Today, I’d like to welcome Ann-Margret Hovsepian to the blog. Ann-Margret is an author of a number of devotional books and is also an illustrator.
Hello, Ann-Margret! Can you begin by telling us a little about yourself?
I’m an author, speaker and illustrator in Montreal with about 25 years of professional experience in the publishing industry. I’ve been freelancing on a full-time basis since 1996 and have authored, co-authored, illustrated or contributed to about a dozen books, mainly in the devotional and colouring book genres.
How did you get into writing? Why are you drawn to it?
Ever since I learned the alphabet, I’ve had an irrepressible affinity for the written word and, although I’m Armenian, the English language. My parents often found me poring over a dictionary or encyclopedia, or wielding a pen as I attacked word puzzle magazines or my older sister’s English exercise books. In elementary school, I made good use of my parents’ old manual typewriter and every scrap of blank paper I could find to produce one-of-a-kind family newsletters complete with articles, jokes, illustrations and puzzles. However, I also loved science, so I studied chemistry in college for a few years before it dawned on me I was in the wrong field.
When I was 20, I started working for Home Builder Magazine and, within four years, went from typesetting and proofreading to managing the editorial department, copy editing and copy writing. At that point, I decided to quit my job and launch out on my own.
I am drawn to writing because I want to share good news with people and that’s one of the tools I’m skilled at using. For me, writing is the means to an end, not the end itself.
Who/what are the biggest influences?
I don’t even have to think about this one: C.S. Lewis. I was reading his books before I knew much about him and was always amazed by his wisdom and insights. Later in life I became fascinated by the man himself and it pains me that he is not alive so that I could go and meet him and talk to him. He has influenced me as a Christian and, I hope, as a writer.
What are your goals when you write a piece? What do you hope they will accomplish in your readers?
More than anything else, I want my writing to point to the supreme Author and Creator of life. I want to inspire people to search their hearts, to seek God, to find hope and to embrace all that He has for them, here and in eternity.
What do you find to be the most difficult aspect of writing and how do you cope with it?
The hardest thing to deal with at times is doubts about how much of an impact my articles and books have on those who read them, and whether I should keep doing what I do. I cope by remembering that every time I submit a manuscript to an editor, I need to also submit myself to God and let Him do what He will with my offerings. When I trust Him with the results, I am free to focus on obediently doing my best for His glory.
What advice would you give to writers, especially those looking to break into your genre?
As far as the craft of writing goes, my advice is to balance confidence with humility. You need confidence and courage to put your thoughts on paper but you also need humility to be open to direction and correction. Talent is important but it’s not enough. A major part of my success in being published comes down to my willingness to listen to and work with editors.
In terms of the business of writing, I always tell novice writers to be willing to invest in their careers – not only time and energy but also resources. Choose a writers’ conference that is right for you, making sure it’s one with good networking opportunities, and save up for it if you have to. Nothing beats meeting the editors and publishers who want to publish what you are writing.
Can you tell us about your books? What other projects are you working on?
I’m currently working on two fresh new book proposals but can’t reveal anything about those yet! My top projects have been three devotional books for preteen girls (The One Year Designer Genes Devo, Truth & Dare, and Truth, Dare, Double Dare) and a devotional colouring book called Restore My Soul.
Something interesting about yourself and unrelated to writing?
My favourite colour is red, I hoard art supplies and fabric, I love bunnies (but don’t have any live ones), and I collect vintage children’s books.
Anything else you’d like to share with us.
I’m passionate about missions, women’s ministry and mentoring young people. This summer, God willing, I’ll be returning to Armenia for my fourth mission trip there.
How can readers get into contact with you?
https://linktr.ee/annhovsepian has links to my website, blog and other social media pages.
Big thanks to Ann-Margret for sharing her writing journey with us. To find out more about her and her books, look her up on the link above or her website.
Happy Tuesday, everyone!