Before I describe my life, I should probably mention that I grew up in Ann Arbor, Michigan firmly believing the town was named after me and it probably skewed my perspective of the world.
My dad worked for the Ann Arbor News (also named after me, or so I thought). He brought home chunks of newsprint and those fat pencils for us and he spent long evenings plunking away at his college Underwood typewriter creating humor columns for the Saturday Evening Post and later, light verse for numerous publications. And so, I came to believe that writing was in my blood.
After a mostly fun childhood (I did not love the gift of twin brothers four years my junior) I endured a self-conscious puberty, then four years of random study at the University of Michigan from which I emerged unqualified for much. Luckily, in those days, editors didn’t seem to mind and I spent the next ten years at the Ypsilanti Press, the Flint Journal and the Ann Arbor News.
Then came the years of marriage and motherhood about which there is much to say but none of it is original. Those occurred in Northern Virginia outside Washington, D.C.
I’ve done various freelance writing jobs for foundations and other nonprofits, for a few magazines. For the Washington Post, I wrote a series of participatory journalism a la George Plimpton for which I spent a punishing Valentine’s Day delivering bouquets for a flower shop, a hair-raising three months as a substitute school teacher and a horrific evening as a Little League Umpire.
After my dad died in 2000, I found myself writing longer, in fact, novels. For someone who has read the six-book canon of Jane Austen at least two dozen times, it was a natural step. I started with romance novels with a touch of mystery and (I hope) a bit of humor, I’ve moved to cozy mysteries with a touch of romance and a bit more of humor. At least that’s the way I see it.
For more of my take on literature and life (at least, my literature and life) please visit my blog on annyostbooks.com. It is called Once Over Lightly.