Ann Herrick is the award-winning author of several books and short stories for kids and teens. Included in the awards her books have won are the ALA Recommended Book for Reluctant Readers, IRA/CBC Children’s Choice and EPIC Best YA Novel Finalist.
Ann grew up in Connecticut, where she graduated from The Morgan School and Quinnipiac University. She now lives in Oregon with her husband, who was her high-school sweetheart. Their wonderful daughter is grown, married and gainfully employed, and has given Ann her only grand-dog, Puff, a bloodhound-rottweiller-beagle mix and six grand-kitties.
While she misses the East Coast, especially houses built before 1900, she enjoys the green valleys, fresh air and low humidity in the Willamette Valley of Oregon. Ann loves cats, walking, the Oregon Ducks and working in her back yard. In addition to stories and books for children and young adults, Ann also writes copy for humorous and conventional greeting cards.
What is your writing process? Do you follow a regular routine or do you have any weird, funny, or unusual habits while writing and what are they?
I write by the seat of my pants. While I have an idea of the beginning, middle and end of a story before I begin, I don’t outline or write out a synopsis. I just start and make it up as I go along. I get to know the characters in the first draft, so that I can further delineate them in subsequent drafts. Scenes and subplots spring to mind as I write.
While some authors don’t like to rewrite, I enjoy it. I have something to work with other than the blank page. I like to revise and polish until I feel I’ve gotten it right.
Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it?
I don’t know that I’ve ever had writer’s block, but some days of writing are more difficult than others. Sometimes the most difficult part is getting in the mood to sit down and write. When that happens I tell myself I have to write only two sentences. Of course, once I’ve written two sentences I am usually then off and running.
What is the single most important piece of advice for aspiring authors?
Sit down and write. You can’t write a story or book if you don’t start. Once you’ve written your story or book, polish it, then send it out. You can’t keep revising forever.
And, lastly, don’t give up.
What are your current/future projects?
My latest YA novel, just released, is Life, Love, and Surviving High School.
Becca’s in high school, but she hasn’t been on the same page as her best friends since just before the start of middle school and she doesn’t know exactly how things got so different. Not different in some edgy, gritty, she’s-a-rebel way. More of a Yes-she’s-a-dork way. Which makes it all the more amazing that while other friendships have crashed and burned all around them the four of girls have managed to stay Best Friends Forever. She doesn’t need to share in her friends’ spotlight. Becca’s happy to follow along in the shadows, as long as she’s not totally cast aside.
She’s definitely not ready for guys. In fact, she just wants to skip right over high school and jump straight to twenty-two. By then she figures she will have gotten through her first date, first kiss, passed her driver’s test, taken the SATs, filled out all those college applications, somehow survived living in a dorm and gotten her college degree without all the anxiety and drama.
Instead, just after silently deciding to not even think about guys and concentrate on school work for the next four years, she is instantly mesmerized by Brent, a seriously great-looking senior who also happens to have a long-time girlfriend, Claire. Not one to be the “other woman,” Becca imagines creative ways for Claire to be out of Brent’s life.
Meanwhile, Becca forms a strictly friends-only relationship with Colt. Becca and Colt turn out be good partners when it comes to studying, taking pictures for the school newspaper and working on a term paper together. But when one day Claire makes an offer about Brent that Becca can’t resist, that changes everything.
Are you traditional or self-published, and what process did you go through to get your book published?
I have been traditionally published with major print publishers and also published by independent e-publishers, some of whom also publish print books. I have self-published two short-story collecitons and four stories for very young children.
When I first started writing it was much easier to submit to major publishers in children’s publishing. They were all open to submissions directly from writers. That has changed over the year. E-publishers are more open, but even they are starting to limit their open submission times.
What field or genre would you classify your book(s) and what attracted you to write in that field or genre?
Most of my books are Young Adult, though I do have four books for very young children.