Ann M. Streetman may have inherited her interest in storytelling from her father who could spin a good tale. Then came her degree in journalism and a lifelong career in many kinds of communication.
She served more than 14 years in various management positions (including president and chief paid staff) of Texas Safety Association, which was a not-for-profit statewide educational organization.
Before and after association management, she enjoyed freelance manuscript book editing (21 books).
Along the way, she also served for 9 years as media contractor for Region 6 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (5 states and the Indian Nations via the Bureau of Indian Affairs Indian Highway Safety Program). Her duties there included writing many news releases, news conference notifications, public service announcements, and educational materials for Region 6 entities and their partners.
She enjoys writing ebooks and helping clients with their editorial projects.
She is the author of the romance novels Redeemed and The Italian Ski Instructor, two short story collections The Hospitality Connection and The Patriotic Connection – Life and Love in the Forties, and a short story “The Victrola.” She has written several children’s books including Animals Outside our Window, Words on My Plate, Words in Your Sandbox, and Celebrating Seasons, as well as two non-fiction books for adults PR Basics in a Connected World and Venturing into Digital Storytelling – A Grandmother’s Guide.
What inspires you to write?
With respect to fiction, I tend to be a concept writer, creating my characters and plots around concepts such as love, romance, and perseverance. In the case of my two short story collections, I wrote about the concepts of patriotism and hospitality, respectively. When I write children’s books, I combine my hobbies of graphics design and photography. I am considering creating an interactive book for children.
The two adult non-fiction books I wrote reflect on my passion for passing along information that I have gained along the way.
Tell us about your writing process.
When I start a novel, I do a spreadsheet which indicates the timeframe of the story, the names, ages, and physical descriptions of the main characters, as well as where they live. Since I usually create stories rooted in real time (past or present) and real places, it is important to keep the facts straight. I also do a numbered list of scenes (in my case they become chapters). I do the scene list after I have written the first chapter. I constantly revise this scene list because the characters and the plot evolve as I write.
Sometimes I stop and write a backstory for a character and then go back to the manuscript to make references to what previously happened in the character’s life. It’s all about making the characters come to life for the reader.
When I am pushing hard on a manuscript, I can write 2,000 words a day, and I have written 4,000 words in a day, but not often. I start each writing session by reviewing and editing the product of the previous session. Editing is part of the process every step of the way. Since I am a professional editor, I know my work can always be a little better, but there comes a time to stop editing and share the book, one reader at a time.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
My characters do not speak to me audibly, but they do keep me from going astray. I gladly rewrite individual passages and whole scenes because the characters require it.
What advice would you give other writers?
Don’t wait for inspiration, and never stare at a blank page. Write and edit. And, write and edit some more.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I explored the book publishing landscape and decided on self-publishing. The time is right for it. New technology and interactive communication by anyone anywhere has created an atmosphere of egalitarianism. I am also an entrepreneur. Independent publishing is about entrepreneurship.
If you are considering self-publishing, be sure you are willing to work hard to help readers find your work.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I think there will always be hardback and paperback books, but the time is right for e-books by established and new authors. We must go where the readers are willing to meet us.
What genres do you write?
romance novels, short stories, adult how-to, children’s books
What formats are your books in?