Anne Boyce - Brief Biography
Anne writes as ‘Anna Champney’; Champney being her mother’s maiden name, and Anna
being a variation on Anne.
Born in Hertford, Anne moved to Canterbury when aged three, when her father was appointed
Bursar at Kent University. Anne’s earliest claim to fame was when a home-cinema film
of her running round the foundations of Elliott College was used as part of the publicity
film of Kent University. Whether anyone these days would recognise the three year
old running around is, of course, another matter!
Having attended the Simon Langton Grammar School for Girls in Canterbury, Anne’s
first attempt at joining the Women’s Royal Naval Service was unsuccessful. Nothing
daunted, Anne took a job at Canterbury City Council, working in the City Treasurer’s
department, where her role as an Office Junior involved collecting money for personal
phone calls, writing out dog licence reminders (remember those?), and also writing
lists of payments received. Whilst carrying out these vital tasks, Anne once again
applied to join the WRNS and this time she was successful, joining as a Writer in
Anne had a very successful career in the WRNS, being promoted to Leading Wren in
1984. During her time at RNAS Yeovilton, working on 707 Training Squadron, she met
her future husband, Tom. The pair married in 1987, moving to Amesbury in Wiltshire,
near to the famous monument at Stonehenge.
In 1989 Anne and Tom moved to Halifax in West Yorkshire, and set up home there. Anne
went to work for a local publishing firm as a Production Assistant, where she stayed
for three years until financial problems forced the firm to close.
Anne had several jobs in the next few years, until she was employed by Bradford Council
as a Finance Officer in 2005.
In 2002 Anne and Tom divorced, and she subsequently married Husband No. 2, Glyn,
in July 2003. Both keen motorcyclists, Anne and Glyn spent as many weekends as possible
attending motorcycle rallies, and spent holidays in Scotland every summer.
Glyn developed throat cancer in 2006 but following a successful treatment was pronounced
clear. Unfortunately he was diagnosed with a further tumour in early 2009, and died
after a short illness in May. leaving Anne feeling totally devastated.
It was during this period that Anne started to write her novels. She had previously
had poetry published, as well as a could of short stories, but this was her first
attempt at writing anything major. Using the work as an escape from the tragedy,
she wrote the whole book (just over 212,000 words) in just over 3 months, and then
wrote the sequel in another three. The second book is slightly shorter at 156,000
Anne then tried to find a publisher who might be interested in her books. After several
rejections, she considered going down the ‘vanity publishing’ route, but this proved
to be extremely expensive. However, she eventually found a publishing agent who agreed
to approach publishers on her behalf. After a couple of months an American publishing
house expressed an interest in publishing the first book on a ‘joint venture’ basis,
where each partner pays towards the cost of publishing. Anne found the whole process
fascinating and exciting, and says it was one the proudest moments of her life when
she finally held a published copy of her book.
Anne has done several book signing events, and has appeared in the local paper in
Halifax where a large part of her book is set.
Anne’s second book, which is the sequel to the first and continues the story, was
published 15 months later by the same publisher.
Anne is currently working on a third book dealing with the same family as the first
two, although this one is the prequel to the first book, dealing with the family
in the First World War, where the first book deals with the Second World War.
Anne’s inspiration for the story came from reading a book about a young girl who
had been evacuated to Swansea during the Blitz, and also from her mother’s stories
of being a girl in Coventry and being evacuated to the countryside after Coventry
was bombed in 1940. The characters in the book are based on people she knows, although
none of them is a direct portrait.
As well as being therapeutic, Anne found that writing is a great deal of fun! Drawing
the characters, inventing the story, weaving the plot and creating her semi-fictitious
world is deeply involving, and gives a great deal of pleasure.
Anne, as well as working on the third book in her series, has several ideas for further
books, covering various different topics and timeframes. She has now started a further
book, dealing with how the choices people make can affect their entire lives. The
book is, naturally enough, called ‘Choices’.