Friday, July 15, 2011

"Come in here and show me how to terminate you..."

It sounds like the punchline to a bad office joke, doesn't it?

The long-suffering secretary finally snaps and tells her overbearing boss where to get off; he fires her on the spot; she starts packing up her desk while he stomps into his office to make it official; finally, after about five minutes of silence, he looks sheepishly out the door and says...

Only one problem with that. Well, three. The boss in question is female, she's never been anything but awesome to me, and the termination was my idea.

Two weeks from today, I leave the world of high finance, my bread and butter for the last twenty-fifth of a century, to embark upon a journey of self-discovery through the medium of the written word. For inspiration, I shall draw on the creative powers of my own tap into the human collective unconscious, along with one of the greatest phenomena in contemporary popular fiction.

In plain English: I just quit my job. I've been working at a bank for the last four years, and I've finally saved up enough money that I can afford to take some time off and focus on my writing. Due to both a wildly active imagination and a love of (among many others) the Harry Potter books, my forte is fantasy fiction, with a special focus on families.

If you're reading this on the day it's posted, you probably know that, because you've probably come here because I posted a link on my Facebook page or one of my fan fiction sites. If you're reading this at some future date, you may not know that. Or rather you didn't, but now you do.

What else will my hypothetical future readers need to know that they don't yet? Well, to start with, I'm Anne B. Walsh of Pittsburgh, PA, Anne with an E but never Annie. I am somewhere in my mid-to-late twenties, but prefer to act my shoe size. I have one roommate, named Krystal, and two cats named Poppy and Sesame have us.

(If you quibbled with the grammar of that last sentence, you have clearly never lived with cats. )

When I'm not writing, I love to read, sing, cook, eat, and drive the cats insane with the Laser Pointer of Doom. My three siblings, two parents, and one grandparent live about two hours away from here. And, when I was twelve years old, I found a list that changed my life.

Even at twelve, I knew words were going to be my future. So when I found a list called "Pointers for Young Adult Writers," I grabbed at it eagerly. Imagine my shock when the very first item on the list read as follows:

"1. Get rid of the parents. Be especially certain to kill off or otherwise remove the parent of the same gender as your hero or heroine. You want them to have lots of adventures, and you can't do that with parents hanging around and nagging about homework and bedtime."

Hanging around and nagging? Is that really all parents do? Well, take a good look at children's books, fairy tales, Disney movies, etc. How many of them feature parents who are either absent, ridiculous, or the enemy? It makes for good comedy, sure, but is it really the message we want to send?

From the day I read that list, I have made it my mission in life to prove that first item wrong. So here's to enjoyable and well-crafted fantasies with something for everyone, in which children grow up and have adventures not in spite of their parents but because of them and alongside them.

Maybe they're impossible, but I'm sure going to have fun trying to write them anyway!


  1. Good luck! We will follow you what ever you decide to do ;) Even though I'm kind of worried about you quitting your job, being a full-time writer definitelly sounds good and promising (I'm saying that from the perspective of your reader!!!) You've been bringing the joy in my life for the last 6 years, and I hope you never stop writing.

  2. Good luck! I know I am really looking forward to reading your original stories, as I have been looking forward to new chapters from you in the past years:) Your goal in writing has always been very strong in your Danger-series, and I love reading about the generations working together. Hopefully being a full-time writer will work out for you, and always remember that your readers are quite thrilled with that fact;) Hope to read something more from you soon!
    -Hege (also known as Sekai)

  3. You probably recall better than I do just how long I've been waiting for the opportunity to buy and read your original stories ;-)

    Looking forward to it muchly!

  4. To be fair the only one with "real" parents in the cubs is Meghan, and even that comes with a double set. The other three children have had their share of trials and tribulations. I think removing parents works more as a foil or a tool to create some character conflict to avoid having a Mary Sue. That's just my random musings though...

    Love the blog and cannot wait to have an official book with Anne B Walsh on the front!

  5. Well, how do you define "real"? The parents they were born to? I'd tend to define it more as the people who are there for them, to whom they can come home and bring their problems.

    Also, I never said I wasn't in favor of trials and tribulations, only that I think declaring parents to be trials and tribulations themselves is a little much.