The UK paperback of Dear Mrs Bird was published yesterday and I am just so, SO thrilled to be able to say that it has been chosen as one of WHSmith's Richard and Judy Book Club as one of their Winter 2019 reads. Oh my word!
If you're from the UK, you'll already know all about the Richard and Judy Book Club because (a) Richard and Judy are total legends, and (b) it's the biggest book club in the country. But if you're based overseas, please trust me when I say that it is an absolute dream, not to mention honour, to have your debut novel chosen for the club.
It has been an incredibly hard secret to keep, but now I am allowed to run around with excitement and to hurtle into branches of WHSmith pointing at the book displays and trying not to shriek. It really is the cherry on the icing on the cake, and beyond anything I imagined when I first sat down at my laptop and started to make up a story about two young women in the Second World War.
I'm very proud to be one of the six authors featured in this season's selection along with Clare Mackintosh, AJ Finn, Alex Reeve, Sarah J Harris and Elizabeth Noble. WHSmith are running a 2 for 1 BOGOF promotion and you can also buy all of them for £24.99 which is half price. Bargain!
WHSmith have a special version of the Dear Mrs Bird paperback which has extra content, including a Q&A with me about writing it, a list of books that the characters in Dear Mrs Bird might have read in 'real' life (I loved writing that), and a lovely introduction by Richard and Judy where they talk about why they chose the novel for the book club. My apologies for showing off horribly, but here are a a couple of quotes from their reviews.
'This book is, quite simply, a joy. I read it straight through in two sittings, laughing out loud along the way. Funny, moving, courageous and ironic, Dear Mrs Bird is a treat. Don't bother reading any more of this review - just take this to the till and buy it.'
'AJ Pearce writes vividly about the Blitz and communicates beautifully what it was like to be young and at imminent risk of being blow to smithereens, yet determined to carry on as normal ... As Richard says - a joy.'
Obviously I rushed off to the nearest WHSmith to make sure it was really true that Dear Mrs Bird was in it, and even though I got some funny old looks for taking it, I think the photo below is pretty good evidence that is is. (And I didn't just move DMB to sit next to the others, I promise...).
It's a cracking line up of great reads and I'd like to say the hugest thanks to Richard and Judy and WHSmith, and of course, Picador. I am absolutely thrilled.