Hello, I’m Anne Dimock. Thanks for visiting. I am the author of books AGAINST THE GRAIN, and HUMBLE PIE, as well as numerous short stories, essays, plays, the occasional poem, and even a libretto. My journey to becoming a writer was unconventional. After an ordinary youth in New Jersey, I moved to the upper Midwest to get educated, become an adult, and go to work. I have two degrees in Anthropology, and a long career in the nonprofit sector, mostly raising money. I had wanted to become the next Margaret Mead, but since the world already had one, I needed to pivot. One of my first jobs after college was running a teen pregnancy prevention program in an inner-city community clinic. After talking with teenagers about sex, life goals, and birth control, it didn’t seem hard at all to ask people to give money. I became a professional fundraiser and for the next 40 years, I worked for some great organizations, large and small, whose work contributed to community health and well-being. As proud as I am of all my writing, it is eclipsed by the accomplishments of all the colleagues I worked with in providing health care, education, housing, social services and environmental stewardship.
At about age 35, I decided to listen to the little voice within me that said I should start writing. This happened to coincide exactly with the news I was pregnant. In one of those “Life is funny that way” moments, I started writing anyway, without the benefit of an English degree, an MFA, a mentor, or a nanny. Thirty-five more years pass and now I’m a debut novelist! It’s fine for a writing career to develop slowly with each year’s lessons and challenges accreting upon the former. Working, parenting, and paying the bills gave me a lot of useful material and perspective. And there were a lot of writing workshops, classes, and discarded drafts along the way—not to mention a lifetime of reading. I’m not going to bore you with the all the writing credits I’ve racked up, but there have been some.
Writing has been one of the greatest adventures of my life, sandwiched in between #1 (becoming a parent), and #3 (my nonprofit career). For an INFP like myself, writing is my stand-up mic, my go anywhere anytime Boeing 747, my microscope, and x-ray vision super power. I’ve always imagined that writers and actors are two sides of the same coin. We each get to explore a life, an era, with intensity, honesty and imagination—the actor with overt expression, the writer with a more internal drive. Perhaps that is why I was drawn to theatre in my early writing, the two-faced Janus as creator and actor, looking forward and backward, each forging an emotional connection with their audience. Writers and actors can be anyone, anywhere. We have the best jobs in the world.
I’m retired from that nonprofit career now, and revving up the writing life I longingly imagined while I was in the fundraising trenches. Debut novelists aren’t usually as old as I am, but don’t worry. I’m just getting started!
Q&A With Anne Dimock
Apple, followed by rhubarb, then blueberry.
Moby Dick. I re-read it every few years.
Coffee or Tea?
Either, but it’s got to be de-caffeinated.
Favorite procrasti-baking project?
Making a birthday cake and mailing it across the country.
Favorite phone app?
New York Times Cooking, followed by Geocaching.
Favorite Garden Crop?
Tomatoes! I always grow several varieties and try new ones. This year’s winner was the heirloom variety Black Sea Man.
Sports or Exercise?
Title 9 wasn’t around for me. But at age 50 I took up rowing, and now I scull and sweep on the Hudson River.
Religion or Spirituality?
Former Catholic. Now I follow the Dalai Lama’s teaching – “It’s important to be kind.” Reading Karen Armstrong’s books and walking in the woods is the right religion for me.
Cats or Dogs?
Classical, Techno, and Classical Techno.
Favorite Living Composer?
Favorite Charitable Cause?