June 18, 2016
Ann Garvin has been praised for the seamless humor and compassion found in her novels, "On Maggie's Watch" (2010) and "The Dog Year" (2014). A third novel, "I Like You Just Fine When You're Not Around," will be released in June.
"On Maggie's Watch" received positive reviews from New York Times bestselling authors Jacquelyn Mitchard and Luanne Rice. Mitchard also had high praise for Garvin's second novel, as did Booklist and New York Times bestselling author Wiley Cash.
Prior to becoming a writer, Garvin went to nursing school and studied exercise psychology in graduate school. She then discovered her passion for teaching and writing. Her first short story, "Daydream Believer," won second place in the Wisconsin Book Festival, which inspired her to write novels.
Garvin is now a professor at the University of Wisconsin and Southern New Hampshire University's Low-Residency MFA Program, where she teaches creative writing. She is the founder of Tall Poppy Writers, an organization that unites female fiction writers. She also works as a general fiction writer and a speaker.
For more information about Garvin and her novels, visit her website.
I have not always written. I wrote letters and science but never fiction. I started writing fiction in 2004 when I won a short story contest and the rest is history.
A character with a flaw or problem usually introduces herself/himself to me and I start thinking about them. I think of them when I'm driving and moving through my days and eventually a story develops. It takes me a lot of thinking before I begin writing. Then, I let my thoughts flow about where the story and character might take me. It's not very scientific, that's for sure.
By far my greatest challenges as a writer are interruptions, life and finding time. I have a full time job at the University of Wisconsin as well as my part-time teaching job at the SNHU Low-Residency MFA. I am a single mother to two girls and run the Tall Poppy Writers co-op. The way I handle it is to try and work on what is most important to me during my most productive hours in the day. Plus, I love writing so I make a lot of time for it.
My road to publication has been lovely, daunting, filled with rejection and both failure and success. The road continues this way as I move into my third published book. It's as Haruki Murakami says, the three essential qualities for all serious novelists are Talent, Focus, and Endurance and I work hard to maximize all three of these things.
How hard and time consuming promotion and the business of writing is. I'd have been less disappointed and more realistic.
I am entirely inspired by Laura Hillenbrand, author of "Unbroken" and "Seabiscuit." She has long suffered with a debilitating fatigue and a kind of non-specific illness, yet what she creates are epic works of art. If she can write like she does while ill, I can make more time for writing while well.
"Olive Kitteridge" by Elizabeth Strout, "In Private Life" by Barbara Holland and anything written by Nora Ephron. These women writers are powerful, funny, sad and I aspired to do just a fraction of what they have done.
As a Girl Scout growing up in La Mesa, Calif., Sherry Consolin had access to many volunteer opportunities. One was the chance to become a candy striper at a local hospital.
Imagine setting personal goals for yourself without knowing the impact it has on your family. Imagine life, without feedback.
For international student Angelica Marotta, graduating from Southern New Hampshire University came with an extra surprise.