sykes' first book The Changing Room.
The not-for-profit charity improves the employability of women in need in NSW by providing free of charge, professional clothing, a network of support and the career development tools to help women achieve self-sufficiency.
"I saw women transformed," Ms Sykes said.
"I saw what a suit of clothing and what a one hour styling session could do to give them confidence.
"Women came in hunched over, dowdy, unsure of themselves would stand tall and proud and be in a position where they could confidently walk into an interview room."
Ms Sykes' debut novel The Changing Room revolves around three women, Anna, Claire and Molly, whose lives are turned upside down and must discover how to start over.
She insists the characters are "entirely fictional" but her experience at Dress For Success formed some of the context of the book.
Ms Sykes admits that she wrote the book "for women" but that many men have read it and enjoyed the book.
"Ultimately I hope people have a good read," she said.
"I hope it is a page turner, that you are engaged with the characters and you care about what happens to the characters."
Christine Sykes' debut novel The Changing Room is out now. She will be speaking at Port Macquarie Library on Tuesday, February 25 at 2.00pm. RSVP at mnclibrary.org.au or call 6581 8755.
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