Wednesday, 20 February 2019

Sharing their experience

AJ Pearce and Anne Youngson, Festival Hub

AJ PEARCE, author of Dear Mrs Bird, and Anne Youngson, author of Meet Me at the Museum, are both debut novelists whose books have the reading and writing of letters at their heart.

In conversation with journalist Hannah Beckerman, AJ and Anne shared their experience of becoming published authors later in life.

Anne said a wonderful part of this for her was meeting readers, getting their feedback and being asked questions about her book she hadn’t considered before.

AJ said she particularly loved discovering that mothers and daughters or best friends had enjoyed her book together.

Both authors believe that writing letters may be becoming a lost art and we risk losing a rich archive for the future as a result.

Anne felt the act of writing involves careful consideration of the words used and there are still occasions when thoughts and feelings can more easily be expressed in a letter than face to face.

Other themes the two books share are friendship, the need to be courageous and to be open to new opportunities throughout life. It was fascinating to hear both authors share their thoughts on these topics.

As someone who loved Dear Mrs Bird and Meet Me at the Museum, I was delighted to learn that both authors are working on second novels. It would be lovely to see them make return visits to Henley Literary Festival to talk about their next books.

Cathy Johnson

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