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Ann Kathleen Otto


Blog posts : "General"

Iconic Los Angeles Spaces

On a recent Los Angeles visit, I stopped by some of my favorite locations from Yours in a Hurry. Some buildings still stand; others are gone. But all are early California icons. I’ve added quotes from the book to explain why.

The Hollywood Hotel

“Anna could see why the Hollywood Hotel was I…

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Depression and Loss

"Purl saw a light in the parlor and entered. Anna was sitting on the sofa, motionless. Only a flicker from the oil lamp lighted the room. I can't go to the reunion today," she said. He looked down at her and placed his hands in his pockets, helpless that she should be so sad. So little had changed s…

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Literary Day at the Museum

I returned to the Hollywood Heritage Museum this month. My family has been to Los Angeles many times, and we always visit Hollywood. This time, we stayed in the heart of it.

Sixteen other authors and I were invited to the Fifth Annual book signing event at the Museum. Yours in a Hurry was the onl…

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The Best Years of Their Lives

It's time to start book two. I'm reading about soldiers returning after WWI for a story on Appalachia. For a recent Wall Street Journal Book Section article Harvard professor and author Jane Kamensky was asked to suggest works that best reflect the impact of wartime. I decided to read a few. I re-re…

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Family Treasures

If we're lucky, we inherit a special item from an ancestor. As an only child, I'm fortunate to have many, like the chair I recently received   that connects me to the characters in Yours in a Hurry. I also asked friends what heirlooms they cherish.

One Chair Survives

Readers know that the …

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Early Aviator Frank J. Terrill

An unexpected benefit of writing a historical novel is meeting others who are interested in history and sharing family stories. Librarian Brian Burch of the Akron Public Library's Ellet Branch is one of those folks. After reading about Yours in a Hurry he mentioned that his great-great grandfather, …

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Grandfather Purl

         Anna turned to Purl. "What do you think Father and Mother would think of our plans?"

         "I doubt they would understand why we're leaving the land. I'd hope they wouldn't be disappointed about that. They would surely be disappointed in me."

          Anna didn't re…

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Oshkosh AirVenture Adventure

This weekend is the Oshkosh AirVenture's annual "world's greatest air show".  Spouse David and I recently visited and learned a lot about aviation history and some things about Milwaukee, too. Bill Zierdt, a former engineer, was our knowledgeable guide for the Pioneer Airfield at the Experimental …

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Masterful Storytelling

In an earlier blog on progressive women of the early 1900's I mentioned Clara Wolcott Driscoll, artist with the Tiffany Studios in New York. Yours in a Hurry takes place in the same period. Since then I've gotten to know Clara's ancestor, Linda Alexander who is well-known in Northeast Ohio for her m…

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Visioning Old Latonia Race Track

Our family recently spent a long weekend in Cincinnati, only minutes away from one of the scenes in Yours in a Hurry at Latonia Race Track. I was disappointed that a shopping center now stands in the original location. But I found a website, Northern Kentucky Views Presents, with great photographs …

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Reflections on San Antonio

In our story, Anna Hartle goes to San Antonio with the owner of the real estate agency, Joseph Cowell, to visit a successful developer and get some ideas about marketing property in larger developments. It turns out to be a job interview for Anna who is ready for a change. She isn't sure she'll like…

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Vintage Lindbergh at Rhinebeck

A Spirited Gala

What a great event! The Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome in tiny Red Hook, New York near the Hyde Park area served as a resource for the 1908-1912 aeroplanes mentioned in Yours in a Hurry. They have many famous models, and most still fly. When we saw that this year's gala would celebrate t…

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Thoughts on Criticism

I just published my first novel, and I'm having all the apprehensive thoughts other authors have warned about—potential negative reviews being one of them. I've read Chris McMullen's advice in Volume 2 of How to Self-Publish a Book on, and looked at advice on various social media author…

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Favorite Children's Verses

I dedicated Yours in a Hurry to my mother who influenced me and other children in our neighborhood to read. The books we loved to read together most were A. A. Milne's. My mother made me an an Anglophile at an early age. It may have been reading Christopher Robin's adventures with the changing of th…

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Problems with Names in Historical Fiction

Yours in a Hurry is at the printers. Those of you who've been following my Yours in a Hurry blogs or Facebook page will notice that some names have been changed. In the final weeks before submitting the manuscript, I had to do some soul searching. Choosing the names of our fictional characters is no…

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Memorable Women

March is "Women’s History Month" when the United States Library of Congress and six other national entities pay tribute to women who have made their mark on society. In 1981Congress designated a week in March as “Women’s History Week." It took the National Women’s History Project to convince Congr…

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The Immortal Jack London

The next blog was to be about early 20th century eating establishments, but today is Jack London's birthday and I'm looking at the biography that his daughter Joan London wrote, Jack London and His Times. It was published in 1939 by the now defunct Book League of America. I love one of the quotes, "…

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Lighter Than Air

I grew up near the Goodyear Airdock in Akron, Ohio. Blimps were a common sight above our house. I was too young to know the part they'd played in wars for more than a century when they were called airships or dirigibles, or that "balloons" first ascended in France in the 1780's. While researching Yo…

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Artistic Transformation

Steve Jobs wasn't the first to successfully consider human emotions when marketing a new technology. From the beginning of the aeroplane, art played an important role in capturing the collective imagination.  Through colorful artistic prints, first in Art Nouveau and later Art Deco we can follow the…

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Postcards and Letters Guide Stories

Some writers are blessed with old journals and boxes of letters to guide their story.  For Yours in a Hurry I had only a few, but they gave me insight to two main characters.

Locating a Character in a Point in Time

How did I know that Addison traveled a lot? According to the census he was an …

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20 Blog Posts