Ann Tatlock is my current Featured Favorite. Her novels’ genres: General Fiction, Historical Fiction, and Speculative Fiction. But mainly, she’s a writer who grabs a reader’s heart and refuses to let go.
You’ll find Ann’s books at the bottom of this page. Someone who joins in the chat will receive a print copy of one of Ann’s books. Winner announced on the 20th.
I’m tickled pink to present some of Ann’s thoughts and take a peak at her exquisite writing. I discovered her a decade ago and have been nothing short of awestruck with her inspirational premises, captivating characters, and brilliant prose.
Another famous author—Lucy Montgomery—created an unforgettable character who was often heard explaining the spelling of her name: “That’s Anne—with an e.”
Now here’s our Ann—minus an e—in her own words, Ann Tatlock:
Introducing Ann (minus the e)
I like to tell people I went to school in a barn—which is true, but needs some explaining. While a seventh grader in the public school system, I was what people today would call “bullied.” The other kids teased me for being a “goody-goody.” I have to admit they were right—I was a good kid and wanted to be. I felt God’s eyes on me, not because he was waiting to punish me if I did something wrong, but because he was watching over me with love. Even as a child, I felt safe in him.
Ann: the Schoolgirl
Still, I shed a lot of tears that year, until my parents finally decided to send me to a private school. That was when God turned the bullying into blessing. Without the taunting of the other kids, I never would have been sent to Sanford. This school, in Hockessin, Delaware, was a private boarding school (I was a day student) but it defied all snobby prep-school stereotypes. At this school, I wasn’t bullied but was built up by the other students who became my life-long friends, and by the teachers who truly cared about me.
The campus was comprised of classroom buildings, gymnasiums and dormitories on 81 acres that had originally been farmland. The old, three-story farmhouse was at the center of campus and now housed the dining room and the music rooms. The barn had been transformed into a classroom building, the silo becoming the bathrooms. This is where I took the English classes that would define the rest of my life.
Ann: the Reader
It was at Sanford that my love of reading and writing was nurtured. Many an English class remains clear in my memory, and I can vividly recall the books and poems we read and studied. Too, both of my Upper School English teachers applauded my efforts at writing and cheered me on. I knew there was a wordsmith somewhere deep inside of me, though I didn’t yet think of writing as a career.
On graduation day when awards were given out, I received the school’s literary award. I didn’t understand it fully at the time, but the course of my life had been set. Today, I thank God for the tears that landed me in a whole new life, where I read poetry and literature in a barn and decided the written word is the most wonderful thing in the world.
Ann Tatlock: the Writer
I eventually decided I wanted to be a journalist and write for a Christian magazine. And that’s what I did, working as an assistant editor for Billy Graham’s Decision magazine from 1987-1993. At the same time, in my 20s, I went through a series of losses, including the death of my mother. To deal with my grief, I turned to something I never thought I’d do: fiction writing. I discovered it to be not only cathartic, but a wonderful way to promote ideas, faith, truth. Before long, I set my sights on becoming a novelist.
Never having taken a creative writing course, I simply started to create worlds and characters based on what I knew from years of reading. I wrote seven novels and put each one aside. Finally, I wrote one that I felt was ready for publication. I secured an agent who got me a contract. A Room of My Own was published in 1998. Between the writing of my first novel and seeing my first book in print lay a span of 13 years. It was certainly not an overnight journey.
Ann Tatlock: the Blogger, Author, Editor, Lover of God
I am currently working on a novel, but I’ve also veered back toward non-fiction writing. The Lord nudged me to start a blog called “Living a Love Story.” Over the years of my writing career, the Lord let me know that he didn’t create me so that my life could be a success story, but so that it could be a love story with him. If I were wildly successful as a novelist (which I wasn’t!) but not in love with him, then I was missing the whole point of my existence. Even if I had failed at my profession, ultimately it wouldn’t matter, because it’s his love that makes me what I am meant to be.
So I use the blog to share my thoughts on loving God, as well as to allow others to tell their stories of how God has revealed his love to them, especially in the darkest times of their lives.
I find great satisfaction in writing about the love of God, because the same love that surrounded me in childhood has remained with me faithfully right up to the present day.
Ann’s Beautiful Books
Where to Find Ann Tatlock
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Lord, You display Your glorious love all around us–in nature, relationships, human hearts, and in Your gifting of Your children. Nowhere is Your love more on display than when Your children use their gifts for the purposes You intend. We thank You for Ann, her books, and the way they touch our hearts with Your love.
Please bless every word Ann writes for You.
~ For Jesus’ sake