Thursday, April 10, 2014

Introducing A Quilting Friend

     I have an interesting friend I'd like to share with you.

I first met Ann Hazelwood through our mutual AQS (or American Quilter's Society) certifications in appraising. But Ann is much more than that. She has been a member of the AQS appraiser certification committee, fellow member of PAAQT (our appraisers group), a shopowner, designer, collector…and novelist! Her Colebridge Community series features four quilt-related novels, so far, including her newest: The Jane Austen Quilt Club. That book will be celebrated at Paducah, Kentucky’s AQS conference this year with “An Evening with Jane Austen.” As a fan of Dear Jane for decades, I’m looking forward to exploring Ann’s connection.
     Writing is an an important part of Ann's life. “Quilts are my love; writing is my passion!” she explains. I asked her several questions about her work; she has given me permission to share her answers with you.

      When you ask how one gets started with a certain venue, it doesn't seem to ever have a beginning and an end, especially when it's something you love doing and it's something you have always done. I have been writing since I was six years old. My biggest fear was not ever having enough paper. I still crave paper today!
     In my business of thirty years (Patches etc.), I produced a 12-page tabloid Victorian newsletter, something I relished. We converted that to a weekly e-mail newsletter, and proudly obtained more than 3,000 quilters on the list nationwide. That was fun.

     I have been with three publishers in my career. My interest in tourism was vital to my business. I wrote five Missouri travel books over a period of time, that I truly enjoyed.
As a quilt shop owner and appraiser for AQS, I had plenty to write about. I began with a daily calendar for AQS, then a line of small books that started with a ‘100 things’ theme.
     When AQS decided they might try fiction, my editor read The Basement Quilt, which I had just written for fun, testing my fictional skills. Little did I know then that a series was born. AQS warned me I was a guinea pig for them, but to our amazement, these novels have been very successful. The Jane Austen Quilt Club is fourth in the series. [The others are The Potting Shed Quilt and The Funeral Parlor Quilt.] I have written each book on its own merit, so one does not have to read the previous one. The characters have people engaged, as if they know them personally. There will be three more to follow in the series, as of now.
     I’m often asked for advice by would-be writers. Many have ideas in their heads that never make it to paper, so that would be the first piece of advice --Get it all out and don't worry about publishing or editing till much later. 

   Paducah 2014 offers a unique venue this year at the Maiden Alley Movie House downtown on Wed. April 23, from 5-7:30 p.m.. It's called “A Night with Jane Austen.” Besides showing the movie AUSTENLAND, Karen Gloegger [author of Jane Austen Quilts Inspired by Her Novels] and myself will be giving a short talk about our books related to Jane. Tea will be served, and we’ll be signing books, as well. I hear some are dressing in costume. It is a period in time where we are certainly enjoying the English right now. Jane has something in common with the location of Downton Abbey, so all quite fun!

   I am fortunate to have another career that lends itself to retirement mode. I still travel extensively, lecturing, appraising, and of course promoting my series.
They say ‘Write about what you know’ -- so I have. Living and doing business on a historic main street, quilts, paranormal activity, family, friendships and yes, even romance… these are all on the table. I hope you will visit the Colebridge Community soon.


 You can contact Ann via the following: 

Ann M Hazelwood, LLC
420 Clark Street
St. Charles, MO 63301

Be sure to stop by her website, ANN HAZELWOOD SERVICES:

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