Anna Emm lives in Cape Town with her husband and two daughters. She has been writing stories her whole life – even from before she could hold a pen. While in kindergarten, she dictated stories to her teacher to write them down for her. She wrote her first book at the age of four.
In primary school she wrote a series of action-packed stories for her classmates that were so popular, they had to develop a 'library' system to keep track of who was reading which book. Anna remembers how the other children offered to do her homework for her so she could finish the latest chapters! During high school Anna would often skip classes to go and sit in the school's bathroom so she could write.
After school Anna studied at a college of education, then spent four years teaching Grade 2's. She describes herself as a terrible teacher, because she spent most of her time reading stories to the children instead of doing formal teaching. But it was here that she could really see the value of stories, because at the end of the year her learners ended up on the same academic level as those in the other classes – on an almost exclusive diet of stories! But their self-confidence, vocabulary and creativity were far better developed than those of the learners in the other classes. Her learners were happier, more relaxed, and had the rare ability to show empathy towards their peers. This was enough evidence for Anna to bid teaching goodbye and focus on her writing full time.
Since then, Anna Emm has written and recorded more than 3 000 children's stories. Most of these stories are now available on her podcast – www.AnnaEmmPod.co.za.
She has also published a large number of books: 5 children's books, 17 books for young readers, 2 collections of short stories, 21 romance novels and 3 adult novels. Her current favourite genre is mystery, of which the novelettes Bitterbessie Blues (5 novelettes) and her Kaapse Kruiper series (3 novelettes) were the first. She is currently busy with the Hink series.
Anna Emm believes in the power of stories. "In my own life I have witnessed the power of stories. Stories are the most powerful medium on earth. They have profound impact on the human mind, spirit and body. Stories reach depths in us where even the medical industry cannot reach. A story well told has the power to heal, to nurture, to relax, to motivate and to activate like no other medium on earth. It is my wish that my stories will bring joy, and that my readers will feel better when they close my books, than when they opened them."
As a child Anna's greatest fear was that one day she would stop writing. So she didn't.