Are you haphazard too?

Are you haphazard too?

I tend to be a little haphazard. Is it me, or can we blame it on the world we live in? I like to blame the culture for all my misremembering, overdrafts, and wrong turns. Otherwise, my free time is spent taking Alzheimer’s quizzes and asking my daughter if it’s time for me to move into her spare room.

Sometimes my panic pivots are painful, but other times, kind of thrilling. Last year, I had about five days to come up with an idea and hand it to my agents. I pitched a book about a woman who was a stowaway on the set of a major motion picture and has to solve a crime to keep her secret. It sounded like a good idea until my publisher said yes to it, and I had to write it.

What was I thinking? Everything I knew about Hollywood came from People Magazine and Netflix, and maybe, on an extravagant night, Hulu. How was I going to build a realistic, funny and sad story about something I knew nothing about?

You know what, though? If there’s one thing about being haphazard, you have a lot of practice in leaping before looking. If you have the added advantage of being a woman, well—you were born to pivot.

Everything about Hollywood, even the old moniker Tinsel Town, is filled with glamour. But I knew wanted to write about the people who make movies that don’t get a lot of credit. And there is a lot of them—set builders, grips, wardrobe, camera operators, the crew you rarely see on a red carpet.

I started a whisper network of asking friends if anyone knew anyone in Los Angeles. One by one, I got names, and I started interviewing the women behind dressing the biggest stars in Hollywood. Stars like Reese Witherspoon, J.Lo, Will Smith, Kevin Costner, and Timothy Chalamet to name a tiny few.

Before I met with these women, I worried that I’d look unstylish in my top to bottom on sale Gap separates. I fussed with my hair, flossed and tried to look artsy if not quite put together. You know what, though? These women were just hard-working women who were doing too much from a movie business that asked too much from them. They worry about picking their kids up on time, sometimes lose their keys, and basically are just like you and me. Haphazard, hardworking people who can’t remember where they parked their car.

I’m a huge fan of movies, I’m a fan of unsung workers, and it turns out so are they. We talked about what makes a good story, how to dress characters, and what they loved about their jobs. They brought me on set (you can see my photos in Instagram), and made me wish I worked next to them. They were glad that I wanted to talk about their jobs, not the stars they dress. I was glad they could show me the inside of a wardrobe trailer and talk about their dreams.

The book was so much fun to write, and the women working in costumes made me feel a little less embarrassed about being scattered, and I made them feel seen.

That’s what writing to you is about for me:

  • I hope I make you smile,
  • feel good about being a messy human,
  • and sometimes I hope you feel seen.

If you want to learn what I learned, you can There’s No Coming Back From This. You can pre-order the paperback or get the kindle version right now.

XX Ann

If you want to know more about what I learned, I’ve written something for Career Authors Here.




  1. Susan Gromis on July 11, 2023 at 11:25 am

    I am 25% through “There’s No Coming Back From This,” and I have to say that your characters (in all the books you’ve written and which I’ve read – yay to me!) are so relatable!! From their trains of thought to the reactions to situations, they are so HUMAN! I love it…and Poppy could be my new best friend, LOL!

    Do you ever tour for your book releases? Or are you willing to “zoom” into book clubs discussing your books? I have been trying to get some Tall Poppies to visit Vero Beach, FL (except now it is too dang HOT!); I spoke to our local indie book store, The Vero Beach Book Center, and it is a nice (small) venue. How do we go about getting Tall Poppies here?? I was lucky to meet several authors when I lived in PA, and most of the authors I have seen in Vero have a connection to Florida in some way. Anyway, I would love to see you down here, if you ever get the opportunity.

    Thank you for your writing: I just wanted you to know that you are truly appreciated!

    Sue Gromis
    Vero Beach, FL

  2. Lynn Davis on July 11, 2023 at 1:23 pm

    I read your new book, ‘There’s No Coming Back From This”! It was so well done. Real characters, real situations (that I would not have known about), real feelings, laughs and tears. You met your goal of writing about the people who make the movies happen behind the scenes. I learned from Poppy and empathized with her circumstances. I am generally not a big fan of Hollywood but am a person who watches all the credits at the end of a movie and marvel at the sheer number of people and talent it takes to pull it all off.

    Thanks for your books – I enjoy them all! And enjoyed meeting you years ago in Milwaukee!

  3. Barbara McGrath on July 11, 2023 at 2:50 pm

    Hi Ann! When I saw the new book on Amazon Orime First Reads I thought I was hallucinating 🤪. How great is that?? Of course I had to tell all my Prime friends. I’m so excited to read it. Thank you for that awesome surprise!! 💕

  4. denise on July 11, 2023 at 4:39 pm

    Wonderful post!

    I’ve preordered!

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