Thursday Club hosts British author

Constantia friends Wendy Eachus, Marlyn Cowley, author Lesley Pearse, Barbara Shargey, Gail Leighton and Pat Meyner.

British author Lesley Pearse was a guest at the Thursday Club last week.

The dining room at Buitenverwachting restaurant was packed as people listened to her to chat about her literary career and inspiration.

Ms Pearse was in conversation with radio personality Nancy Richards of Rosebank.

Ms Pearse lives on the south coast of England with her dog King Stan.

She was in South Africa to launch the paperback version of Dead to Me.

Her next book, Woman in the Woods will be launched in July.

Ms Pearce who only learnt to read at the age of 10, has published 25 books.

She was a wild, imaginative child and was always a storyteller and the turning point in her writing career arrived after she read the Thorn Birds.

After having a letter published in Women’s Own magazine, and between 20 to 30 short stories, she started writing books at age 35 when her gift shop business went bust.

But it was only at the age of 47 that her books were first published.

Ms Pearse joked she could plaster her walls with the many rejection letters she received.

Since then millions of her books have been sold around the globe in genres including crime, romance and historical drama.

Ms Pearse spoke candidly about her upbringing and hardships, as well as the cathartic effect writing has had in her life.

She says this has provided enough material for her many books and to slay her demons.

She shared details about the dark influences in her writing.

She has always liked anything grim, searching out people and the dark side of life.

Ms Pearse said her book Georgia about the music world didn’t make an impact in Britain but has been a big hit in South Africa.

Ms Richards said she had just finished reading Woman in the Woods and could not put it down.

“It’s witchy and scary, transportation into a different era when people spoke differently, ate differently,” she says. Ms Richards asked Ms Pearse about using South Africa as a setting for one her books because of her huge fan base here.

Gazing out of the window at vineyards and oak trees, she said: “Lying under these trees it would have to be a story of white mischief with a cocktail party, people having affairs, an abortion, crime and murder, all in beautiful surrounding.

“I’m going to go home now and write,” she said.

For more information about the Thursday Club and the author, you can contact Sandy Bailey on 021 685 8016, or

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