After 25 years in the marketing and advertisement industry, Paradise Valley resident Ann W. Jarvie changed her career path to novelist.
She will celebrate the release of her second novel, “The Woods of Hitchcock,” with a book signing from 1 to 4 pm Saturday, Feb. 12, at Barnes & Noble in Desert Ridge Marketplace.
“I’ve often said that when I was in marketing, I wrote very complex comprehensive marketing plans and advertising plans in my life but nothing is as hard as writing a novel,” said the Georgia native. “I’ll just be honest, however, it’s very rewarding.
“When you write the end, it’s an accomplishment and it does require a lot of perseverance. You have to come up with the concept, you have to write a copy that keeps people turning the page. You have to put on a marketing hat and sell it to a publisher and then you have to go out and sell it to the ultimate consumer and it requires a jack of all trades so to speak.”
Jarvie’s first novel, “The Soul Retrieval,” was in what she dubbed The Henrietta series.
“The first novel is an epic novel that was inspired by a true story in my family — a true murder mystery in my family,” Jarvie admitted.
“The story sort of haunted me and I just felt like I needed to find out how this guy died.
“My grandmother lived on this Native American reservation, and it was all very strange story and yet no one in my family knew how the guy died, or why he died.”
While researching what had happened, Jarvie decided to take the story into her own hands and fictionalize it resulting in her first novel.
“That literally took my 20 years probably to write it,” Jarvie said. “To be fair, I was working full time and I was raising my children, so it took me 20 to 25 years to write it, then when we moved to Arizona, I was like I’m going to finish this thing. I’m going to get it done and I did.”
Jarvie moved to the Valley with her husband, an Arizona native, 10 years ago and “retired, so to speak, even though I kept writing.”
“I just decided to finish the novel, ‘The Soul Retrieval,’ that I had been working on for a number of years,” Jarvie said.
“Then after that was finished, published and did well I started working on ‘The Woods of Hitchcock’ and here we are and now I am on a book tour.”
“The Woods of Hitchcock” was released in a “really creative, flexible way” in November, Jarvie said.
“We launched the book last November in Augusta, Georgia, where I am originally from and parts of the story take place in that area,” she said.
“Barnes & Noble, although they were willing to do a launch book signing then, they weren’t willing to do it in the store because of COVID guidelines. We did it in the mall right next to it and it turned out great.”
The next few stops on her books tour were private venues in South Carolina and Illinois. Along the way, Jarvie was craving to host an in-person event.
“I come back home, and I am talking to the folks at Barnes & Noble (at Desert Ridge) and they say, ‘We’re doing book signings in the store,’” she said.
“I am excited to have my first in-store event there, even though I have been on this book tour doing more flexible creative venues in order to launch a book. It’s been exciting to come back to Arizona that is open for business. That is one of the beautiful things here.”
The writing process for her second novel went far smoother and quicker than its predecessor.
“I wrote an outline, I developed my characters and sat down and wrote it,” Jarvie said. “It took me two years to write it and it took another year of sitting on it and editing it because it was during COVID.
“I decided to be productive and I spent the year in quarantine really polishing ‘The Woods of Hitchcock’ and presenting it to the publishing world. That itself took another year. It’s not a short process by any means.”
Jarvie is working on her third and final books of her Henrietta series while marketing her second piece.
“However, (each book does) stand completely on their own so you don’t have to have read the first one to enjoy the second or third,” according to Jarvie.
“The first novel is more of an epic novel. The second is a thriller and the third one my plan right now is that it will be more of a novel of suspense. The thriller is defined by a time period where such and such happens within a week, but that’s the nature of the thriller story. The novel of suspense is suspenseful, but I see that as a little of both — a novel of suspense with a thrill.”
Jarvie said she thinks she has “a lot of (books) in me somewhere” but is focused on finishing her series.
“Henrietta comes from the main character from ‘The Soul Retrieval,’” Jarvie said. “She plays a mentoring role in the second novel and she’ll play another role in the third.”
Jarvie is “thrilled” that Barnes & Noble will feature both of her books during the event.
“Although we do have to be flexible and respectable given what the world has experienced, I think the book signing event on Feb. 12 at Barnes & Noble and those like it are about people wanting to move forward in positive ways,” Jarvie said. “As an author, I can’t think of a more positive way to come together than under a banner of books and great stories.”