No, I’m not Bourne again and this is not a parody of a popular spy novel. I am a wife, mother, grandmother, avid reader, cruising sailor, dog lover, and world traveler. And, as fate would have it, I am also a writer and editor.
What does fate have to do with it, you ask? I’ll tell you. By the time I was in college, I realized that I had a talent for only two things in life: ballet and writing.
I was a sophomore and studying journalism at university when a scout for the Atlanta Civic Ballet saw me dance and wanted to give me free lessons and then have me try out for the ballet company. It had been my dream to be a ballerina when I was a little girl, but now I was a young woman and decided that I must decline her kind offer. I told her it was because I wanted to be a newspaper reporter more than I wanted to be a ballerina, but in truth it was because I was in love with a most handsome, intelligent, and talented young man named Jim, who has now been my husband for well over 40 years, and I didn’t think the ballet life would suit him.
And that is why I chose writing over ballet. (Well, what would you have done?)
As for editing, I also realized at an early age that, due to my terrible handwriting, only two professions (besides ballet, which doesn’t really involve handwriting) were open to me: medicine and newspaper editing. For a few years I seriously considered being a doctor, but then I kept fainting at the sight of blood, so once again I was left with only one viable option, and so editing it is.
I began writing for newspapers and magazines when I was 13 years old. By the time I was 18, I was getting paid for it. Like many of you, I dabbled in poetry while in high school and college, then moved on to writing fiction.
Meanwhile, I worked as a newspaper reporter and editor in South Florida, served as the public relations director of the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale, and worked as an advertising copywriter and script writer in Connecticut. Later I moved with my husband and children to the West Indies where I worked as a newspaper reporter and editor, newspaper and magazine freelance writer, high school English teacher, radio news and advertising writer/announcer, video script writer/editor, and television producer.
I have written two novels, Sailing Away from the Moon and A Bit of Sun, as well as the nonfiction book The Novel Pitch. (And yes, okay, I’ve also written a screenplay, a few short stories, and some really bad poetry, but let’s not go there.) Prose is my love, so I’ll stick to fiction and happily leave the poetry and screenplays to those better suited to those art forms.
One of the things I like best about writing is fine-tuning the prose. Yes, of course, when the muse is with me writing fiction is an awesome ride, but I find that “getting the words right” never ceases to be a thrilling experience.
That may sound a little crazy, but then I probably am a little crazy. I mean, one of my favorite ways to relax is to put books in alphabetical order—by the author’s middle initial, my husband jokes.
And so that, as it were, is who I am. I hope that I’ll have the opportunity to learn who you are, too, and that you will allow me the privilege of reading some of your writing as well.
That’s what makes this website fun.
© 2016 Ann Henry, all rights reserved.
Photo: Ann in Pago Pago © 2016 James Henry, all rights reserved.
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