Anne Wingate, Ph.D.
Every day my husband is reminded that I am a Southerner. He had to remove the portrait of General Sherman he kept on his wall before we were married, as that did not go over well with someone born in Georgia.
We had both been previously married to uncreative persons and unhappily gone through divorce. I joined Mensa to find a better husband.
I had recently joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. (My father was a Protestant lay preacher.) I purchased the Mensa directory, then a hard-bound book, and looked up all unmarried Mormon men who were within five years of my age and had at least two interests in common with me. I sent out six ambiguously worded letters.
T's reply wasn't ambiguous. He was then working as a salesman, and unlike the other recipients, he knew exactly what I was doing. I read his first paragraph and burst out laughing. My father, sitting across the room at his ham radio desk, asked why, and I answered, “Daddy, I think I'm going to marry this man.”
I traveled to Salt Lake City to meet him. We were married six months later near Galveston. This marriage has endured thirty-four years so far. T considers that paragraph his most important piece of persuasive prose.
We haven't killed each other yet, even when we were both in graduate school and writing fiction at the same time and living on delivery pizza and McDonald's burgers because neither of us was willing or able to take time to cook.
My novels are police procedurals, based upon my seven years as a sworn officer and unsworn CSI in Georgia and Texas.
An academic career temporarily appealed to me. My dissertation (“A publishable novel”) was my fourth, and unlike most people, I actually made money from my dissertation. I handed it to my committee, and after my oral comps I was addressed as “Doctor.” Years later I told my husband, “I am not sure that the university made me a better writer but I am sure it made me a better reader.”
Illness ended my academic ambitions, and I found myself deeper and deeper in writing and correspondence teaching. Life on campus had ceased to appeal.
The Day that Dusty Died, my response to a family tragedy, is my deepest and most self-revealing novel so far.
What I consider my most important novel other than Dusty is Fairy Hawk, a work in progress.
My novels and non-fiction, along with guidance for writers, may be found at www.Wingate-Firms.com