A stay-at-home humorist, Ann began writing to distract her ovaries from insisting on a third child. Ann has made no progress at earning continuing education credits to retain her social work license, but has had her writing featured on Humorpress.com, MaternalSpark.com, and FunnyNotSlutty.com. Ann looks forward to the launch of UnhingedMagazine.com, featuring her essay "The Saddies." Ann blogs regularly at annsrants.com, but never when she is supposedly watching her preschool-age boys.
If you have not done so already, take a look at Ann's winning story "Date Night" then return here for a chat with the author!
WOW: Congratulations on placing in the Spring 2009 WOW! Flash Fiction Contest! How did you begin writing your award winning story, Date Night?
Ann: A terrible date with my husband reminded me of the humor in juxtaposition. It's supposed to be a date, but it ends up as WWIII with a waitperson trying to serve you dinner as both parties re-load and dress their wounds.
WOW: I loved this story because it seemed like such a real and honest situation. Do you find it difficult or liberating to write within the word limit restrictions of flash fiction?
Ann: I found it liberating. As a new writer, I feel more comfortable with digestible chunks. It forces me to be concise--even though you'll notice a few too many adverbs lingering in my piece. At least I didn't say unnecessarily lingering in my piece.
WOW: Ha! I'm sure we can overlook an adverb or two. Which books/authors do you read for inspiration, and how do they inspire you?
Ann: Right now I'm reading Judge by Dwight Allen. He writes literature, and it inspires me by its sheer craftsmanship.
I draw most of my inspiration from comedians. I listen to comics when I jog--so don't be surprised if you see me loping around the neighborhood laughing hysterically.
WOW: (Laughs) What a great idea to listen to comedy while you jog! How do you make or find time to write with two pre-school aged children at home?
Ann: HA! I write mostly at night after my kids are asleep, or the three mornings a week that both my kids are in school at the same time.
I used to try to multi-task--writing while the kids seemed occupied with TV or play. When TwoPointFive started pressing the hibernate button every time I was on my computer, I realized I needed to set some boundaries.
WOW: What's the most useful piece of writing advice you've ever received?
Ann: My dear friend Erin advised me to keep writing and submitting, so as not to dwell on one specific contest or submission. Best advice EVER. I keep a spreadsheet of what I've sent out, but continually put myself out there so I can't obsess over one piece. I prefer obsessing about multiple pieces at one time I guess.
WOW: To keep writing and submitting is great advice. The more you submit, the better your chances of getting published. Are you currently working on any new writing projects or stories?
Ann: Every time I have an idea, I throw it in a word doc. It always surprises me which ones end up as essays, or longer pieces, and which ones never even turn into blog posts (for annsrants.com).
This past week I started two or three blog posts, and worked on a project I hope will be a book someday. This weekend I'm editing an essay I already submitted for an anthology, in order to enter it into another contest. Next week I plan to spend some time working on a short story I started recently.
WOW: Sounds like you're staying busy in the writing world. Good luck and we look forward to hopefully reading more of your writing in the future!
Interviewed by: Anne Greenawalt