Published in 2016 – Railway Ghost Stories by Ted Cook

I’ve always loved a good ghost story, so this was a book that I really enjoyed working on. Inspired by the real-life experiences of ex-signalman Ted Cook, this book provides an insight into the fascinating world of British Rail, with some true, shiver-down-the-back thrills.

Download it to read on your Kindle for your next train journey but take time to look up at those crumbling old station buildings and signal boxes. Who knows what you might see?

Buy the book here, and don’t forget to leave a review – but don’t give away any spoilers!

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Published in 2016 – The Girl With the Emerald Brooch by Jacqueline Creek

2016 has been a busy year so far and I’ve been helping lots of authors reach their dreams of publication.

The Girl With the Emerald Brooch has been one of my biggest success stories to date. I first met Jacqueline Creek at a memoir writing workshop I ran in October 2013, as part of Sheffield’s Off the Shelf literary festival.

I asked participants to bring along an item of sentimental value to write about. Jacqueline brought along the brooch, a very small but significant object. The short but moving piece she wrote became the starting point of her memoir – and there will be several more volumes about Jacqueline’s exciting life to come.

Growing up in the working class community of Owlerton, Jacqueline looks after her ailing family and becomes a rebellious, rock ‘n’ roll loving teenager. Blossoming into a beautiful young woman, she faces the challenges of growing up and finding her own path in life.

This book is more than just a memoir. Jacqueline vividly brings the Sheffield of the 1950s and early 60s to life. She conjours up a long-lost world: Tanfield Road, where she grew up, has now been demolished and replaced by motor garages. I can’t drive down Penistone Road now without thinking about the people who once lived here.

After the book was self-published on Amazon, The Girl With the Emerald Brooch was published by J R Nicholls. The book is available on Amazon, in both paperback and e-book  formats.

The Girl with the Emerald Brooch. I can’t wait to start work on the sequel!

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Be a Writer, See a Writer, Hear a Writer at Walkley Carnegie Library

For the past three years, I’ve played a major part in organising an event for Off the Shelf, Sheffield’s literary festival, which runs for three weeks in Sheffield throughout the city. Two years ago, I ran my own memoir writing course, and last year, I led a storytelling walk for families in the beautiful Rivelin Valley on a beautiful autumnal day.

Over the past year, I’ve become involved as a volunteer for Walkley Carnegie Library, my local library. Due to council cuts, many libraries in Sheffield now rely on volunteers to keep running. Ironically, because the volunteers are so passionate about the library, the range of events and services available is wider than ever, from pre-school storytelling, to knitting clubs and book sales. In March, I helped out at the launch of local bestselling author Gavin Extence’s new novel, The Mirror World of Melody Black. That gave me an idea. What about an event that showcased the talents of Walkley’s writers?

Walkley is an underrated suburb of Sheffield, in my opinion. The houses are mostly small terraces, sliding downhill towards the Rivelin valley on one side and the tram tracks running towards Hillsborough on the other, but there are some much larger older houses with huge gardens. All sorts of people live here – those who’ve lived in Walkley for generations, young professionals, families and students who appreciate a quieter life than they’d get down the hill in Crookesmoor. Yet, in May, the doors of many Walkley houses, big and small, open at the beginning of May for the annual Open Up event. Lots of artists live here, working hard in attic bedrooms and studios. There are lots of writers too, which I’ve realised by gradually meeting and chatting to people. Walkley is a hotbed of quiet creativity. We need to connect with each other, and encourage the new writers of the future.

Working with volunteer events co-ordinator Annie Bore, we planned an Off the Shelf event with something to appeal to writers and readers of all ages, and put in our funding bid to Off the Shelf, to start us on our way. We called the event “Be a Writer, See a Writer, Hear a Writer”, as people would get the chance to do all three during the course of the day!

Our funding bid was successful, so I contacted local writers and started planning the publicity. I’ve spent the last few weeks madly pinning up posters, tweeting, posting the event on Facebook and emailing everyone I know who is interested in creative writing. Back at the library, ticket sales looked slow. Late last week, I was panicking slightly. What if no one came? Would the writers I’d involved in the event be upset if no one turned up? Would the other library volunteers think I hadn’t planned the event well? In the end, the only thing to do was to keep spreading the word about the event, through word of mouth, emails, posters, and social media.

I woke up on Saturday morning feeling very nervous. I’d dropped the Usborne books for the book stall off the day before, along with my typewriter and decorations for the library, which made things easier, but as soon as we’d set up, the rain started pouring down outside. Throughout the course of the morning, only a few families visited the library. However, I did use my typewriter to write some lovely stories with children: one about a little girl helping some butterflies to fly home safely in the rain under her umbrella; and the other about an evil Spiderman battling Captain America and the Hulk. We also played giant scrabble and painted sparkly letters to be hung on a washing line around the children’s library. Young Adult author Sarah Dalton also joined us for the morning, and donated some books to the library.

The writing workshops went well, although I had been a bit worried about numbers. This gave me an excuse to join in with them, which was no problem for me! We had some amazing young writers from local schools, and a special mention must be made to a friend from Oxfam stewarding, who joined us all the way from Worcester for the day. Daniel Blythe gave us a masterclass in developing stories by using settings, and inventing characters using photographs and a “character map” to help us to plan. Creative writing is something that everyone should be able to do – not necessarily for a living! But it’s great to flex your imagination and develop new ideas. Daniel works regularly in schools to prove just that. In a world where some children think that the most important thing a story needs to start with is a capital letter, imagination can be a rare commodity.

Poet Rob Hindle inspired us to bring historical characters and events alive in poetry. We started off by imagining historical characters who didn’t quite make it, such as Shakespeare’s frustrated actor brother, who ended up as an “extra” in William’s plays, and the wife of Isambard Kingdom Brunel, who didn’t like tall hats. We read a selection of poems by Martin Espada and Eevan Boland that dealt with historical themes and characters before starting some of our own.

We each picked a photograph or painting from a historical scene, and Rob asked us a series of questions about the picture. We had to write descriptions of what was happening, details we didn’t notice at first; what sounds could be heard. Then we used our answers to construct a poem. It was a great idea, and we all came out with an interesting, dramatic first draft of a poem.

There was time for a quick trip home to eat, before heading out again for the evening event. The other library volunteers had organised everything really well – refreshments and room arrangements were all in place, and the only thing I needed to do was to help carry a few more chairs, as people kept arriving, and shortly after 7pm, the library looked like a real literary soiree!

The open mic slot was fully booked, and we were treated to short excerpts of everything from humorous haiku, novel extracts, short stories, to poems about the black hole under the cooker where everything disappeared. Next, Fay Musselwhite, Chris Jones and other poets from Longbarrow Press enthralled us with poems about families, landscape and long journeys.

Folk musician Patrick Rose had the audience absolutely captivated with his songs – drawing on the folk traditions of the Childe ballads, and his own compositions, particularly ‘Paradise Square’, about a forgotten piece of Sheffield history. Patrick sang on his own and accompanied by his beautiful guitar playing, and we were spell-bound.

Finally, novelist Gavin Extence gave us an exciting exclusive extract from his third novel – the first time he’s shared any of it in public. We really enjoyed it, and when it’s a bestselling novel, like his previous books, The Universe Versus Alex Woods and the Mirror World of Melody Black, we’ll be able to say that we heard it first!

At the end of the evening, I was pleased and relieved that I’d pulled it off – I had organised a miniature literary festival! People really enjoyed it, and it gave a wide variety of writers a chance to perform their work. The experience of putting on an event is always nerve-wracking, but it’s also addictive. We’re already starting to think about other literary events that Walkley Carnegie Library could host, so watch this space!

 

From dreams to publication in 2015

I’ve been rather quiet on my blog, but that doesn’t mean that I’ve been quiet in real life. During 2015 so far, I’ve helped four authors to publish their books.

The editing process varies from client to client. Some people approach me with a manuscript that’s almost ready to be published, whereas other books need more shaping. Some of my clients are already fairly confident with computers and the internet – but I’m happy to guide people through the whole process and de-mystify it for you. I can also work on an effective cover design and blurb for your book.

Some books need to be typed up, having languished in a bottom drawer for years. If you, or someone you knows has a hand-written or type-written manuscript, that’s absolutely fine by me!

Some people don’t have manuscript at all – it doesn’t mean they don’t have a story to tell. If this sounds like you, let’s talk – and I’ll do the writing.

The reason that I use self-publishing platforms such as Amazon’s Createspace is that publishing is now accessible to everyone. As a self-published author, you’re in control of what your book looks like, how much it costs, and you receive the royalties directly into your bank account. I can also help you with marketing tools, such as setting up a Facebook page and Twitter account for your book, and advising you on book launches and other promotional tools.

I’m currently on the look out for new clients, so please get in touch if you think I can help: https://wildrosemarywritingservices.wordpress.com/what-i-can-do-for-you/

Don’t take my word for it though – take a look at the books I’ve published so far this year.

Send in the Clown by Tom Webster

Send in the Clown by Tom Webster

Send in the Clown by Tom Webster

Tom Webster was born in 1931, and in the 1970s and 80s had a successful career writing radio plays for the BBC, juggling his writing with his job as a head teacher. On his retirement, Tom started to write his first novel, ‘Send in the Clown’, set on the North Yorkshire coast.

From a distance, it looks like a bundle of old clothes washed up at the tide’s edge, but thirty years in the Met tells Howard otherwise. It’s a body. And a body says trouble.

When Howard Johnstone retires from the CID, he returns for a holiday in his home town on the North Yorkshire coast. He stays, enticed by a beautiful face from his past. Gwen Melsome, the Fair Miss Frigidaire.

July 1962: Saltby Grammar’s production of Twelfth Night. Howard as Feste the clown. Gwen, the cool lady Olivia. Type casting. A passionate but interrupted backstage embrace.

After thirty years, Gwen is back, running her father’s old bookshop, and Howard falls in lust all over again. With wishful thinking, Howard takes on a part-time driving job for one of Saltby’s great and good, surgeon Alex Saunders. But when he finds a body on the beach, Howard curses his luck. He’s been an idiot to return, and an even bigger idiot to stay. Nothing but trouble ahead.

Take a look on Amazon.

 

Difficult Times by Debbie Mansfield

Difficult Times by Debbie Mansfield

Difficult Times by Debbie Mansfield

Debbie lives in Sheffield with her husband and pet spaniel Jasmine. Difficult Times is a romantic thriller, set in an England where climate change has made many of its citizens homeless.

The sea waters have risen around the coast of Britain, bringing chaos and misery to thousands.

Jane works in a homeless shelter. After the death of her husband, she submerges herself in her work. Can she turn her own life around and meet someone special again? Clara lives alone and struggles to cope with the effects of aging. Will she survive when she is burgled and left for dead?

Martin is one of the unlucky ones. He sets out to make himself a new beginning in Leeds. Can he overcome the misery of living on the streets and find happiness?

Jez, Freddy, Matt and Neil are four homeless youths squatting in Leeds. What will become of the four friends as their hardship intensifies? Their paths become entwined, with devastating consequences. Is there a happy ending for any of them?

Take a look on Amazon.

Who Your Friends Are by Susan Day

Who Your Friends Are by Susan Day

Who Your Friends Are by Susan Day

Susan has been writing for a long time, developing her skills as a hobby, grabbing time in between work and a busy family life. She’s now retired and loves devoting her time to writing. Who Your Friends Are is Susan’s first published novel, but there will be many more to come.

Two little girls, Pat and Rita, back in the 1950s, become best friends. Who Your Friends Are tells the story, in Pat’s words, of the way their lives diverged.

Rita is ambitious and determined and becomes successful in a way neither her family nor Pat would ever have imagined. Pat follows Rita’s career with interest but without envy. She herself follows a conventional route through marriage, children, a job in a caring profession, and always believing in the enduring quality of their friendship.

Now Pat finds herself without a job, with her children all grown up and time on her hands. Her past history with Rita is due for a reassessment – what will she make of it?

Take a look on Amazon.

 

Tomorrow Never Comes by Derek S. Lupson

Tomorrow Never Comes by Derek Lupson

Tomorrow Never Comes by Derek Lupson

Some people would struggle to fill a small notebook with their life achievements and adventures. Tomorrow Never Comes is Derek’s first book – his hair-raising escapade in Ethiopia in the final year of Haile Selassie’s reign as he attempts – and succeeds in setting up a trading organisation based on NAAFI for the Ethiopian Imperial Airforce. I hope that Derek will now tell the world of his many exploits in his long and illustrious career with NAAFI (Navy, Army and Air Force Institutes).

The rifle was forced through the window of my old Renault Four car and rammed up my nose, forcing my head back at a painful angle. Here I was: a youngish retail executive, outside the rebel-held Airforce Base of Debre Zeit, deep in the heart of Ethiopia, while two rebels argued about killing me. It is at times like this that one wonders how the hell one got into such a situation.

Derek Lupson didn’t ask for a life of adventure. In 1973, he was running a supermarket for NAAFI in darkest Doncaster. The Managing Director then tells Derek that he’s the ideal person for a little job he has in mind.

The “little job” involves being posted 4,000 miles away, to Ethiopia, a country that has to be pointed out to him on a map. His task: to set up a modern trading organisation, based on NAAFI, for the Imperial Ethiopian Airforce.

In his struggle to achieve the impossible, Derek comes face to face with Emperor Haile Selassie, corrupt bureaucrats and wild animals. He encounters heart-rending poverty and decadent glamour.

But does he find the love of his life?

Take a look on Amazon.

Wild Rosemary Writing Services: Publishing Track Record!

It’s great to announce that some of the books I have worked on as an editor and a “self-publishing enabler” have now been unleashed on the world, and I’m very proud of them.

Joe Blow by Joe Ashton

Former veteran Labour MP, Joe Ashton, has now published his memoir Joe Blow, which is available in the Sheffield Star shop: York Street, Sheffield, S1 1PU, which you can also order by calling 0114 2521299. The book is also available from B&B Office Machines in Broomhill, Sheffield. Call 0114 2668251 or email sales@bandboffice.co.uk for more details.

Extracts from the book has also been serialised in the Sheffield Star newspaper. You can read the first one here.

The Woodhead Diaries

Barnsley folk music legend Dave Cherry has been enjoying a big success with his novel The Woodhead Diaries, a historical murder mystery featuring the real life story of the construction of the Woodhead railway tunnel through the Pennines in Victorian times, and the 1950s detective who pieces together the mystery of the bodies which turn up during the construction of the third railway tunnel.

Legends and Rebels of the Football World

Football coach and former international football player, Norm Parkin, has also published his book, Legends and Rebels of the Football World. The book is Norm’s journey to meet and interview some of the biggest and most notorious football heroes of the twentieth century, and all the profits will go to the Philippines Typhoon Relief Fund.

Joan Lee is 91 years old, almost 92, and she’s as sharp and bright as she ever was while she was working as one of Sheffield’s most long-serving pub landladies! She’s now a publishing powerhouse, as not only has she published her memoirs, with fascinating stories from the Sheffield blitz and pubs from the East End of Sheffield to posh Dronfield. Behind Bars has proved to be very popular. Now Joan has published Gammon and Pineapple, a novella with a new twist on romance!

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And as well as the Dales Tales poetry anthology, I’ve also published the first collection of poetry by Darren Howes. Poems from A Room Beyond Awareness is spiritual, thought-provoking and also humorous – an exploration of a path into Buddhism.

If you would like to publish your book in 2015, please contact me. With a proven track record, I can work with you to professionally edit, format and publish your book as a paperback on Amazon Createspace or Lulu.com, and as an e-book on Kindle Direct Publishing. I will guide you through the process and help to demystify it, and can even design your book cover for you! When your book is finished, you will be in charge and the royalties from book sales will come directly to you.

It doesn’t matter if you need to dictate your book to a “ghost writer”, if you have a type-written manuscript in your back drawer, or if you are an experienced writer who needs guiding through the maze of self-publishing – I can help.

Contact me at: anne.grange77@googlemail.com , or call me on 07815966784 to discuss your project. I look forward to hearing from you.

Rivelin Story Walk- Saturday 18th October – part of Off the Shelf

Come to the Rivelin Story Walk and explore a magical valley!

Come to the Rivelin Story Walk and explore a magical valley!

As part of Sheffield’s Off the Shelf festival of words, I’m excited to be leading an event – a story walk through the magical Rivelin Valley for children and adults.

Explore the Rivelin Valley and follow a trail of fairy hide-outs, goblin thrones, troll bridges and fast-flowing water.

Use your imagination and write amazing stories about your adventures afterwards in the cafe. 

Meet at 11am at the Rivelin Park cafe in the Rivelin Park, S6 5GE. Free parking is available nearby. We will return to the cafe after the walk for a drink and a snack.

To book a place, call me on 07815966784.

The walk is suitable for children aged 6-12. Children must be accompanied by an adult.

Cost: £3 adults / £2 children, including a drink and a cake. Hot and cold food is available at the cafe.

Please come dressed for the great outdoors and bring notebooks, cameras, and bags for collecting treasure on the way.