Ann’s mother always wanted to write a book about her ancestors. She felt there was enough material in her collection of family memoirs, which dated back to the 1600’s, to make fascinating reading.
When Ann’s mother died in 1994, she passed those memoirs on to Ann. Over the next several years Ann put stream-of-consciousness reminiscences into chronological order and followed up each “remembered fact” with necessary research.
Thanks to the computer age, she wrote the book her mother had envisioned and in the late 1990’s distributed it to family and interested historians.
In the process of researching her family history, Ann discovered that all of the collected memoirs had been written by men. Memories of the American Revolution, the Mexican and Civil Wars, and the westward migration were all told from the male perspective. What was life like for the women who maintained the homes, reared the children, and followed their husbands from place to place? That question sparked her interest in writing fiction to fill in the gaps. Over the next several years Ann learned her craft by attending classes, reading books, and, yes, collecting a few rejections.
On a research trip to Kentucky in 1997, Ann and her husband, Richard, were fortunate enough to locate the graves of her great-great-great grandparents on the land they had settled in 1800. Standing in front of her great-times-three grandmother’s resting place, Ann promised that grandmother she would not be forgotten.
The At Home in Beldon Grove series honors that promise. The first volume, titled The Edge of Light, was released in January, 2009. The second book in the series, The Promise of Morning, released in March 2010, and the series concludes with The Dawn of a Dream, released in April of 2011.
Ann's new series, Sisters at Heart, opens with Where Wildflowers Bloom. The stories follow her ancestor's emigration from Illinois to Missouri after the close of the War Between the States. As the series title promises, the books are linked by the friendship between Faith, Rosemary and Cassie, the novels' protagonists.
One of the best things Ann learned about fiction is that it’s okay to make stuff up! Thus, although these novels are inspired by her courageous female ancestors, the largest percentage of their adventures are fictional. Ann leaves it to her readers to separate truth from “it could have happened like this.”
Ann is represented by Tamela Hancock Murray of The Steve Laube Agency, and is an active member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Oregon Christian Writers. As such, she is enthusiastic about the benefits of attending workshops and conferences. Ann is available to teach workshops on research, story arc, and other fiction fundamentals to writer’s groups.
In addition to writing, Ann has won many prizes for her culinary skills. Her recipes have appeared in Country Woman magazine, and in several national cookbooks, including Taste of Country and Taste of Home. Ann has been privileged to present cooking demonstrations to young women from her church as part of the Apples of Gold mentoring program.
Ann and Richard share their home with a loveable Belgian Shepherd named Amber.