Local author finds new passion in writing

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More than 40 years ago when Los Lunas resident Annemarie Pearson begin writing the chapters of her life, becoming an author wasn’t part of the story.

At the time, being a good mother was the only story line on Pearson’s mind.

Barron Jones-News-Bulletin photo: Los Lunas resident Annemarie Pearson reads from her book of poems, “Nature Rhymes with Natural Impressions.” The book, which is a collaborative effort between Pearson and her husband, Bill, was named a finalist in the New Mexico-Arizona Book Awards.

Fast forward to 2013, the children are grown and Pearson has spent the last few months writing the final chapters of her new mystery novel.

To celebrate the completed novel, the Belen Art League Gallery will host it’s first-ever book signing, featuring Pearson, who will be on hand to read and sign copies of “A Ruby By Any Other Name: The Stepdaughter.”

Pearson said transitioning to the mind set of being an author was natural because of her love for all types of literature.

“I always wanted to be a writer,” Pearson said. “I like to tell a story. I am a talker. I do poetry and I am a member of the New Mexico State Poetry Society.”

The art league, which features work created by local artists, will host the book reading and signing at 5 p.m., Friday, Dec. 13.

“The Stepdaughter” is the second installment of the trilogy, detailing the trials and tribulations of the story’s protagonist Ruby Carmichael.

Carmichael and her twin adolescent sons move to Albuquerque after her husband is killed in Desert Storm. Once Carmichael settles into her new home, she comes across several characters, including a rich property owner whose decision to leave her his mansion in his will casts a cloud of suspicion that’s hard to escape.

“A Ruby By Any Other Name: The Stepdaughter” is Pearson’s third book.

The first book, “Nature Rhymes with Natural Impression,” was a collaboration between Pearson and her photographer husband, Bill Pearson. Bill took the photos, while Annemarie wrote the poetry.

Her second book, “Fetish Ruby,” is the first book in the mystery trilogy.

All three of Pearson’s books are self published through Create Space, a media company that provides free tools to help writers self-publish and distribute their creations.

Pearson entered both books for the New Mexico-Arizona Book Awards, and they were named finalists. She plans on entering the latest book in this year’s competition.

She hopes one day her books will gain national attention.

“I would love to have my books be on the No. 1 best seller list,” she said. “If I can place, I will get an agent.”

For Pearson, an agent means more exposure and opportunity to earn a living doing something she loves. But don’t get Pearson wrong; she enjoys her life as it is.

“We may be poor, but we are happy,” she said with a smile.

Pearson earned an associate degree from the University of New Mexico-Valencia Campus after attending night classes for seven years. She said she didn’t have any idea she wanted to be a writer until she met a creative writing instructor, who encouraged her to follow her dreams.

Pearson said it took her a long time to earn her degree because she worked full-time while attending classes to help pay the bills. She also credits the slow down to the active role she played in her childrens’ education.

“I was married with two sons and I was their homeroom mother, while I worked 40 hours (a week) at Lovelace,” she said. “So, I made cupcakes and crocheted little items for their classmates.

“I went to night classes for seven years for a two-year degree. It took a long time.”

Pearson, who graduated with honors, said without her husband’s and sons’ help, she doubts that she would have earned her degree.

“I studied when they went to bed. I couldn’t have done it,” she said. “They helped me with the dishes, they helped me with the laundry. He is a great husband. We are a great team and that is why we have been married so long.”

The couple met and eventually married months before Bill went to serve in Vietnam for the first of three tours. He played an integral role in all three of Pearson’s books.

The first book was a joint creation by the couple. Bill took the pictures that accompanied Pearson’s poetry, and he would help out with the next two books by designing the covers.

In addition to designing the books’ covers, he also helped out during the editing process. Bill read both novels to make sure things worked out and made sense.

Pearson said receiving feedback from family and friends helps to keep her humble and well grounded.

“They don’t tell me how to write — they just make suggestions,” she said. “You can’t have an ego and keep writing.”

It’s important for Pearson that her novels not only entertain but create an experience that her readers can relate to.

“That is what people want, not just to have entertainment. They want to feel they can become part of the novel,” she said.

“They want to pick up something that they can associate with. I hope I touch on something that meant something in their life.”

Pearson said her target audience varies but gravitates toward readers with pets and women with children. However, she said her husband calls the first book, “Fetish Ruby,” a chick flick compared to the fast-moving intrigued-filled second book, “A Ruby By Any Other Name: The Stepdaughter.”

When Pearson isn’t writing, crocheting or babysitting, she can probably be found practicing Reiki, a form of Japanese healing.

“It’s a form of energy,” she said. “I do energy work. I just bring energy to the bodies of cancer patients. You just want the energy because you feel depressed or down.”

Since Pearson’s clients don’t have lots of money, she gets paid with a hug and love.

The third book in the trilogy, which has yet to be written, will be titled “Alexander’s Gold.”