Hello! I’m Anne Grange. I’m a story addict.
As an only child, I constantly made up stories and always had a rich imagination. In 1981, aged four, I got bored of watching the Royal Wedding on TV, and re-enacted the wedding with my toy rabbits in the back garden. I loved listening to people telling me stories; reading in every spare moment and writing stories, poems and plays. I got told off constantly for day-dreaming, but it was very useful when I was bored out of my mind, pretending to field on the rounders pitch. My imagination paid off though, as I won the story-telling cup at the Derby Arts Festival when I was eleven. I loved the buzz of making up a story on the spot, in front of an audience!
As a teenager, my GCSE English folder landed with a loud thump on my desk, as it was so full of stories and long essays. I loved performing too and became a confident singer, writing my own songs and performing them at lunchtime “garage show” concerts. I fell in love with music, avidly buying every issue of the NME and Select, learning to play the guitar and drums. I had a fantastic time in GCSE Drama and A-Level Performing Arts. At school, as long as I was creating something, I was happy. I could always be found in the art room or the music practise room.
Literature and writing fiction have always been my first love though and in 1995, I packed my possessions into the back of my parents’ Fiesta and went to study English Literature at the University of Sheffield. I had a brilliant time and got to spend my entire life reading the great works of literature, writing essays, charity shopping for fabulous vintage clothes and old books…but what next? A career was something scary. Something to make us come back to earth with a bump. Something to stop us enjoying ourselves and being creative that forced us into wearing a business suit and getting up before it got light!
I got a job as an administrator for a community theatre company. I learned essential IT skills and to touch-type, while retaining my creativity. My next job was with a music education charity, where I worked with long-term unemployed people, many of whom were also amazing musicians. Seeing how the training at the charity transformed people’s lives, I decided to train as a secondary English teacher. It was brilliant to learn about current children’s and Young Adult books and I really enjoyed firing up children’s imaginations and teaching them skills to help them to communicate. Endless SATs preparation and exam practise wasn’t my idea of inspirational teaching though! My next career move was into Adult Education, working in the multicultural area of Burngreave in Sheffield. I organised community festivals, designed websites and produced a regular course guide and absolutely loved it!
During this time, I kept writing, and enrolled on the prestigious Writing MA at Sheffield Hallam University. The course was tough, but I learned a lot and it’s given me a network of professional writers, editors, teachers and publishing experts. I now run a writers’ group aimed specifically at novelists, as writing a novel can be a long and lonely process.
For five years, I worked in a corporate role, handling insurance claims for a large utilities company. It doesn’t sound very creative, but I’ve learned essential skills: discipline and time management; the ability to talk to a wide range of people; interviewing skills and getting my point across succinctly and effectively. During this time, I crammed my creative life into my spare time: self-publishing my first novel, Outside Inside as an e-book, launching my own blog, stewarding at festivals for Oxfam, teaching creative writing, learning to dance as well as enjoying photography and walks in the Peak District.
It was time to break free, and in April 2013, I took a redundancy that enabled me to reclaim my life and fulfil my ambitions. It turns out that working freelance and running my own business, combined with working as an adult education tutor, really suits me.
Wild Rosemary Writing’s mission is to help other people to tell their stories, and to get them out into the world. I’m empowering writers to publish themselves and gain control – using local and social media to publicise their books, and earning their own royalties. I now have an impressive track record of authors I’ve worked for and books I’ve helped people to publish.
I’m also available to teach creative workshops and courses, and since 2013, I’ve built up experience working with older mental health and dementia patients, creating poetry in hospitals and care homes and putting together the Dales Tales poetry anthology. I’m currently putting together a book for a project I’ve working on with people with dementia in Sheffield, called In Our Day.
And why Wild Rosemary? Well, rosemary is the herb that symbolises memory and remembrance; ideal for writing memoirs and biographies. It’s also my middle name. And I’m “wild” – freelance and ready to work with you. And if you want to write about your wild days, I’d love to help you.
Link to my first novel Outside Inside: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Outside-Inside-ebook/dp/B006QVZHWI
Link to my second novel Distortion: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Distortion-Anne-Grange-ebook/dp/B01N5H19HN
Link to my personal blog, The Random Notebook: http://therandomnotebook.wordpress.com/