Ann Elwood

I live in Cardiff-by-the-Sea, California, with six cats, a desert tortoise, seven box turtles, and a German Shepherd, Louis, who looks something like Rin Tin Tin in his soulfulness. At night I can hear the ocean when the tides are high. When I was nine, my family moved from Ridgewood to Saddle River, New Jersey, a paradise of a town with a woods, a skating pond, a fishing pond, and 700 people who knew who we all were and where we were every minute. I had a shepherd dog, Mac, who died a tragic death, shot because someone thought his foaming-at-the-mouth fear of a thunderstorm meant he had rabies. As an adult, I had no dogs until I settled down. After college (two miserable years at Trenton State Teachers College and two happy ones at Fairleigh Dickinson College), I taught elementary school for a few miserable years, then moved to Camden, New Jersey and landed a job as a typist-clerk at the Philadelpha Bulletin. When my boss discovered I had difficulty typing up circulation figures with twelve carbons, I was fired and found another job writing copy for a paternalistic insurance company that offered a low salary and delicious free lunch. One of the printers had the magical ability to square up a stack of paper into a perfect cube. Eventually I moved to a studio apartment on Irving Place in New York City, and, after a few months of writing copy for a textbook company, went on to free-lance as a writer of anything anyone would pay me for. In 1967, I moved to Los Angeles, where I was advertising manager for a publishing company. Then the west coast was a mecca for writers and adventurers. Within a couple of years, I visited a Malibu beach house, fell in love (long-distance) with Bob Dylan, met Thomas Pynchon (he wouldn't remember it), and saw Hair. In 1972, I returned to free-lancing, moved south, and found my first dog, Puppy, a mixed breed who looked something like a fox. (To show you how inappropriate Puppy's name became, I'll tell you this: Puppy died at age 17.) I wrote articles for Irving Wallace and his son, David Wallichinsky (People's Almanac and Book of Lists), and did other wonderful things I won't mention here. With Carol Orsag Madigan, I wrote several books. A desire to delve more deeply into ideas finally drove me to graduate school in 1981. My dissertation focused on an order of 17th and 18th century French nuns so I had to spend a happy year in France doing research. During that year, while not in the archives, I drank local wine with fellow historians and traveled the country with Puppy, who had far less trouble than I did communicating with the French. Now, I teach history part-time at California State University, San Marcos, spend time with Louis and the other animals, and write the books I have always wanted to write but never had the time for.
 Ann Elwood

By same author

This book is a biography of both Rin-Tin-Tin and Lee Duncan, his owner and trainer. It places their lives in the.....

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Phone Call Alert! 

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Old Timey Switchboard Operator Cartoon

 

Due to the COVID-19 onslaught, we currently cannot take incoming phone calls.  

 

A notification about phone calls:  due to the COVID-19 plague, we've significantly increased our incoming inquiries--nearly double our usual volume--and the number of incoming inquiries by phone has been literally overwhelming.  Although most writers will say that their call "will only take 15 minutes," the truth is, that after 10 years of doing this, most author inquiry calls take an hour.  45 minutes at best. I'm currently receiving 7-10 calls/day, and due to that, I've had to stop accepting incoming phone calls, which my voicemail will tell you. You can leave a message--I can't call you back without one--and if a call is needed, I will of course call you.  But we have very complete and extensive email replies, handouts and our website is very informative. Almost all the questions that I receive during a call are actually already answered on our site, or are, in fact, publishing questions, not questions about our services, what we do, what we offer, or the like.  I already handle between 90-130 emails/day, as it is. I can't handle that many emails and take 7-10 hours of calls each day. I can't. So, in order to be able to answer this huge email volume, to help the greatest number of people, with my time, I've had to stop accepting calls.  I'm sorry, but that's just how it is. I'm in the process of setting up a call-appointment function, for free 15-minute calls to answer questions from new prospective customers and longer paid sessions for folks who generally want consulting on "publishing," generally (and for prospective kids' book publishers, as a special category of paid consulting).  But that functionality isn't yet set up. I hope to get that working the 3rd week of July, sometime.  

Thank you for your understanding.