Calatrava.jpg

About Ann M. Greenseth

Ann M. Greenseth is a taleteller, wordsmith, scribbler, poet, reader, arts enthusiast, seeker, misfit, and joker. She has been in love with reading and telling tales since she was a child. In March 2020, she published her first novel, According to Lu.

 

Ann has been a technical communication professional for more than 25 years. She holds Bachelor’s (Theatre) and Master’s (English) degrees from Illinois State University.

Ann lives in southeastern Wisconsin.

 
Atwater-Ann-Southeast.jpg
Ann-Author2.jpg

Atwater Park, Shorewood, WI
Ann M. Greenseth

Recognition / Awards

2020
According to Lu: Finalist in the Literature: Inspirational and Literature: Novella categories

of the International Book Awards.

Milwaukee Museum of Art; Santiago Calatrava

Ann M. Greenseth

Interview with the Author

Q: Ms. Greenseth, how long have you been a writer?
AMG: Since I learned to read. I think I’ve actually been a teller of tales since before I could read. I remember my parents reading to me. I’d look at the page and see these black marks on a white page. And somehow, someway, they saw what was on that page and read it out loud to me. It seemed like magic. I was fascinated with that. I still am.

From an early age, I thought there could be nothing better than being a storyteller. I still feel that way.

Q: What’s the first thing you remember writing?

AMG: In fifth grade, I wrote a sci-fi play. As I recall, several other students and I produced it for class.

Q: Do you recall the plot?

AMG: I don’t. I know I still have it somewhere.

Q: Wouldn’t you like to find it?

AMG: Yes and no. I’m afraid my adult self might judge it too harshly.

Q: What else did you write before you were published?

AMG: I wrote more stories, plays, and poems than I can list here.

My high school hosted an S.O.S., Students On Stage, program every spring. Students wrote one-act plays and submitted them. Three were chosen to be performed. Students acted in them, designed for them, and directed them. I submitted a script one year and it was selected. One of our lead actors in the program played the lead. I was thrilled.

In undergrad, I wrote another one-act play. I asked one of my Professors to read it. She could be brutal with people, but she was actually quite kind to me. She said, “I read your script, love. I got your point, but I got it several times.” I remember hearing that and taking it to heart, but not in a bad way. I learned a great deal from her.

Q: So, in college, you were writing plays?

AMG: Actually, I became fascinated with the idea of becoming an actor. By then, I already considered myself a writer. What if I could actually get on stage and act? I was awed by anyone who could do that. So, I changed my major from English to Theatre. Needless to say, my parents were not thrilled.

Q: Really?

AMG: My parents were wonderful people. But, they grew up during the Depression. As a result, they were very practical people. If I heard the “salable skills” speech once, I heard it a thousand times. And, that wasn’t just because I was in Theatre. It would have been the same had I continued as an English major. My dreams about being an artist were, in my parents’ opinions, not remotely practical.

Q: So, you pursued acting?

AMG: Never professionally. Or, I could say that depends on how you look at it. No, I didn’t go to New York, or Chicago, or L.A. While I always admired anyone who could get on stage, and I still do, at that time I wanted to be a movie actor. I had so many plans to move out west. But, by the time I was graduated, I knew I wasn’t going to pursue it.

Q: So, you earned a degree in something you didn’t pursue. Did you regret it?

AMG: Not at all. I was terribly shy in high school. To this day, I believe my natural self-preservation instinct kicked in and led me to try acting. It was the best thing I could have done, given who I was at the time. And, let’s face it, being in Corporate America for decades, I used that acting degree all the time.

Q: How so?

I remember sitting at lunch one day with several of the men I worked with. They were all software developers. I was the technical writer and the only woman on the team. Somehow, our undergrad degrees came up in the conversation, and they were truly surprised that my major was Theatre. 

 

One of them turned to me and asked, “Do you still act?” I said, “Every day.” I recall saying it in a very emphatic, serious tone. It surprised him. I had to act, every single day, in order to survive in that universe. That education came in handy.

Q: But you were writing all this time?

AMG: Unfortunately, I wrote only sporadically, and never really finished anything. For years.

Q: But now, you’re published.

AMG: I hit a milestone age. I didn’t expect it to be, but it was horrifying. I realized I’d been in Corporate America for decades and I hadn’t pursued my dreams. It was eye-opening and truly painful.

That’s when I resurrected According to Lu, which I started about a decade ago. I finished it and was very pleased with the result. Fortunately, we live in a time when an individual can self-publish very easily.

 

When someone buys the book, it is produced on demand. No more having to pay a very high price to have a printing run done, only to sit on hundreds of books, stored in a corner of your home, hoping someday someone will want to buy them.

Q: According to Lu is your first published work. One could say it is not your standard bit of fiction.

AMG: True. It isn’t. Most of what I write is fairly standard in structure, with a story arc, character development, a climax, and the ending.

 

But Lu was different from the moment the idea occurred to me. It was difficult, but very, very rewarding work. I still love it. I still wonder where pieces of it came from. I felt truly inspired, and the timing was right. It may never have the following I dream of, but it means so much to me.

Q: And your novella has been recognized.

AMG: I am very pleased to say According to Lu is an award-winning Finalist in the Fiction: Inspirational and Fiction: Novella categories of the 2020 International Book Awards.

Q: What’s next?

AMG: That depends on the day you ask me. I am in the midst of editing a story arc that I imagine could be a set of books or a limited TV series. Not surprisingly, the main character is female and middle-aged. In the story, she faces the challenges inherent to that time of life. At the same time, society at large is facing unprecedented changes. We’ll see where it goes. Once again, I find myself in love with a story and the people in it, and I'm very motivated to tell it. It’s very satisfying.

  • Instagram