I’m really pleased to be welcoming Anna Shenton onto my blog today, as part of my What I did at 50 series. Anna is the lovely lady who set up a friendly Writers, Authors and Readers group and is always happy to promote and encourage the efforts of others. Read her story below…
I’m delighted to be here Tracey, (I think). I’m quite a private person, believe it or not, hope I don’t spill too many beans! Thank you for inviting me to your wonderful blog. I will focus shortly on the – say it quick – Fifty’s decade. Something I thought I would never divulge, so you are one special kind of lady.
Tracey: Thank you, Anna! Now over to you.
Born in Staffordshire, I experienced an interesting upbringing by my English father, and German mother. My two elder siblings and a surprise half-brother from Germany (twenty-six years later) completed the family.
Ingo, four years old, wasn’t allowed to leave Germany, his father cut off all ties with my distraught mother. Twenty-six years later came a letter.
Dear Martha, I hope this isn’t too much a shock for you, but I am Ingo, your son!!! My father died and now I have found your address. Please can I telephone you?
Later, we gathered round the telephone, my mother’s German language rolled off her tongue. Excitement, tears, and laughter followed. A date was arranged for the great reunion. Ten days before it, Martha, our mother, suffered a life-taking heart attack.
Their meeting wasn’t to be.
Eventually, I met my brother. The likeness to his mother was uncanny. It was a wonderful moment in my life.
My first marriage lasted thirteen years. My two wonderful sons were there for me.
I took a year out from men – until I was blue-lighted by a patrol car!
“You were speeding, madam!” said the tall, handsome copper peering down at me.
“Sorry Officer, I’m late for work.” He looked into my brown eyes and smiled.
“I’ll let you off, on one condition!”
“Uuum,” I tutted.
“You’ll come out for a drink!!”
Two years later, we married. Secretly. No kids, no guests, just two friends, shocked when we asked them to be witnesses in an hours’ time.
Sixteen happy years followed, but believe me, step-parenting isn’t easy.
When I turned fifty, we had a big bash. My Sister, Ilona, my two sons, four stepsons and all their partners joined in the celebrations. I could still get my little black number on!
I wrote a poem, mentioning each family member, cringing in their seats as I read out their name. Starting with Ilona, lady lorry driver. The sister who said it how it was when we were kids. (“Your hair looks messy, that dress is too short, makes you look fat!”) We would laugh about it now.
Tonight, it’s my party. Revenge was hanging on the tip of my tongue as I read. “Now to my sister, Ilona,” all heads turned to face her, cropped red hair and smiling face.
“You are the most… kindest sister I could wish for, You gave me love and so much more, No money, no man, no car to drive, But you were the one to help me survive.” I blew out the fifty candles and held my head up high.
And so, for the delight of being in my fifties.
Anna aged 55, with her granddaughter, who is now 10!
My husband, now on the crime squad, worked long hours, flying around on an unmarked police bike in his hot leathers. It gave me time to plough into a home study course with the Writing School of London. Getting published on Star Letter Pages and writing fillers for Women’s Commercial Magazines was encouraging. Articles were soon published too, in various magazines.
Poems didn’t go amiss either. Growin Owd – my pet poem – won World Book Day prize 2015 with Vind & Vag Publishing House, and, I loved writing short stories for writing group anthologies, where I used to be fund organiser.
Inspiration from life experiences, and reading other authors, helped me write Seduced by Mind Tricks, my debut novel, and create short stories.
I wanted to share my love for writing, with wanna-be-writer friends. My eBook/paperback Writing Spelled Out is devised and rewritten from my articles, to help budding authors. I then took on the challenge to write a Historical Mystery Romance and am currently working on book 2 for this two-part series.
During this time, I felt I needed to connect with other writer friends, it was a bit lonely slogging away on my own, so I created a group with a handful of people. Writers Authors and Readers – an online closed group – was now my passion. A layman in Facebook skills landed me with the group growing accidentally, but hey, it has turned out to be awesome with over 1k members.
Writing a novella appealed to me, as I sometimes like to read shorter stories that are fast-paced and straight into the story.
76 Silver Street by Anna Shelton
76 Silver Street – Book Blurb
Although she had a roof over her head, Rosa Brown couldn’t abide Dan’s drunken coercive behaviour as his house-keeper anymore. Aunt Mildred’s call from her hospital-bed sends Rosa sneaking out of town, to take over her aunt’s rundown boarding house.
Met by Jack Howard on arrival, in Pemberton 1905, Rosa’s heart plummets when her eyes meet with the dingy filthy place and Jack’s dark devilish impudent manner, who thinks she’s mad and has no intention of helping to get the place up and running before it goes bust.
Rosa is shocked when faced with all the ruffians and commoners knocking on the door and struggles to keep Jack’s hands off her. Sprucing the place up and filling it with respectful paying guests, proves harder than expected. Now, filled with fear for her aunt and her own wellbeing, will Rosa ever find true love and be free from trouble?
You can find more details for 76 Silver Street on this link: 76 Silver Street
Also please visit my writing page to keep up to date. I would love to see you there: Anna’s writing page
It’s been a great pleasure to be a guest on your blog Tracey. Thank you so much! I also look forward to reading fellow authors’ posts too. It’s a funny old time of life to talk about. And a great refreshing idea! But beware – don’t get done for speeding – you never know what might happen X