Name: Ann Landrum Stockstill
I was born in Opelika, Alabama, and my family moved to Tyler, Texas when I was
about 4 years old. I grew up in Tyler and went to high school and Jr College there.
I completed my education at Texas A&M in Commerce, Texas.
I have a Masters in Education and taught 35 years in middle school and junior high.
I basically taught all subjects but specialized in teaching English and Science.
I own a horse ranch in Winona, Texas, and raise paint horses and quarter horses.
My stallions “Summers Chico Bandito,” and his son “Chicos Bandelero,” have
won APHA World and PtHA World 6 times each and have thousands of show points
in heading, heeling, steer stopping, tie-down roping, working cow horse to name a
few events. I have shipped Chico’s offspring all over the world for ranches in
Sweden, Holland, Ireland, Canada, Mexico, Columbia, Brazil, Thailand, Austria
and Venezuela among others. www.coyotecreekranch.net
I am currently working as a parole officer for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.
I work with felons released from TDCJ . I usually supervise approximately 80 people.
This is my 8th year working with parole.
I have had 5 poetry books published that are currently on Amazon, Kindle and Barnes and Noble. The titles are “Out of the Darkness into the Light,” “Painted Dreams,” “Neon Lights And Drinks After Five,” “Sunset Inn, “ and “Shades of Red.”
I began working with Susan Joyner Stump in January 2016 and to date she has published two of my children’s chapter books entitled “ The Perfect Prince” and “Coyote Creek Ranch Tales Book 1.” I have also finished a 6th poetry book which she has agreed to publish entitled “Rivers of Change.” I am currently working on an adult faction book entitled “ The Dark Side : Secret Life of a Narcissist.”
When and why did you begin writing?
I had taught students to write for years but never considered myself a writer. I went through a traumatic divorce and was left with 178 horses to care for with no money or equipment. I had started working as a parole officer dealing with about 148 felons most of which had drug addictions. I was driving about 2,000 miles a month between 4 counties. I started jotting down thoughts while eating lunch or waiting for clients at home visits. I began the journey of putting my thoughts into poetry around 2012.
My work became poems derived from my experiences with people I supervised, the criminal justice system, country living, nature and animals especially horses. I wrote about seasons and holidays and family. These poems became my first book entitled “Painted Dreams.” I began to share my poems with Face Book poetry groups and eventually found a publisher/editor out of Canada to help me publish several books. During a library book signing, I met the owner/publisher of White Bird Press and she contracted to publish 5 of my poetry books. I also started getting likes and comments about my work I shared on social media.
My second book “Out of the Darkness into the Light,” was a series of poems about good and evil forces around us. It contained poems with religious themes , as well as, about love, lust and seduction.
My third book “Neon Lights and Drinks After Five,” was written with the theme ofhow lonely people meet with country western themes that could be songs.
My fourth book “Sunset Inn,” is a series of poems ranging from the mythical Unicornto Rainforests and King Arthur’s Guinevere. Fantasy and reality in one book.
“Shades of Red,” basically were poems about romance, sex and seduction. Sexy pictures for adults make up book five.
What inspired me to write my first children’s book?
I began to write stories about the animals I own or owned at my ranch. I decided the stories could be educational along with expressing the personalities and survival experiences of my ranch animals. I have owned 178 horses, donkeys, buffalo, geese,ducks, raise Australian Shepherd dogs, have rescue dogs, etc. I have enough stories to fill a series of books.
I wrote “Lady and the Panther,” about a true experience I had when a black panther attacked Badger’s Lady Chex and most of her chest was gone along with muscle in her right leg. The story is written from the perspective of the horse and the cat and Lady’s strong will to live. It is a year long journey of her recuperating and finally becoming the ranch/trail horse she was before the attack.
My next story was about ‘Guinevere, A Goose’s Tale,”about a goose I hatched after her parents were killed by coyotes. “Moses the Rescue Dog,” is a true story about puppies that were abandoned by an owner that thought domesticated dogs could survive in the wild. “Chicos True to Texas,” was a true story about one of my APHA world champion stallions that was severely injured at his trainer’s arena and his journey to heal and go on to win the Dixie Nationals and World in heeling.
When I met Susan Joyner Stumpf , we decided that instead of individual children’s
Chapter books that we would make the stories into a single book but it would be the first in a series of books named for my ranch “Coyote Creek Ranch Tales Book One.”
All ranch stories will be based on real characters and events.
My next project was inspired by watching a video of a Fairie Magazine modeling shoot at an old castle. I loved the clothing which was Victorian era and the furnishings of the castle. “THE PERFECT PRINCE,’ became a fairy tale about a beautiful princess going on a quest to find her Perfect Prince and finding love comes from a pure heart and a kind, gentle nature rather than just physical appearance. Madeline finds her true love in an unexpected way and he becomes “The Perfect Prince.”
Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
I would have to say that I draw both on people or animals I know and my own life
What books have most influenced your life?
I love all types of literature from Kill A Mockingbird and Far Pavilions to the Robe.
I enjoy the great love stories written by Nicholas Sparks like” Safe Haven”, “The Best of Me,” “The Lucky One” and “ The Notebook.” Tami Hoag has great murder mysteries like “Prior Bad Acts.” I like Stephen King’s horror, suspense novels. His “ Pet Cemetery” and “ The Shining” are the two I remember scaring me the most.
What book are you reading now?
I usually listen to audio books since I drive so much. Have been listening to “ The Secret” lately. I am also trying to read the entire Bible again with a study guide.
Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
I am enjoying reading poetry written by Susan Joyner Stumpf. Have also started reading E.L. James book series.
I have several projects right now. I am trying to complete a faction book about a
Narcissistic, psychopath that preys on women he meets on the internet. I also have started several stories to go into my next Coyote Creek Ranch book.
Susan Joyner Stumpf has also set up a book launch on Face Book for March 5, 2016, around noon which will allow me to share my work and hopefully answer questions readers might have. She has been a real inspiration and encourages her clients to share and enjoy their work.
Name one entity that you feel supported you outside family members.
I had a boy friend that I dated for three years that always listened to my poems and stories and was very supportive. He gave me great ideas for many of my love poems.
Do you see writing as a career?
I love to write and to be able to make a living writing would be a dream come true.
It is very hard to make it on book sales alone so an author has to hope that their book will be bought to make a movie.
I would love it if Disney would look at my children’s books for either lifetime type
movie for kids or even as cartoons.
If you had it to do over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I might enlarge to pictures in the Coyote Creek book to full pages.
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I think my interest in reading books started with my mother’s love for literature
and her reading to me as a child. Once I started writing poems it was easy to complete one in about 5 minutes. The children’s stories were written to teach children valuable lessons about caring for animals and give them a glimpse of ranch life. I always remember the book Black Beauty because it conveyed the feelings of the animal. I hope that my books can move people to feeling exactly what the characters are feeling.
Can you share a little of your current work with us?
My current adult novel is about a psychopath that meets and seduces women that he meets on dating sites. He gets into their head and researches their interests, hobbies, friends, favorite clubs, restaurants, etc. so he can make them feel he has the same interests that they do. He uses them for his own gratification and once they fall in love with him then he moves on leaving them humiliated and wondering what they did wrong. He showers them with love and attention at first but totally withdraws entering into a series of sexual affairs. His life ends in a very surprising twist.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging about your writing?
Writing conversations between people is the most difficult. Especially, hard
to recall exactly what happened in real life situations since you are so busy
actually being the actor and not a script writer.
It is sometimes difficult to convey the exact emotions that you had and make
your audience feel what you felt. I want people reading the book to feel as
though they were there and to really get into the book characters and events.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE AUTHOR AND WHAT IS IT THAT REALLY
STRIKES YOU ABOUT THEIR WORK?
I like a lot of different authors. For me to like a book it has to really inspire me or draw me in within the first chapter of the book or I lose interest. I like excitement and action from the start. I also like love stories that make me fall in love with the characters.
DO YOU HAVE TO TRAVEL MUCH CONCERNING YOUR BOOK(S)
Since I work full time and have a ranch with 70 horses and various dogs, geese,
ducks, etc. I find it hard to travel very far. I do go to book signings and book
club events within a 100 mile radius and use online advertising.
WHO DESIGNED THE COVERS?
My poetry books were photos I bought through Photo Stock. My two children’s
books were designed by Susan Joyner Stumpf. She is a graphic artist and does
a wonderful job.
DID YOU LEARN ANYTHING FROM WRITING YOUR BOOK AND WHAT
I learned it is often hard to convey the emotion you felt with the same intensity
you felt at the time of the real event. I learned to try to find other people to critique my writing and to be honest so I could edit and rewrite if needed.
DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR OTHER WRITERS?
Believe in yourself and your work and don’t give up until you find an agent and/or publisher that believes in your work also. Find novel ways to sell your books. Be able write in more than one genre. Love what you produce.
DO YOU HAVE ANYTHING SPECIFIC THAT YOU WANT TO SAY TO YOUR
I hope my readers will enjoy my poems and stories and want to read more and share with other readers. I want children to enjoy reading about my animals and learn things they did not know about a ranch.
DO YOU REMEMBER THE FIRST BOOK YOU READ?
In school it was probably “Dick and Jane.” I loved the book about “Beauty and the
Beast, “ also.
WHAT MAKES YOU LAUGH /CRY?
I have a sarcastic humor so often someone doing something off color or unusual will make me laugh or simply watching baby animals play or my horses running across the pasture.
People who are abusive to animals whether through fighting them or killing them in
horrific ways to eat (such as dogs in Thailand) or seeing the fear in animal’s face
knowing it is going to die makes me cry. I empathize with people in abusive situations also.
IS THERE ONE PERSON PAST OR PRESENT YOU WOULD WANT TO MEET?
Joan Rivers because she always made me laugh and Ellen DeGeneres because she
entertains and helps women in need.
WHAT DO YOU WANT WRITTEN ON YOUR HEAD STONE?
Sorry but can’t get that morbid yet.
OTHER THAN WRITING DO YOU HAVE ANY HOBBIES?
I love to go to horse shows to see my stallions perform. I enjoy movies, antique
shopping, listening to dance music, going to concerts, and being outdoors viewing
nature. Loved vacations to faraway places like Russia, Turkey, Greece and Australia and making friends in those places.
WHAT TV SHOWS/FILMS TO YOU ENJOY WATCHING
TV- Criminal Minds, CSI, Dancing with the Stars, The Voice, Fox News
FILMS: Nicolas Sparks movies, Seabiscuit, Hidalgo, Hanna, Magic Mike, Water for
Elephants, and The Last Samurai or a few I liked.
I like Italian food and good steak restaurants.
I tend to wear a lot of black with different colors like gold, silver and red.
I love modern country music like Blake Shelton, Luke Bryan ,etc and good
Top 40 music.
IF YOU WERE NOT A WRITER WHAT ELSE WOULD YOU LIKE TO HAVE
I have been a teacher, ranch owner, parole officer, real estate agent before I was a writer. What I wish I had done years ago is completed law school. I think I would have been a good attorney working for abused women, children and animals.
DO YOU HAVE A BLOG/WEBSITE? IF SO WHAT IS IT?
I have a website for my ranch www.coyotecreekranch.net
Face Book under Ann Landrum Stockstill and Ann Landrum-Stockstill author and
I would like to develop a blog site in the near future.