‘Never too late’: Author pursues life dream
Williamsport Sun-Gazette | August 20, 2014
By ERICA MOTTER
Most people think of their older years as simply being a time to relax, reflect on old memories and spend time with family–certainly not a time to start a new career.
But for Ann Morean, at age 83, her dreams to be a published writer are just now coming true.
Morean, who recently published her second book, “Sharon: A Contemporary Romance,” still has many more finished books waiting to be edited and published.
“I was 72 when I started, after my husband died,” Morean said.
She had wanted to write books ever since she was a young girl attending a one-room schoolhouse in Cogan House. But, while raising five children and working at a job in the garment industry for 38 years, Morean never had time to pursue her writing.
“My husband knew I wanted to write, and he advised me to do it,” she said.
The two of them used to watch movies together, and Morean was often able to guess the plot of the movie before it happened. “Writer’s instinct or something,” she said.
But apart from what she confided in her husband, Morean’s desire to write was unknown to everyone else–until she sat down and started churning out novels.
“My kids are all in shock,” said Morean. “‘Where did this come from?’ they all ask.”
Once she started, she was writing day and night. In total, she has written 11 novels, mostly romance and historical fiction.
Morean did not plan the specific plots of her books beforehand, preferring to experience the story along with her characters.
“I’ve read books on how to write, the structure–you know, this chapter’s going to be this–forget it, I’m typing,” she said
Apart from the character of Sharon, who was inspired by a beautiful girl she attended school with, Morean loves creating new characters, and grows attached to them while writing. “The best part of the book is the imaginary character you invent,” she said.
Although she stays away from specifically writing about her own life, some of her characters demonstrate traits of people she knows.
“I never created an ugly man,” she said, smiling slyly. It’s worth noting, though, that she describes most of the leading men in her romance novels as being stocky, like her husband.
Morean has spent a lot of time trying to get her books published. After some discouraging attempts, she finally published her first book, “Dysfunctional,” with the self-publishing company AuthorHouse earlier this year.
But her luck changed when she met her publisher, Alan Wilcox, at a seminar at the James V. Brown library.
Wilcox, like Morean, spent most of his life in another profession. While working as an electrical engineering professor at Bucknell University, he wrote four technical books.
When seeking to publish his autobiography in his later years, he learned about the benefits of self publishing, and ended up creating Wilcox Publishing.
He describes his publishing venture as a “boutique” company in the sense that he is selective about the books that he publishes, and that he takes time and care while editing and publishing.
He has published an “eclectic” collection of books, including plays by local anesthesiologist David C. Heyman and a book about transhumanism.
Wilcox has proven to be very helpful to Morean, who isn’t very skilled at using a computer. He helped her make an eBook, and later a book form of “Sharon.” He is also helping her to make her books available in more places.
Despite these recent positive developments, Morean won’t be disappointed if she doesn’t become a bestselling author. “I have no expectations as far as money is concerned,” she said. “Just to have it published–I’m so thrilled!”
For Morean, the greatest joy comes from people reading and enjoying her books. She continues to live a simple life, spending time with her 18 grandchildren, reading, and gardening.
Although it is remarkable that she didn’t publish books until her older years, Morean advises writers that it’s never too late to start.
“If you’ve got stories in your head, you can write them,” she said.
“Sharon: A Contemporary Romance” is available as an eBook on Amazon and Smashwords, and as a print book on CreateSpace (https://CreateSpace.com/4887120).
For more information about Wilcox publishing, visit WilcoxPublishing.com.