Interview with Ann M Streetman

When did you first start writing?
With a degree in journalism, I have enjoyed a career in public relations, public affairs, media relations, manuscript book editing, and association management. All of those jobs involved storytelling. When I was 20-something and unemployed I wrote short stories and a little poetry. Although I can still be lured into helping a client with an editorial project, I spend most of my time writing e-books for adults and children.
What's the story behind your latest book?
My latest novel is That Man in Siena released December 16. It is my first romance about older adults. Some people would call it "Boomer-Lit" since the protagonists are 60 and 62. Raffaele, a talented potter, jazz guitarist, father, and grandfather, is still in love with his late wife. She was as much a part of him as his own heart and soul. He was not looking for another love when Laura, a widowed nurse from Oklahoma City, checked into his bed and breakfast in Siena, Italy. Laura was very different from his late wife. Raffaele was very different from Laura's late husband. Their attraction was swift and strong. Both were old enough to know how love works and both were brave enough to search for their own way forward.

Writing about Siena was fun for me since I have visited there several times. It is a beautiful place to fall in love.
What are you working on next?
I do keep creating these incredibly handsome and charming Italian men of all ages. In my first novel Redeemed, it was Antonio Di Costa, a wounded warrior returning to his family in Brooklyn. Then there was Matteo Soldati in The Italian Ski Instructor. Now there is Raffaele Balducci in That Man in Siena. These Italian guys just make great men for my female characters to fall for.

But now I am working on a romance that does not star an Italian man. My new protagonist is Craig Hameston who lives in Victoria, B.C. His heritage is part First Nations Family and part Scottish. He is retired from the Royal Canadian Navy Reserve. I hope people will enjoy reading about him and Kathryn Sinter as much as I am enjoying writing their special story. Anticipated publication is late winter or early spring 2014. Please stay tuned.
Who are your favorite authors?
For biography, my favorite author is Walter Isaacson who has intrigued me with the lives of Steve Jobs and Albert Einstein. For thrillers, I loved Vince Flynn (so sad to lose him). I also admire the storytelling skills of Brad Thor and David Baldacci. They are masters at absorbing their readers with plots full of details, twists, and turns. I will never be as good as they are at their craft, but they inspire me to be a better writer.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I am a lifelong professional communicator. Today the leading edge of publishing is the indie author movement. I cannot bear not to be there. I am also an entrepreneur. Indie authorship is entrepreneurism on steroids. Gatekeepers are minimal in the movement. If I can create a good story that people want to read and if I work hard at being discoverable, I can succeed. If I don’t, I am not a victim, just a person who needs to learn to write a better story and build a better author brand.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Creating characters and plots from bits and pieces in my mind and from my life experience is real joy.
I also love writing books for pre-K and very young readers. For those titles, I combine my photographic and design skills with age-appropriate words to create a whole lot of fun.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Thank goodness, every day is different. Some days chores cannot be postponed. At other times, my focus is on helping friends or family. Now and then I get out of bed with a big smile on my face because I have just figured out how to fix a problem with my current plot. Chores can wait.
What themes, if any, are recurring ones in your work?
Oftentimes my plots have involved characters from different cultures and faiths. Such is the case in “The Immigrants,” in my short story collection The Hospitality Connection and “The Job,” in my short story collection The Patriotic Connection – Life and Love in the Forties.
My characters are flawed people, oftentimes challenged by difficult circumstances in their lives, but they do not see themselves as victims. They know it is up to them to make things work in an imperfect world.
I may write a lot more stories, but Antonio Di Costa, the handsome Italian man who returned from Afghanistan without one leg, is likely to be my all-time favorite character. No doubt, there will be other characters with challenges who will find their way, with grace and charm. But Antonio Di Costa. Well, this guy is just special. If you don’t know him yet, I invite you to take a look at Redeemed.
What motivates you to write?
No one else has had the exact same life experiences as I have. Those experiences and my personal responses to them have given me a point of view that informs my characters and plots. If I don’t write these stories, no one else will. No one else can.
What happens when you finish a book you've been working on for months?
When I finished writing my most recent book Craig's Hometown, I gave myself a few days off to do the chores and pleasurable things I had neglected while I was pushing so hard to finish the book. Then I went through the process of updating my working documents for the book: the backstory, the chapter list, and other items. As always, I enjoyed seeing how the characters had sent the plot into some places I had not anticipated. And, I started missing my daily interaction with these characters. Now they belong to you, the reader, who will give them new life according to your own experiences and imagination. I'm looking forward to hearing from you.
Published 2014-09-01.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Craig's Hometown
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 70,350. Language: English. Published: August 27, 2014. Category: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
Kathryn Sinter had run away from home because home wasn't what she thought it was. She had chosen Seattle because she liked seafood and flowers and it was as far as she could get away from her soon to be ex-husband without drowning in the ocean. Her plans for re-invention did not include a man, but Craig Hameston, a recently retired diver in the Royal Canadian Navy Reserve, was hard to ignore.
That Man in Siena
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 70,780. Language: English. Published: December 16, 2013. Category: Fiction » Women's fiction » General
When Laura went to Italy to celebrate her 60th birthday, she was not looking for a man. But there stood Raffaele Balducci, a talented potter, jazz guitarist, father and grandfather. His face was pleasantly wrinkled from many years under the Tuscan sun. He had lively brown eyes and dark wavy hair sprinkled with gray.Their attraction was swift and strong. They were old enough to know how love works.
The Italian Ski Instructor
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 70,650. Language: English. Published: May 3, 2013. Category: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
Shaken by an unwanted divorce, Jennifer was not ready to get involved. Then she met Matteo Soldati, a handsome guest ski instructor. He would soon be going back to Italy and then on to Switzerland where he taught at Davos and St. Moritz. It was unlikely that they would ever see each other again. But things changed. This novel is a good read for people who like sweet romance in unexpected places.
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 70,550. Language: English. Published: December 21, 2012. Category: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
Kimberly had assumed he was a man crushed and embittered by his war injuries. Instead, Antonio Da Costa was a sexy, playful man with an inviting smile and a boyish twinkle in his eyes. When she closed her eyes, she could see him standing in the doorway, wearing a yellow shirt tightly stretched across his shoulders and broad chest. She hoped he would come to the diner often.
The Hospitality Connection
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 9,900. Language: English. Published: October 1, 2012. Category: Fiction » Plays & Screenplays » American
Hospitality can be as simple as giving food, drink, or shelter to friends, family, or strangers. Sometimes it is much more than that. For the characters in these stories, hospitality was important to the giver and the recipient. If you have experienced hospitality in unexpected times and places, you will identify with them.
The Patriotic Connection - Life and Love in the Forties
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 15,960. Language: English. Published: September 12, 2012. Category: Fiction » Romance » Short stories
Young love is a powerful gift that comes in unexpected places and times. The stories in this collection give glimpses into the lives of young men and women who came of age during World War II.Their lives and the lives of their families were turned upside down. Many of them lost everything, and some of them found new joys. They had in common a love of life and a deep patriotism.
Words in Your Sandbox
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 920. Language: English. Published: February 20, 2012. Category: Nonfiction » Children's Books » Readers / Beginner
This book is for little ones on the brink of reading and very young readers who like to exercise their new skills. They will enjoy associating words with photos of familiar objects. It's interactive and just plain fun.
The Victrola
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 2,200. Language: English. Published: December 17, 2011. Category: Fiction » Romance » Short stories
The Dallas County Archives show important events occurring in Dallas in 1927: Sergeant Alvin York and Charles Lindbergh visited the city. A rash of robberies shocked the citizenry. The extraordinary thing that happened to Mary Dalton has not been recorded until now.
Words on my Plate
Price: Free! Words: 620. Language: English. Published: November 17, 2011. Category: Nonfiction » Children's Books » Cooking & Food
Looking for an ebook to enjoy with your little one throughout the year? Words on my Plate is a simple book that will engage toddlers, pre-K children, and very young readers. They can grow with the book as their understanding and skills develop. They will learn to associate words with familiar foods and have a little fun along the way.
Celebrating Seasons
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 1,690. Language: English. Published: October 24, 2011. Category: Fiction » Children’s books » Entertainment
The grandmother in Celebrating Seasons engages young Tommy's processes of observation and imagination in their exploration of seasons. Photos by the author illustrate seasonal changes and activities.It's a fun read that will start a child's journey toward understanding fall, winter, spring, and summer.
Animals Outside Our Window
Price: Free! Words: 460. Language: English. Published: October 21, 2011. Category: Fiction » Children’s books » Animals
This book is meant to delight the adult reader as well as the little one who listens and sees it on an ebook device. The remarkable animals who did indeed stop by my window deserve most of the credit for this effort. It is short enough to hold the attention of a pre-k youngster on the go. The unusual perches of my squirrel and wren visitors will perhaps evoke a chuckle from the reader.
PR Basics in a Connected World
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 4,090. Language: English. Published: September 28, 2011. Category: Nonfiction » Reference » Writing skills
This book is for you if one of these scenarios fits: (1) you just inherited the PR function on top of your other responsibilities; (2) you are headed back into the PR job market after several years; (3) you want to acquire some PR savvy for a prospective new job; (4) you have a communications degree, but have never worked in PR; or (5) you are new to PR and want a few tips from a veteran.
Venturing into Digital Storytelling - A Grandmother's Guide
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 10,910. Language: English. Published: August 7, 2011. Category: Nonfiction » Art, Architecture, Photography » Fine art
If you want to create stories the family can enjoy on contemporary digital devices, this how-to book is for you -- grandmother or not. You can turn boxes of photos, old documents, audiocassettes, and 8 mm movies into stories. Or, you can start with existing video and digital photos. It's all about the storytelling.