Best-selling author Jane Corry opened the South Hams Literary festival in Ivybridge on Wednesday night with a talk about her new novel ‘Coming to Find You’, the inspirations behind it and the importance of celebrating local authors and artists.
The Watermark Centre hosted the opening night of the local literary festival for the South Hams. Keen readers and writers arrived on a sunny evening in Ivybridge to hear how Churchill’s Secret Army inspired Jane's latest story.
"I was prompted to write my book because of stories I heard about ordinary civilians in the Secret Army as well as evacuees. I interviewed five who are still alive and were evacuated to Sidmouth during World War Two.”
Jane added that having Devon as the location of the story, “makes it really real to people…I wanted it to be a place that actually exists so that people could imagine that my plot was happening.”
Jane Corry’s talk was just the start of this week’s South Hams Literary Festival, with over fifty talks and other activities happening for the rest of the week around Ivybridge.
Mrs Corry said of the importance of literary festivals like this: “For a writer it’s very important to meet readers in person including those who perhaps haven’t read their books…I always love chatting to people before a talk and discussing with them what authors they like.”
She went on to highlight the importance of celebrating local work and why we should support literary festivals: “It’s very important. I think we all have a sense of home, and sense of belonging and it’s nice to talk about the things we do in that place…
“It’s lovely to be proud of the area we live in and to remember the things that happened there.”
The mayor of Ivybridge, Cllr Alan Spencer, congratulated the organisers, the South Hams Authors Network, for “the real community feel” of the festival.