About Anna

scarf2My favorite worlds are the ones I create with words.

The first novel I ever read was All of a Kind Family, by Sydney Taylor. I thought, “It’s like magic! A whole universe made out of words!” I resolved to write books when I grew up.

Once I knew novels existed, I guzzled them, polishing off all the classics: Mrs. Piggle Wiggle, Little House, Anne of Green Gables, Pipi Longstocking, Pollyanna, Hitty: Her First Hundred Years, Little Women, Little Men, Eight Cousins, Heidi, Secret Garden, Little Princess, The Borrowers, Caddie Woodlawn, Catherine Called Birdy, Watership Down, Phantom Tollbooth, A Girl of the Limberlost, the Wheel on the School and hundreds more.

The first novel I ever read was All of a Kind Family. Once I knew novels existed, I guzzled them.

I had no use for books about everyday modern life. I read so I could visit different worlds. This taste might have led me to sci-fi. Instead, I craved old fashioned stories where girls wore long dresses, learned in one-room schoolhouses, and lived in dwellings made from sod.  Not surprisingly, by college, I was an avid Victorianist. I can still recommend the best 19th-century book you’ve probably never heard of.

(It’s The Moonstone.)

In college, I was an avid Victorianist. I can still recommend the best 19th-century book you’ve probably never heard of. (It’s The Moonstone.)

I’m also a humorist. I have had to forgive Mark Twain for saying he wanted to dig up Jane Austen’s remains and beat her over the head with her own shinbone.

Nineteenth-century writers instilled my love for story and classic structure. Graduate work at the Columbia School of Journalism beat the wordiness out of me, taught me to ask, “Who cares?” and how to make them.

I have had to forgive Mark Twain for saying he wanted to dig up Jane Austen’s remains and beat her over the head with her own shinbone.

My work straddles all my many worlds. I am a senior technologist who can tell the tale of Wall Street quants from the inside out. I’m a fourth generation New Yorker and might-have-been heiress with an authoritative voice on themes of money and greed. I’m the daughter of a world-famous fashion model with a perspective on beauty, self-worth and aging.

My most treasured comment comes from a test-reader of my new novel. Stephanie is a former English teacher and harried school principal. She said, “I am so busy, I haven’t finished a book in five years. I finished yours in one f****ing day!”

“I am so busy, I haven’t finished a book in five years. I finished yours in one f****ing day!”

For my site, I combed through scores of quotes about writing. Many of them dwell on how hard writing is. How long it takes. How draining. How often disappointing.

All of this is real. But when you take a reader into another world and give her delight—now that’s what it’s all about.

Adding my quote to the list:

Writing is joy.

 

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