A young woman walked along a beach in a dream, and Ann Warner was hooked.
Who was she? Where was she going? Warner, a Ph.D. graduate from Kansas University and celebrated scholar, left the ivory tower of academia to find out.
After receiving her doctorate in medicinal chemistry in 1970, Warner went on to work as the associate director of clinical laboratories at the Lahey Clinic in Boston, medical technology program director at the University of Puerto Rico and toxicology laboratory director and professor at the University of Cincinnati, in the town she now calls home. According to Warner, the transition from life in the contiguous United States to Puerto Rico, and back, was challenging.
“There were days when I would be exhausted from trying to deal with people in Spanish, just trying to get my hair cut,” Warner says. “Other times it was really exciting. Days were brighter, literally and figuratively, because you were constantly being forced to pay attention.”
Warner saved most of her attention for her work until 2000 when she took it in a different direction. After 30 years in demanding positions, Warner declined a position in the psychology department from the University of Cincinnati, where she was working, and retired to write full-time.
“All of the sudden I had a little more free time,” Warner says. “I spent a good deal of my professional life writing, woke up with an image of this woman on the beach and decided to start writing to figure out who she was. I surprised myself with how much fun it was.”
In 2008, Samhain Publishing picked up Warner’s first book, “Dreams for Stones,” which prompted readers to write back to Warner. The newly released sequel, “Persistence of Dreams,” is now available. According to Warner, it continues with her main theme: the resilience of the human spirit.
“I’m hoping it will speak to people,” Warner says. “How do we cope with the hard things in our life? It’s a voyage of discovery for the writer. I admire people who cope with difficulties with grace, and I wanted to discover how they did that.”
Warner says the book “is about a young woman, Luz Montalvo, who flees with her younger siblings after losing both parents in a car crash. Their tenuous existence, supported by her job as an apartment manager, is compromised when Charles Larimore, a Denver district attorney, becomes the newest tenant. After losing everything in a fire, Larimore struggles with turning Luz into the authorities or trusting and being burned again by love.”