Beccles writers are main characters at author fair

From right, Enid Thwaites, Helen Thwaites and Pam Finch from Beccles join Suzan Collins (centre) and

From right, Enid Thwaites, Helen Thwaites and Pam Finch from Beccles join Suzan Collins (centre) and other members of the Just Write It! workshop that pledge to have their novels completed in time for the East Anglian Author Fair. Picture: James Bass. - Credit: James Bass

Three woman from Beccles joined authors from across Suffolk and Norfolk at the first East Anglian Author Fair, to showcase their books and encourage others to put pen to paper.

For Pam Finch and mother and daughter Enid and Helen Thwaites, the event was also a celebratory occasion as they successfully completed the pledge to have their work published in time for the event.

The pledge was made in November at the Just Write It! workshop along with three other writers including Suzan Collins who organised the fair.

Mrs Finch, who works on costumes and textiles at Beccles Museum, was at the fair - held at the Coconut Loft Art Gallery in Lowestoft - with her collection of nine short stories, entitled Minho Moments, which are about love, loss and life in the Portuguese city of Porto.

“It is unbelievable and magical. I never thought I would publish a book. It took me three to four months to write because the stories were in my mind.

“I’ve had articles and short stories in magazines but never thought I could get a book out.”

Helen Thwaites said she felt a sense of achievement in having her book - about a woman trying to escape a life in the shadow of smuggling during the Victorian times - published and being able to join the 13 other authors at the event.

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“It’s nerve wracking but I’m proud to have done this,” said Miss Thwaites. “I struggle with post-traumatic stress disorder and depression and I often write down what I can’t talk about. It’s helpful to me as therapy and it will be brilliant if it can bring joy to others.”

Her monther Enid also used writing her novel as a way of dealing with events in her life.

She said: “I only really wanted to encourage Helen. But I lost my husband and son last year and it’s been so quiet without them and we needed to remember to laugh. So I wrote the moments that made us laugh in the book.”

Ms Collins said she was overwhelmed by the day and hopes it will see more people pen their own novel. She said: “It’s just fantastic to have 14 authors come together for this event. Organising the fair was a new venture and I am overwhelmed by it. Hopefully we can get more people to write.”