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!

book-cover-photo

 

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.

What’s Your Story? A new memoir writing course, starting on 28th April 2014

What’s your story? An introduction to memoir writing.

Memoir Writing Course at Gladys Buxton Dronfield

 I’m excited to be running a new memoir writing course – this time, it’s in my guise as a Derbyshire Adult Education tutor.

The course will run on Monday evenings for 5 weeks, from 6.30-8.30pm at the beautiful Gladys Buxton Centre in Dronfield, S18 2EJ (it’s just over the border in Derbyshire, but very close to Sheffield.) The course runs for five weeks, with a break on the Bank Holiday Monday 26th May, to give you more opportunity to do some writing!

If you’ve always fancied writing a memoir, but aren’t sure how to get started, this course is for you. I’ll take you through from exploring memories using creative techniques, structuring and planning your memoir, bringing memories alive through dialogue and description, exploring alternative formats such as blogging or poetry, and looking at successful memoirs and autobiographies such as Jennifer Worth’s ‘Call the Midwife’. What makes them so vivid and compelling?

The course will also be a great opportunity to share experiences and the mutual support of other writers. The course is suitable for anyone from any background, young or old! You just need to want to tell your story.

Contact me for more information about the course via email or on 07815966784, or call the Gladys Buxton Centre on 01246 413631 to book a place.

Introducing the Wild Rosemary Gift Package – the gift of memory

It’s easy to let life rush by, until you find that it’s too late for the things that really matter. Like capturing the memories of a loved one – the stories and the details that make us who we are. I’m launching a gift service to make it easier for you to keep your family stories forever.

This Christmas, it will be twelve years since my grandfather (Arthur – we called him Gardan) died. Starting Wild Rosemary Writing Services has made me think more about my grandparents, and the important of knowing our family stories. I’ve only got a few fragments of my grandfather talking about his life, a very precious present from my Aunty Marion! But it’s frustrating only having a few stories. Gardan was full of them. He was a born comedian, and his anecdotes and jokes entertained us for hours. To admit I needed to record him would have been acknowledging that he was getting older and more frail; more lonely without my grandmother. Memories fade. And how many people have photographs of the moment they fell in love?

Thanks to my cousin Chris making some transcripts of interviews with Gardan when he was at school, I would otherwise never have known that my grandparents met when Arthur and his mates decided to gate-crash a clothing factory’s dance in 1937. The lads saw a poster outside and realised that a popular band-leader was playing. Seventeen-year-old Arthur was the only young man who could dance. That’s how he met a dark-haired girl, dressed in a velvet frock. She’d probably made it herself. Imagine, if Arthur had gone to a different dance, or if Pat had danced with someone else? Three generations of our family would never have existed.

I wish I knew more about the fun-loving young man my grandfather was. From the transcripts, I know that he was almost a motor mechanic, rather than a plasterer. In World War Two, he wasn’t fit for the Armed Forces, due to imperfect hearing and flat feet, but he did essential work, repairing bomb damage and building army bases. The American Forces brought shared their luxurious food rations with the builders – pork steak and “biscuits” – and nicknamed Arthur “Red” due to the colour of his hair. He once smuggled two American soldiers out of a Lincolnshire base on a bus, disguised as builders, so that they could dance the night away in the Palais nightclub in Nottingham.

And I know where I get my habit of becoming totally absorbed in a book or a film from. Arthur was in Sheffield (I wish I knew where), repairing bomb damage after the blitz. He went to the cinema, but was concentrating so much on the film that he didn’t notice the air-raid siren until the cinema had completely emptied and he was sitting on the balcony alone. He ran out onto the deserted streets…

I’d like to help you to capture the moments that shaped your family. I’ve created a gift package, which includes:

  • A 3-hour informal interview with your loved one. Why not invite family members to make it more of an occasion? This could be conducted in person or via the phone, or Skype.
  • An edited transcript of the interview, with photographs.
  • Quality printing and binding, and the transcript will also be provided electronically.
  • Prices start at £300 for the full service.
  • Gift cards available if the service is being purchased as a present.
  • Bespoke binding and printing also available – just ask for more details.

Contact Anne Grange on 07815966784 or email: anne.grange77@googlemail.com for more details.

Remember your loved ones' dancing days forever...

Remember your loved ones’ dancing days forever…