My guest today is Shirley Anne Cook who is a poet, children’s author and non fiction writer. She writes under the pseudonym, Shirley Harber for her children’s books.
I have known Shirley for a few years now, we met virtually on a Winners’ Poetry Forum set up by the former editor of Writers’ Forum Magazine. I met Shirley in person for the first time in 2016 on my first visit to Swanwick Writers’ Summer School.
Shirley has come along today to talk about her writing so without further ado let’s go over to Shirley.
Shirley Anne Cook
Thank you, Trisha for inviting me to talk about my writing on your blog.
I enjoy writing poetry for all ages and books for children. I lived in Egypt and visits to the Valley of the Kings and Pyramids inspired several of these, such as The Snake Princess. Set in the time of Pharaoh Amenhotep (1386-1349) this is an adventure story about thirteen-year-old Shahira, a Nubian girl, who discovers she has special powers over snakes.
I have also published a book of poems for children, Ancient Egyptian Rhyme Time.
Working as a primary school teacher for over forty years, I often had to teach my classes about this period. I could never find many poems specifically set in that time, so I wrote my own and recently published them. They cover a variety of formats from raps to ballads.
Another of my passions is genealogy and local history. I have spent the last two years researching the history of Broadfield House in Crawley, West Sussex. I lived with my family in the caretaker’s cottage on the Broadfield estate and grew up in the shadow of this once fine Georgian mansion.
My book traces the history of the house and the people who lived there from 1830, when it was built, to the present. It concludes with our own family’s anecdotes and photos.
It’s always hard returning to Broadfield; seeing how the estate has changed never fails to reduce me to tears. Most of the woods, fields and gardens have given way to housing development, and Broadfield House is a shadow of its former self.
I was lucky to grow up there when it was in its heyday. I hope my book will remind people of how beautiful it once was – a testament to our special childhood memories, and to all who made their lives there.
Researching the history of a house and its inhabitants can throw up all sorts of intriguing ideas for stories. I now have so many buzzing around in my head and hope to get started on one of those soon.
Broadfield House : history and memories, will be available to purchase soon on Amazon, as are all my books.
Thank you, Shirley, for sharing details about all your books to my readers.
Below I will include links as to where to find Shirley and where you can purchase her books but first let’s find out a little more about her.
About Shirley Anne Cook
Shirley Anne Cook is a poet and children’s author. Her poems have been published in a number of magazines and anthologies and been placed in numerous competitions.
You can find more about Shirley’s poetry by visiting her web site here.
Shirley’s books for children are written under the name Shirley Harber and can be seen here.
Social Media Links
Links to books