Thursday, March 25, 2010

Thursday's Other Creative Soul: Anna Mitchael

This week's feature showcases the writing of Author Anna Mitchael. Her first novel, a memoir entitled, Just Don'tCall me Ma'am, hits bookstores this week!! It's wry, hilarious and insightful, much like the author herself. Anna has been a dear friend of ours for years, and I'm so proud of all she has accomplished.

Name: Anna Mitchael

Education: I got my degree from the University of Texas at Austin in Advertising. That decision was a combination of my mother telling me that finding a job with just an English degree could be difficult around the same time I saw a Jennifer Aniston movie where somebody had a glamorous job in an ad agency. And that's just typical for me—it takes me an hour for me to decide what I want for dinner, but I am happy making major life decisions because of what I picked out at Blockbuster.

Current City: I live on a ranch that's about forty miles west of Waco. The closest city to me has a population of 30. And no, that's not a typo, that's a thirty.

Tell me about your work in one sentence: I try to write about the modern experience for Southern females in a way that is true, approachable and (hopefully) helpful for people as they plug through their days.

My ideal day: I spent a lot of years wondering what would make an ideal day. Somehow, thankfully, I've found a life that's made up of hundreds of them. I wake up, write until I am absolutely sure there's nothing else to say, then spend some time doing the routine maintenance we're all plagued with-bills and errands, etc. By the time I'm done with that I've usually found something more to write about and so I spend another couple hours working. I'm in the middle of a second book, which I feel really blessed to be able to work on. After ten years spent in advertising, where my days were spent writing for other people, attending meetings and playing politics, this freedom to work is the most ideal gift I could have been given.

What are your passions? The people I love. I like traveling and eating in fancy restaurants and all that jazz....but at the end of the day—it's all about the people I love.

Who are your creative influences? I thought finding creative influences and inspiration would be really difficult once I moved to the country. After living in New York and Seattle and all these cities where great designers and artists and thinkers were, literally, a dime a dozen—I was like, 'How am I going to get anything new in my brain when I'm out in the middle of nowhere?' But then I got out here and I can't tell you what a huge change has come into my work. The QUIET has changed everything. Right now, I'm into the isolation and just waiting for ideas to come to me, instead of always being in mad pursuit of them.

What motivates you? At the last agency where I worked there was this very, VERY unhappy man who was in an extremely visible and important position. He yelled a lot. And when he yelled he mostly chose language that is not appropriate for this family-friendly website. I would go to meetings with him and watch how his unhappiness spread. Occasionally I would even feel it threatening me. And I told myself that I would never, ever, end up being such a caged person, because what's the point of spreading that kind of unhappiness in the world? That man was the breaking point for me—when I was finally like, 'DONE' and just left the corporate world. I wanted complete control over the people who could influence my days, and I was tired of having to pretend like I agreed with people who just plugged through the day. This is a very long, winding answer—but what I am trying to say is that happiness motivates me. I like to wake up happy, and writing is a big part of that for me.

What are your websites/social networking links?
On you can learn more about me and my first book coming out in April from Seal Press called Just Don't Call Me Ma'am.
My blog, the happiness project, is located on And if you are on facebook - become a fan of Just Don't Call Me Ma'am or order your copy today from Amazon.

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