Lillie Ammann


Lillie always dreamed of writing someday—suffering a stroke made her realize that someday had arrived. As soon as she could, she sold the interior landscape business she had owned and operated for twenty years and started a new career as a freelance writer. She has published both fiction and nonfiction books.

As a freelancer, she works with authors and publishers to prepare manuscripts for publication; writes and edits business documents; and helps families and individuals compile family histories and memoirs. She especially enjoys helping self-publishing authors navigate the publishing maze and likes to think of herself as a book midwife.

Lillie, who is widowed, lives in San Antonio, Texas.

Smashwords Interview

Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Yes, I remember it very well. I was a sophomore or junior in high school. I grew up on a farm and went to a small school in the nearby town. We had only one high school English teacher for all grades. She gave our class an assignment to write a story. I wrote a humorous story about a girl going on a date. Her parents insisted she introduce her date to the entire family--both parents and all five siblings. She would get a couple of family members in the living room and go to look for the rest, and by the time she got back with someone else, the first two had disappeared. Finally, after this went on for a while, the boy gave up and went home, and the date never happened. You might guess that I came from a large family--I was the oldest of six. My mother always said she had two litters because she had three girls very close together, then a large gap with no children, then my two brothers and baby sister. There is a difference of 16 years between the youngest and me.

I know the story doesn't sound very exciting in the summary above, but I was thrilled because the teacher read the story to every one of her English classes. In my class, the students laughed in the right places and seemed to enjoy the story. Students from other classes later told me they liked my story when the teacher read it to them. That was a huge boost to my ego and convinced me I wanted to be a writer.

However, reality got in the way for a long time. I listened to the folks who said I couldn't make a living as a writer and was in business for many years before I started my writing career. It's true that I don't make a living from my fiction, but I make a comfortable living from my freelance business.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up on a farm about six miles outside Dilley, in south Texas. I developed a strong work ethic and value system. The work ethic helps me get things done, and my values are reflected in my stories. My characters either already similar values or they come to those values through the story. I also learned to appreciate simplicity and plain speaking. That is apparent in my simple, easy-to-read, conversational writing style. Even my characters who live in the city and work for huge corporations share the simple country values I grew up with.
Read more of this interview.

Where to find Lillie Ammann online


The Glory of the Lord: Advent and Christmas Devotionals
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 12,010. Language: English. Published: November 16, 2019 . Categories: Nonfiction » Religion & Spirituality » Christian Life / Devotional, Nonfiction » Religion & Spirituality » Devotional
Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany devotionals benefits Love for the Least, sharing the compassion of Christ with an unreached world.
Jack Stories
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 21,260. Language: English. Published: January 3, 2013 . Categories: Nonfiction » Biography » Personal memoir, Nonfiction » Biography » Biographical anthologies
Jack Jordan Ammann Jr. touched many lives with his generosity, strong personality, loyalty, kindness, and humor. After Jack's death, friends shared their favorite “Jack stories,” funny and serious, short and long. Enjoy favorite memories of a special man.
Creating Fictional Characters
Price: Free! Words: 8,990. Language: English. Published: August 7, 2011 . Categories: Nonfiction » Reference » Writing skills, Nonfiction » Reference » Publishing & books
Characters are the building blocks of fiction. Even in action stories, the action has to happen to characters. Phonetically, the word character begins with "care." Characters have to care about something for readers to care about the characters, and if readers don't care about your characters, they probably won't care about your plot, either. Learn how to create characters readers care about.
The Secrets of Fantastic Houseplants
Price: Free! Words: 5,820. Language: English. Published: March 8, 2010 . Categories: Nonfiction » Home & Garden » Gardening
You can learn to care for your houseplants even if you weren't born with a green thumb. All you need to have beautiful indoor plants is to know a few secrets and to give your plants a little love and attention. Turn your brown thumb green and take pleasure and pride in your houseplants.
Preserving Memories: How to Write a Family History
Price: Free! Words: 6,910. Language: English. Published: March 8, 2010 . Categories: Nonfiction » Reference » Writing skills, Nonfiction » Reference » Publishing & books
Families often lose their histories through the generations, which may explain why genealogy — the process of trying to trace and recapture that history — is hugely popular. Learn how to preserve your precious family memories for future generations, whether you simply want to print a few copies on your computer or publish a hardcover book to sell to the general public
Finding the Information You Need: Research Tips for Your Family, Business, or Personal Pursuits
Price: Free! Words: 7,060. Language: English. Published: March 7, 2010 . Categories: Nonfiction » Reference » Handbooks & Manuals
Learn how to find the information you need — whether it's knowledge critical for your family's health, intelligence important for the success of your business, facts useful in making buying decisions, or simply lore you want to know. Discover how to evaluate the reliability of the data you gather as well. Links to almost 100 sites useful for research.
Trapped by Love: A Novelette
Price: Free! Words: 7,530. Language: English. Published: October 20, 2009 . Categories: Fiction » Romance » General
(4.86 from 14 reviews)
Lori Hammond is used to spending all day working closely with her boss Derek Anderson. Their relationship changes, however, when the two of them are trapped in an elevator.
Fern's Fancies
Price: Free! Words: 45,100. Language: English. Published: October 20, 2009 . Categories: Fiction » Romance » General
(4.80 from 5 reviews)
When Fern Tate sold her interior landscape company to a national corporation, she didn’t expect to have a boss like Pendleton Morgenthal, III. Had she made the biggest mistake of her life? Pen never allowed a woman—especially a subordinate—to distract him from his fast-track career. What was it about Fern that made her different?