I’m so glad you’ve jumped over here to learn a little more about me.
I have been married to Jeff for over 30 years. We currently returned to the Dallas area after a five year Empty Nest Adventure in Austin. We enjoyed so many things about those years, but we are glad to be home near family again.
Speaking of family, we have 5 children—three by birth and two by marriage. The two married couples live in the area while our daughter resides on the east coast. And the light of our lives are our two granddaughters!
I have been reading for as long as I can remember—and writing stories for almost as long! In middle school, I determined I wanted to write historical fiction with a strong faith element like my favorite author, Eugenia Price. While I took writing classes in high school and college and after college, it wasn’t until my youngest child went to school that I began to get serious about publication. In November 2001, I participated in Nanowrimo (National Novel Writers Month) and completed the challenge of 50,000 words. The first novel I’d ever written to completion!
My husband encouraged me to attend a local writers group. There I met Mary DeMuth and Leslie Wilson. In 2004, we attended Mt. Hermon Christian Writers conference together and formed our critique group Life Sentence.
After ten years, in which I finished 5 novels—2 historical and 3 contemporary—and reached the finals of the ACFW Genesis contest 3 times, I was offered a contract with Bethany House Publishers. They were my dream publisher, but I would never have dared to pitch or submit to them on my own! Instead, one of their editors read my manuscript as a judge for Genesis and the rest is history. I was honored to write four historical novels with Bethany House.
A New Name
When I received that first contract, Bethany House had one request of me: a pen name. Why? A couple of reasons. First, they currently had historical author Deeanne Gist under contract. They thought it would be confusing to have two D’Ann’s (Deeanne) writing historical fiction for them. Also, my apostrophe was deemed problematic. And I understood that. I dealt with it every day. I agreed, mostly because my introvert self was relieved to publish and promote under a different name. With a bit of background in acting, I was able to put on my “author” persona when I was Anne.
A few years ago, this started to change. Maybe it was turning 50 and realizing I was comfortable in my own skin. Maybe it was the Lord pushing me to take a risk and trust Him. Whatever the motivation, I secured the web address dmateer.com in hopes that one day I would return to my given name. A couple of years later, here I am!
Writing Life 2.0
On our return to the Dallas area in late 2020, I had no idea when/if I would be able to step back into my writing life again. But in a turn of events only the Lord could have orchestrated, my new agent and dear friend, Mary DeMuth, passed along a writing audition opportunity for a cozy mystery series with Guideposts. And I was chosen! At almost the same time, I got my rights back on my previously published novels.
All of a sudden I’m right back in the thick of things. I’m re-launching my books with new covers and my real name! And I have a new novel—a mystery which will be part contemporary, part historical, coming out next year.
Wow. I am humbled and amazed at what the Lord has done and is doing with my writing life.
Years ago, when Mary DeMuth first started being published, she was often asked if she did editing. She had many more requests that she could take. So our Life Sentence critique group formed The Writing Spa, in which Mary could recommend me for fiction editing and Leslie for non-fiction. We eventually disbanded that effort due to Mary’s time constraints, but Leslie and I continue to freelance edit in our fields. And after over 20 years of practicing and studying fiction and over 10 years of being a published author, I feel like I have some expertise to offer. My favorite is the substantive or developmental edit, which is kind of ironic because that is where I struggled in the past. Or maybe that’s why I see those issues so clearly—because I’ve had to work so hard at them myself!
I have always been a voracious reader. And I’ve always been able to read in spite of any chaos going on around me! I do tend toward historical fiction, but I read contemporary fiction, too. I will read almost any genre except erotica or horror. I often read Christian fiction, but I also delve into general market fiction as well. And I do love the classics! And children’s literature. Like I said, not much I don’t read! I love talking books with people. It’s my favorite conversation after sharing faith stories.
As a wife, mom, and Marmee, as well as an author, editor, reader, my foundation is Jesus. I walked an aisle and was baptized in kindergarten, but it took into my early 30s for me to really believe Jesus meant what He said—that He loved me, and that salvation was by faith alone. Thanks to the Lord’s relentless pursuit of my heart, even through hard things, and Beth Moore’s Breaking Free Bible study, there came a day of complete surrender. A day when my life, both inside and out, began to truly be different than before.
I love God’s word with all my heart. I am often called to prayer for the people in my life and for our country. But most of all I just love Jesus and am so grateful that He sees my heart and loves me anyway. That He loves me so much He can’t leave me like I am. That He will continue to draw me to Himself and change me to be more like Him until that day when I see Him face to face.
D’Ann not Anne?
When I received my first contract, Bethany House had one request of me: a pen name. Why? A couple of reasons. First, they currently had historical author Deeanne Gist under contract. They thought it would be confusing to have two D’Ann’s (Deeanne) writing historical fiction for them. Also, my apostrophe was deemed problematic. And I understood that. I dealt with it every day. I agreed to the change mostly because my introvert self was relieved to publish and promote under a little different name.
A few years ago, with no new writing contracts, I started dreaming again about publishing under my real name. Maybe it was turning 50 and realizing I was comfortable in my own skin. Maybe it was the Lord pushing me to take a risk and trust Him. Whatever the motivation, I secured the web address dmateer.com in hopes that one day I would return to my given name. A couple of years later, here I am!
After ten years as Anne (with an E, of course!), I am thrilled to be D’Ann in every area of my life.