Who is Ann McMan?
ANN McMAN is one of best-selling lesbian fiction and humor writers in America. She has published five novels and two short story collections, and won two Golden Crown Literary Awards. Her novel, Hoosier Daddy, was a Lambda Literary Award finalist. Her newest novel, Backcast, will be released by Bywater Books in late 2015.
From her early days, growing up on the western frontier of Pennsylvania, Ann McMan found creative ways to exercise her gift for fiction. Her first literary endeavors were modest—mostly confined to aphorisms scrawled on cracked pavement with colored chalk.
“FREE UPPER VOLTA!”
But as the years passed and her skills increased, she branched out into literary nonfiction–best exemplified by the abstracts that follow.
“Please excuse Ann from gym this week; she has contracted a virulent case of Norwegian Scabies.”
Sometimes, the performances were less effective.
“Please excuse Ann from this week’s field trip to the IXL Cottage Cheese Creamery. She is suffering from acute bouts of ague and malaria—which, combined, render it impossible for her to travel by bus.”
[Ann was unaware that outbreaks of malaria were extremely rare in the Allegheny Mountains. Four days in after-school detention helped her cultivate a greater appreciation for the rigors of research.]
College at an indifferent liberal arts institution taught Ann that understanding subject/verb agreement was not enough to secure her fame and fortune. After graduation, she got a job driving a young adult bookmobile—and spent her days piloting the great rig across the dusty back roads of rural North Carolina. Her duties included making certain that the mobile library always contained at least six copies of Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret, visiting the county detention unit (it was a great way to catch up with her brothers), and showing public service films about safe sex to pre-teens at 4-H Clubs all across her part of “The New South.”
Soon, the allure of higher education coaxed Ann back to school. For the past three decades, Ann has worked at a succession of premier institutions, designing marketing and advancement materials that promote, promulgate, and extol the benefits of indifferent liberal arts education.
Somebody has to do it.
All this time, she continued to write. And when, at the ripe old age of thirty, she realized that she was not like other girls, the great world of lesbian literature opened its arms, and provided her with a safe haven in which to grow and learn about her new identity. She will forever be indebted to those literary pioneers who had the courage, the talent, and the temerity to gift us all with an art form of our own. Ann’s first and subsequent attempts at writing lesbian fiction have been heartfelt attempts to pay that great gift forward.
On Easter weekend of 2012, Ann married The Rainbow Reader, Reviewer and Publisher of Bywater Books, Salem West, in a private service on the shores of Vermont’s Lake Champlain. Although they were married on Noah’s Ark, no exotic animals took part in the ceremony. They live quite happily in central North Carolina with their two dogs, two cats, and an exhaustive supply of vacuum cleaner bags.
In 2011, Ann, along with her novels JERICHO and DUST and her short story “I Saw Xena Kissing Senticles” were elected to The Royal Academy of Bards Hall of Fame. In 2012, she was awarded the Alice B. Lavender Certificate, SIDECAR won a Rainbow Award for Best Contemporary Lesbian Fiction and a GCLS award for Best Short Story or Collection, and JERICHO was ranked by the eZine, Autostraddle, at #69 on the 100 Best Lesbian Fiction and Memoir Books of All Time.
Ann McMan is the author of six novels and two story collections. She is the recipient of both the Alice B. Lavender Certificate for Outstanding Debut Novel and the Alice B. Medal for her distinguished body of work. Ann is a four-time winner of the Golden Crown Literary Award, her novel, Backcast, was a 2016 IPPY medalist, and her novel, Hoosier Daddy, was a 2014 Lambda Literary Award finalist. An award-winning graphic designer, she resides in Winston-Salem, North Carolina with her wife, Salem West.