September 15, 2016

Happy Birthday, Agatha Christie, an Author's Best Mentor

By Annette Cole Mastron, Communications Director for Southern Writers Magazine 

Today is Agatha Christie's birthday. Happy 126th Birthday! Celebrations abound for Agatha at book clubs, libraries, and in her hometown of Torquay.

It's been 100 years today, since she wrote her first published novel. She wrote it because her sister, Madge said she didn't think Agatha could write a mystery. Agatha submitted her book to to six publishers over five years. In 1916, persistence paid off. At 26, Agatha's first published book, The Mysterious Affair at Styles, introduced readers to the always fascinating, Hercule Poirot. Well done, Agatha. 

Agatha's cover artist from the 1960's and 1970's, Tom Adams, will be signing some of the cover art reproductions. Tom also created cover art for Dr. John Curran's 2-volume books and Agatha Christie’s Secret Notebooks and Agatha Christie's Murder in the Making, released recently. Dr. Curran's books resulted from an unusual treasure trove of 73 journal notebooks filled with Agatha's everyday life and some hidden nuggets for every Christie fan. According to David Brawn, publishing director of estates at Harper Fiction, "People always said she had a photographic memory and wrote off the cuff, but these notebooks show that she reused a lot of ideas or went back to ideas sometimes decades later. She never wasted an idea."

Just when you thought Poirot was killed off by Dame' Agatha in 1976, another author's, Sophie Hannah's book, Closed Casket, presents a new Poirot adventure. It will honor the 100th anniversary of the world's introduction to Poirot, Christie's unique Belgian detective. Hannah, will be in Torquay for Agatha's various birthday events. Hercule Poirot was even featured as a front-page obituary in The New York Times. 

Don't you want to create characters that will live on? How about creating a body of work that will spark others to write books and celebrate your 126th birthday?

Happy Birthday, Dame' Agatha Christie from this grateful reader of your books. 

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