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Meet the author: 5 minutes with Annie Garthwaite

One of the most highly anticipated events in the literary calendar, the Bury St. Edmunds Literature Festival, is here. Celebrating books and writing in the heart of East Anglia, the festival will run from 20th to 22nd October 2023. As part of this year's festival, we're excited to bring to you an exclusive interview with renowned author, Annie Garthwaite. Here's a chance to delve into the mind of the author, discussing everything from her inspirations to her favourite reads.

Annie Garthwaite, known for her compelling writing and vivid storytelling, will be joining us at the festival. She sat down with us to give us an insight into her journey as an author, sharing her aspirations and influences.

Heroes and Inspirations

When asked about her heroes growing up, Garthwaite said, "The women of the Wars of the Roses - in particular, Cecily Neville, mother of Edward IV and Richard III, matriarch of the house of York and the protagonist of my debut novel, Cecily."

The Spark of Writing

Garthwaite's passion for writing was sparked by her love for reading. She decided in her youth that the story of Cecily Neville had not been told and felt compelled to tell it herself. In her early 20s, she made a promise to herself that at age 55, she would leave her day job and start writing - which is precisely what she did!

Book Talk at the Festival

At the Bury St Edmunds Literature Festival, Garthwaite will be discussing her debut novel, 'Cecily'. The novel is a remarkable tale of Cecily Neville, who stayed close to the centre of power through 80 tumultuous years of British history. Mother to two kings, surviving the loss of ten of her twelve children, and living beyond her house's ruin, Cecily's story is one of the greatest untold stories in British history.

Looking Forward to the Festival

On being asked about her expectations for this year's Bury St Edmunds Lit Fest, Garthwaite expressed her excitement for the opportunity to interact with readers and discuss Cecily's extraordinary life.

Current Reads and Recommendations

Garthwaite is currently urging everyone to read AK Blakemore's next novel, 'The Glutton,' which will be published on 21 September 2023. Set in revolutionary France, the book discusses the insatiable hungers that lurk in all of us. AK Blakemore will be at the festival to talk about witches, the subject of her debut, but Garthwaite strongly recommends making time to read 'The Glutton'.

A Little-known Fact about the Author

An interesting fact about Garthwaite that her readers may not know is that she worked in business for about 30 years before starting her writing career. She believes she learned a lot, especially about how women navigate workplaces dominated by men. According to her, "Nothing much has changed since the 15th century!"

Book Your Spot Now

Don't miss out on this exciting opportunity to meet Annie Garthwaite at the Bury St. Edmunds Literature Festival on 21st October ‘23 at 6pm. For more information and booking details, visit

Join Us at the Bury St. Edmunds Literature Festival

Join us for a celebration of books and writing at the Bury St. Edmunds Literature Festival from 20th to 22nd October 2023. We look forward to welcoming you to a world of literature in the heart of East Anglia.

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