AJ Pearce

Posted by Sue Leonard on Tuesday 12th June 2018

When AJ was a teenager, she wanted to be a poet.

“I wrote very bad poems. I loved writing stories, too, and going to the library. I was a very bookish child.”

AJ Worked in marketing. And she loved any element of the job that involved writing.

“I’d spend time making my emails as good as they could be. Then I decided to try creative writing as a hobby. I’d previously tried painting and photography, and I went on an Arven Foundation course for beginners. The tutors were so encouraging, and I left thinking I would really like to try and write a novel.”

Since then, AJ has taken her time learning how. She’s been on another Arven course, and has made friends through attending lots of writing festivals.

“I felt part of the writing community,” she says.

In 2012, she started collecting women’s magazines from world war two – and this gave her the germ of an idea for her debut.

“I was captivated by them. They provided a window into another era.”

Taken on, in 2016, by agent Jo Unwin, the book sold to Picador following an auction.


Who is AJ Pearce

Date of birth: 1964 in Hampshire.

Education:  Secondary school in Basingstoke. University of of Sussex; American studies, but  majored in history. “I spent a year of the Course near Chicago.”

Home: South of England.

The Day Job: Fulltime writer.

In Another Life: “I’d be a horticulturist, and grow flowers. I’d have lots of land, and grow them in an environmentally friendly way. Perhaps, I’d grow tulips.”

Favourite Writers: DE Stevenson; Winifred Watson; Joyce Dennys;  Angela Thirkell; Elizabeth Wein; Katy Fforde.

Second Novel: “I’m writing the sequel.”

Top Tip: “Enjoy the process of learning to write. Be patient; it takes ages, and it’s not a race.”

Web: www.ajpearce.com    Twitter: @ajpearcewrites

The Debut: Dear Mrs Bird. Picador: €13.99  Kindle: €8.69 

It’s London, 1941, and Emmy, a wannabe journalist who also works for the fire service, finds herself typing letters for the straitlaced agony aunt on a woman’s magazine. But she can’t resist replying to the letters which ‘Mrs Bird’ rejects. Then her best friend, Bunty, blanks her after an appalling tragedy.

The Verdict: This life affirming book examines love, loss and friendship. I adored it!

 Published in The Irish Examiner on 14th April. 

© Sue Leonard. 2018. 


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