What Does British Author AJ Pearce Have to Say?

AJ Pearce
Award Winning Author

Larry Pearce

[ See personal e-mail from AJ granting permission to post this story ]

Amanda-Jane Pearce was born in Hampshire, UK in 1964. A map of England shows that county just over the line from Wiltshire, from where our Pearces emanated. Both are a bit of a leap from Northumberland, on the Scottish border where what is believed to be our ancestor William DePercy’s (c.1030-1096) estate lies. He was a Norman associate of William the Conqueror (c.1028-1087) during the takeover of England in 1066.

So, it seems, our Pearces were always close to conflict, and we’ll see what AJ Pearce has to say about that as we go along. Once, when asked what her favorite subjects were in school, AJ replied, “English and History.” Add music to the mix and we would have much in common. She would have much to share with my sister also because they both attended Northwestern University in Illinois as part of their education. My sister did her PT graduate work there while AJ spent her Junior year abroad from the University of Sussex. She graduated with a degree in American Studies and History. Coincidentally my son studied in Germany his Junior year of high school, later graduating from college with a major in History, albeit German History. His other major was Systems Engineering. Ms. Pearce worked for an engineering magazine before devoting full time to writing. So, I feel akin to my British namesake. It’s a small world after all, as the song goes.Pearce found a fascination with writing as a young child only to take creative writing classes with the Arvon Foundation some 40 years later. The World War II theme of her first best seller, “Dear Mrs Bird,” came about in 2011 after she literally uncovered an old  1939 women’s magazine with stories of the war. In 2016 publishers from both sides of the Pond as well as television stations were bidding for the rights to the book. She landed a two-novel deal with the winners. In 2018 the book became a Sunday Times Bestseller. The sequel, “Yours Cheerfully,” followed in 2021with similar acclaim. I have provided links for the readers to expand their knowledge of the plot lines. Otherwise, the paperbacks are very inexpensive online and E-editions are also available. The internet contains several wonderful TV interviews with the author and YouTube presentations.

In further connecting with Ms. Pearce, I want to guide you to some of our family’s own  frightening yet inspiring World War II stories told to my wife, our children, and I before the passing of my father-in-law, Sgt. Richard O. Miller (1920-2015). In the final years of the conflict, he was stationed with the U.S. Army Air Corps’ B-17 Bombing Squadron at Britain’s Royal Air Force base around an area in East Central England known as “The Wash.” He was a ball turret gunner, scrunched in the belly of the bomber, protecting England from the Germans on 35 missions. I have transcribed his somewhat detailed interview covering that and other experiences still available at the Somerset, PA, Historical Society. Other fascinating transcriptions include a journal kept by Richard during his participation on D-Day, 1944, and letters to his wife and family back home during his service. He was an inspiration to our nation. My wife and I got just a taste of Merry ‘Ol England during a three-week mission trip to London and beyond with the Wycliffe Bible Translators in 1996. During free weekends we toured the great city, Oxford, Cambridge, and areas thought to be associated with my family history. Now, nearly three decades later, our British experiences are limited to Public Television broadcasts of programs such as “All Creatures Great and Small” and “Doc Martin.” With AJ Pearce’s books under our belts, we hope to take one last tour of England in our old age.

In 2023 AJ Pearce published “Mrs. Porter Calling” in answering popular demand for a sequel to her earlier novels. The lead character in the wartime London trilogy is named Emmeline Lake, and so the books are shelved under the collective title of “The Emmy Lake Chronicles.” In addition to the English language markets of Australia, New Zealand, and North America, her writings have been translated into 15 languages.Now in her 60th year, AJ enjoys a number of hobbies. Her most recent is painting. Her fans don’t seem to mind that she takes breaks from that, and writing, to communicate on Instagram, Twitter (now X), and Facebook. Her website is ajpearce.com. I hope you spend some time in the future reading, watching, and listening to what she has to say. Your comments are always welcome below. I’m thrilled to post this personal e-mail from the author, granting permission to post my composition:

[ 2/22/24
Dear Larry,
Many thanks for your email. My apologies for not replying sooner – I am currently trying to hit a huge writing deadline!
Thank you for sending me the draft of the piece. I’m happy for you to publish it.
As far as I know my family has no ties or relation to Pearces in Wiltshire, or your great-great-grandparents in London. Recent generations are from London – I’m the first from Hampshire!
Thank you again and kind regards,

Last revised 2/27/24