November 17, 2008

Being a Female Writer: Author Annette Fix

The Author

Annette Fix published numerous articles and editorials in her high school newspaper, located in a town full of trailer parks and meth labs. She moved on to write a campus lifestyle column for a community college newspaper until her 4.0 grade-point average propelled her into a private university.

Once there, she worked 40 hours a week in a government job, attended school fulltime, and cared for her beautiful toddler son (the direct result of a nightclub drinking and dancing accident). Annette dropped out of college 8 units short of graduation because she refused to rewrite her thesis. She still believes absurdist theatre is a vital contribution to world dramaturgy.

Annette went on to have grand aspirations of writing the next great American novelty. On her journey toward that lofty goal, she often found inspiration while busting her tail working as an exotic dancer to support her son and feed her writing habit.

She is currently designing ancillary merchandise such as T-shirts, chocolate-scented perfume, and an emaciated action figure to promote her memoir, The Break-Up Diet. These products will be sold in the alley after her spoken-word readings.

Annette lives in Laguna Niguel, California with her Prince Charming, teenage son, and two rescued dogs.

Wanna learn more about The World of Annette? There's a slew of places online to get the 411:

The Book

Annette Fix always believed in happily-ever-after and was busy working her Five-Year Plan: marry her golf-pro boyfriend, homeschool her preteen son, become a famous writer, and retire to Fiji. When her live-in boyfriend calls it quits, Annette finds herself on The Break-Up Diet, consuming vast amounts of chocolate and exercising by diving blindly into the shallow end of the dating pool.

Working as an exotic dancer to bankroll her aspiring writing career and support her son alone, Annette uses her blue-collar instinct to survive in the plastic jungle of The OC.

Annette’s adventures take her on a wild ride as she attempts find the perfect balance between her dreams and her day-to-day life as Supermom.

“The Break-Up Diet is delicious. Heartbreaking and humorous...any woman can relate.” ~ Jill Soloway, author of Tiny Ladies in Shiny Pants, and writer for ABC's Grey's Anatomy

"In this delectable memoir, Annette Fix serves up a fresh, funny, honest, and insightful dish of sex and the single mom." ~ Colleen Sell, editor of A Cup of Comfort series

Click the cover above to order THE BREAK-UP DIET today!

The Question: Reflect on the stories you have written – the stories waiting to be written. What themes, topics do you find your writerly mind pushing you to write? How do these themes, topics portray themselves through you as a female writer?

I’ve written freelance copy, articles, interviews, and reviews, but I consider that more business than pleasure. I’ve written creatively in many genres: stage play, feature film screenplay, personal essay/spoken-word, fiction, and memoir. When I look at my creative body of work, both published and unpublished/unproduced, the common theme always revolves around relationships.

I find myself drawn to write memoir and stories based on true events and the experiences of actual people. I’ve become less enamored with fiction—both reading and writing. Anyone can imagine how characters might behave in a certain situation, what internal and external motivations might cause them to think, speak, or act in a particular way. But, I’m fascinated by the truth of these things—what real people have actually done when faced with ordinary and extraordinary challenges, significant moments in their lives that have changed them in some way.

I enjoy finding universal experiences in my life that connect me to others. One of the most rewarding feelings I’ve had, as a writer, has been when I’ve received emails from readers who were touched by and resonated with the experiences I related in my book, The Break-Up Diet: A Memoir.

My next two books-in-progress are both memoirs. One is a prequel to The Break-Up Diet that chronicles the misadventures that resulted in me becoming a 21-year-old single mother—the story of my wild-child youth and how motherhood altered my consciousness. I believe there are certain turning points in a woman’s life when a decision she makes changes the course of her life, and ultimately her, forever. I want to explore that concept and share it with readers.

The other book idea was inspired by the audiences who have seen my spoken-word performances of my personal essay, The Tao of Stripping, which reveals what I learned about society, men, and myself while working in a gentlemen’s club for six years—the dynamics of prejudice, hypocrisy, visual needs and desire for connection, body image and sexuality, and so many other forces at work in relationships between men and women. The essay touched on many topics I intend to explore further in book form. I never thought it would be a story I would ever tell, but after each performance, women came to me asking if the essay was an excerpt of a published book they could buy somewhere. They all wanted to know more about the insights I shared. With such fervent interest—how could I not put that story out into the world?

This interview question really made me think about my purpose and intention with my writing—something I feel at a gut level, but never actually articulated until now. As a female writer and memoirist, I want to reach out to other women with my stories, unite with these sisters, and give a voice to (and create a tangible record of) our universal experiences. There is plenty of history in books, but not nearly enough herstory.


Angela Mackintosh said...

Nice post, ladies!

Annette, I really like the last paragraph. It's great when interview questions really make us dig deep and help us figure out what we want out of our writing, or otherwise.

I've always been a fiction reader, but lately I've found several memoirs that touched me so deeply that I have to remind myself, Oh yeah, this really happened to someone. It resonates with me that much more.

Thanks for an insightful answer to a really good question. :)

Annette said...

Angela, thanks for the comment!

Shon, thank you for the profile opportunity! It was such a great question!

I've loved reading all the responses from the other authors and look forward to the rest of November's line-up!

Thanks again! =)