The Divining Wand

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The Revealing of Ann Wertz Garvin

November 17, 2010 By: larramiefg Category: Profiles, Q&A

Ann Wertz Garvin made her debut only two weeks ago with On Maggie’s Watch, a novel described in this one sentence:

Unexpectedly compelling and sparkling with wit and intelligence, this debut novel chronicles one woman’s quest for control over her surroundings, and the secrets and surprises that lie hidden in an ordinary suburban landscape.

And bestowed with this praise:

“On Maggie’s Watch shows how we thrive, how we go on, in a life that’s neither perfect nor fair. Ann Wertz Garvin writes with humor and compassion so well; just when I’d feel about to cry the scene would twist and I’d laugh out loud. She has such deep understanding for her flawed and trying-to-get better characters; she obviously loves them, and so do we.”
—Luanne Rice, New York Times bestselling author of The Deep Blue Sea for Beginners

The Divining Wand has scheduled a presentation/review of On Maggie’s Watch for Monday, November 29, 2010 but, in the meantime, let’s meet the author through her “official” bio:

Ann Wertz Garvin is a full professor at the University of Wisconsin Whitewater, where she teaches courses on nutrition and stress management. This is her first novel.

Interesting background? Indeed. Yet Ann is so much more than that and it’s time to get to know her, upclose and personal:

Q: How would you describe your life in 8 words?
A: That place between too little and too much

Q: What is your motto or maxim?
A: Thank you for having me. I had a nice time.

Q: How would you describe perfect happiness?
A: My life right now, with slightly better abs (ok-totally better abs)

Q: What’s your greatest fear?
A: Disabling illness (losing my children is really number one but I can’t even think about that)

Q: If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you choose to be?
A: It’s not where you are it’s who your with, then you could be anywhere and be exactly in the right place.
….but Greece is nice too.

Q: With whom in history do you most identify?
A: Erma Bombeck (I know there are better answers like Eleanor Roosevelt or Jane Austin but I’m going for something not completely self-aggrandizing)

Q: Which living person do you most admire?
A: Nora Ephron

Q: What are your most overused words or phrases?
A: No offense (because it’s funny–if you say no offense you know offense is coming)-plus I swear too much.

Q: If you could acquire any talent, what would it be?
A: I’d like to be a triple threat on Broadway (sing, act, dance)

Q: What is your greatest achievement?
A: Writing fiction, hands down.

Q : What’s your greatest flaw?
A: Impatience

Q: What’s your best quality?
A: Sense of Humor

Q: What do you regret most?
A: Not realizing my value earlier in life.

Q: If you could be any person or thing, who or what would it be?
A: I’d like to be a dog or a man for an hour. But only an hour and then I want a hot bath. (no offense)

Q: What trait is most noticeable about you?
A: My crazy, curly hair

Q: Who is your favorite fictional hero?
A: Nancy Drew

Q: Who is your favorite fictional villain?
A: Pepe LePew (he’s a lover not a fighter)

Q: If you could meet any athlete, who would it be and what would you say to him or her?
A: Dara Torres

Q: What is your biggest pet peeve?
A: Small talk

Q: What is your favorite occupation, when you’re not writing?
A: Teaching

Q: What’s your fantasy profession?
A: Teaching and writing but in cooler clothes, a better memory, and kick ass shoes

Q: What 3 personal qualities are most important to you?
A: Kindness
Sense of Humor
Adaptability

Q: If you could eat only one thing for the rest of your days, what would it be?
A: Cheese (I know, really? But, yeah…it’s cheese)

Q: What are your 5 favorite songs?
A: Big Yellow Taxi – Joni Mitchell
Build Me Up Buttercup-The foundations
You’re the First, the Last, My Everything – Barry White
Hard Candy – Counting Crows
Brown Eye’d Girl – Van Morrison

Q: What are your 5 favorite books of all time?
A: From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler
The Deep End of the Ocean – Jacquelyn Mitchard
The Short History of a Prince – Jane Hamilton
Who Will Run the Frog Hospital – Lorrie Moore
Olive Kitteridge-Elizabeth Strout

Delightful, charming, and totally unique, Ann Wertz Garvin is definitely a new author to follow on Twitter and become a friend on Facebook.

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Book Giveaway: The Divining Wand is giving away a copy of Richard Doetsch’s The Thieves of Darkness in a random drawing of comments left only on this specific post, Richard Doetsch and The Thieves of Darkness. Comments left on other posts during the week will not be eligible. The deadline is tonight at 7:00 p.m. EST with the winners to be announced here in tomorrow’s post. If you enter, please return tomorrow to see if you’re a winner.

5 Comments to “The Revealing of Ann Wertz Garvin”


  1. I love that her favorite books are ones that I’ve never seen listed here before. 🙂

    Also, haha, I totally need the cooler clothes and better memory too.

    1
  2. What a great voice! I feel a kinship with the curly hair, the love of Mrs. Basil, and the fervent desire for better abs. Although if she teaches nutrition and stress management, she probably doesn’t nosh to de-stress, which is my own personal greatest hurdle between me and ab-ulousness.

    Putting the book on my list and looking forward to it!

    2
  3. You had me at the novel description, but then: “That place between too little and too much.” Love that!

    Great favorite book list, especially From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler.

    3
  4. Picking favorite books is a totally challange isn’t it! Especially when you are noshing like a fiend on your daughters Halloween candy. What will I do when my girls grow up and stop getting free, calorieless candy from strangers! Nutrition education is like catholic guilt. You know what’s right but you sin all the same.

    4
  5. Ann,

    You’re funny! I love it!

    As to the issue of Halloween candy when your kids grow up, I have an answer. Get a boyfriend with younger kids. Worked for me!

    Jody
    http://www.josephinecarr.com/blog

    5


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