03/19/2002 AT 12:00 PM EST
Bo Derek got passionate in Washington, D.C., Monday night, reports PEOPLE. That is, the star of the 1979 sex comedy "10" was at a Georgetown Barnes & Noble bookstore, speaking to an appreciative crowd to promote her new autobiography, "Riding Lessons: Everything That Matters in Life I Learned from Horses." In it, Derek, 45, writes about her two lifelong passions: horses and her late husband, manager-filmmaker John Derek, who died in 1998 at age 71. "I was honest in the book. Unless it was going to hurt someone I was honest," said Derek, who met her husband when he was still married to "Dynasty" star Linda Evans. Writing her memoirs is one project she's glad to have out of her famous hair, Derek told PEOPLE. Although she initially planned to turn her story over to a ghostwriter, "in the end I got a laptop and wrote every word and taught myself how to type in the process. When I turned it in I got less than a page of notes from the editor. But it was really difficult for me. It was the worst year of my whole life. I'm a doer. I'm not a thinker in general and writing takes a lot of thinking." She has even less interest in entering politics, despite having campaigned for President George W. Bush in the 2000 presidential election. "I'm not going to run for office. I have no ambition, no desire whatsoever. And I think I've been around enough politicians to know that that's not for me. I don't like people enough in general to serve them," she said. Her true passion: horses.