About me!

I was watching the Manic Street Preachers at the 02 in London in December 2011

This is me, at a gig, looking very happy!

I’ve been writing stories as long as I’ve been able to put pen to paper. I got into trouble at school for “not listening”. I was actually a million miles away, staring out of the window, imagining things; getting lost in made-up worlds. I was an only child and my parents helped to develop my overactive imagination by taking me on weekly trips to the library and drip-feeding me with books.

At secondary school, my GCSE English folder landed with a loud thump on my desk with the weight of enthusiastically written essays, stories and the novella I’d written for my coursework. I even wrote and produced a radio musical. Whatever I was doing, part of my brain was always dreaming up characters and plots.

In sixth-form, I started writing a novel about romance between a human and an avenging angel but ran out of steam half way through. I’ve always vaguely planned to resurrect it. My love of music has always been intertwined with my writing and when I was listening to the Levellers song ‘Outside Inside’, about two characters on different sides of society, I started writing a novel about a vegan traveller who inherits his uncle’s butcher’s van and a girl who runs away from her job in a bank. I shelved it when I went to university in Sheffield to study English Literature as I was having too much fun to concentrate on writing a novel. Instead, I wrote ghost stories, inspired by my surroundings in Sheffield and the gothic literature I enjoyed on my course.

After university, I took part in a project at Sheffield Theatres for young artists and performers and I collaborated on a specially produced music fanzine which was distributed in Sheffield, incorporating interviews I’d conducted with local music luminaries and stories I’d written. I also resurrected my Outside Inside novel. The characters had come back to life in my head and I wanted to know what happened to them. I finished a first draft in 2001 but I wasn’t really satisfied with it and I put it aside again while I was training to be a teacher.

A few years later, I’d joined a writing group and had started another novel. However, Outside Inside clamoured for my attention again and I started to re-write it. I decided to take my writing more seriously and gained a place on the Writing MA at Sheffield Hallam University. I specialised in Writing for Children and the Novel and eventually wrote a version of Outside Inside that I was happy with. I received positive feedback from novelist Lesley Glaister. I approached some agents but despite some praise, I was told that they would struggle to find a market for a young adult novel about new age travellers and animal rights amongst all the “Twilight”-inspired vampire fever in the publishing world.

I decided to embrace the e-book revolution and I published Outside Inside on the Amazon Kindle in December 2011. It’s now also available in paperback! The book has done well, especially in terms of reviews and word-of-mouth recommendations, particularly amongst people who attend and work at music festivals. My most significant book review so far is from author and journalist CJ Stone who admits that the ending of my novel made him cry on the plane to Tenerife!

I started writing my current novel, Distortion, straight after I completed my Writing MA in 2010. I got the idea to write about a band from the 1990s reforming after a tragic split while I was at Glastonbury festival, spending the weekend watching bands I’d loved when a teenager. The MA experience has helped me tremendously. I’ve been more focussed in my writing so far. Writing Distortion has taken me on a wonderful journey so far, inspiring me to start playing the bass guitar, learn more about art and become obsessed with the Manic Street Preachers. I hope to finish the novel this year and to send it to agents and publishers.

I run a writing group in Sheffield which started as an off-shoot of the Writing MA but is now open to anyone who needs support with writing a novel.

In May 2013, I left my full time job, and I’m now running my freelance writing business: Wild Rosemary Writing Services. Since May, I’ve run family learning workshops, edited several books, taught in primary schools, developed my own writing workshops and I’m running a reminiscence course for dementia patients at a hospital in Derbyshire. I’m also finding time to write Distortion and I’m hoping to have a complete first draft by Christmas!

It’s very exciting to have a career based around writing and encouraging people to love books.

 

 

3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. gwynethjmarshman
    Aug 28, 2013 @ 20:39:43

    Hi Anne, thanks for liking my blog post! I see we have picked the same WordPress theme 🙂 Now following you via RSS x

    Reply

  2. Jacqueline Creek
    Oct 29, 2015 @ 17:24:45

    This is a lovely site, Anne. I hope I can do one ….. but I must concentrate on the book eh? 😉

    Reply

  3. tbw329
    Feb 21, 2016 @ 21:07:35

    Nice site, Anne. My dad was a dementia patient in Derbyshire for 6 years so I know how important your work is. There is always a biscuit with your name on it in the shop. x

    Reply

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