My Path: Idea to Published Book
Aka: How I Know What I Know
- Started my writing adventure as an aspiring screenwriter. Wrote a feature film script on spec, and had pitch meetings at production companies and a major studio.
- Began journaling when my boyfriend dumped me. A friend read an excerpt, and suggested I write a book about the relationship break-up.
- Discovered the process of narrative writing felt like running naked through a field of flowers, compared to screenwriting duct-taped to a chair in a basement.
- Wrote “The Break-Up Diet: A Memoir” manuscript.
- Went from query letter to signed contract with a wonderful NY literary agent within three months. (Yes, I have a secret formula for that magic.)
- Embraced my ENTJ/Enneagram 8/Gemini/Neurodivergent self, and decided to publish my book my way.
- Started a micro indie publishing company. (No, I don’t publish other authors.)
- Moved my manuscript through the publishing mill: editing, cover and interior design, offset print run, ebook formatting, set up warehousing and distribution, had my book stocked on shelves in libraries, Barnes & Noble stores, and Amazon. (Made SO many mistakes along the way. And yes, I now have a roadmap to dodge those DIY-publishing land mines.)
- Spoke at national writers conferences, regional writers orgs, and universities. Topics: How to Get a Literary Agent, DIY Publishing, and Memoir Writing. Also taught those workshops in-person and online.
- Edited & co-published an online writing magazine written by, for, and about women in the publishing industry, which was listed as one of Writer’s Digest’s 101 Best Websites for Writers.
- Working on two nonfiction projects: a divorce-recovery guide, and a narcissistic-abuse memoir.
- Teaching Write From Your Soul online writing workshops. Click here to learn more about how you can start your storytelling adventure…
The Reader’s Digest version
So many iterations. So many experiences: the good, the bad, and what the fuck just happened?! I have childhood memories of galloping bareback on my little bay mare through the abandoned vineyards after finishing my ranch chores. Teen memories of drama club, drill team, varsity volleyball, editing the school newspaper, and spending weekends at the roller-skating rink. My wild-child years: fist fighting in parking lots, drunk at dance clubs and after-parties in a town known as “Felony Flats”—full of meth labs, trailer parks, and parolees. Dating a few good and some very bad boys. Escaping the desert ghetto to pursue acting in Hollywood. The reality check of becoming a single mom at 21, sole support and care of a beautiful baby boy. Getting my shit together just enough to juggle raising a toddler, having a 3.8 GPA with full-time units at a private university, while working 40 hours a week as a law enforcement dispatcher. Dropping out, quitting, and moving to a bougie suburb, homeschooling my son, and working as a topless dancer. Writing a book. Getting married, and being a stay-at-home wife and mother. Diving heart-first into the publishing industry. Being empty-nested by Wonderboy, my magnum opus. Driving cross-country away from my imploding marriage with only what fit into the car. Divorce. Starting over from scratch. Doing hard time in a cubicle cage, running on the corporate hamster wheel. Getting sucked into a toxic relationship with a malignant narcissist and experimenting in an Eyes-Wide-Shut alternative lifestyle. Finding my beach tribe of athletic friends. Settling into my soul space—serene and rolling solo. Dog mom to my ride-or-die copilot: a rescued pit bull with mast-cell cancer. Surviving the dark fallout from the pandemic. Circling back around to my writing passion, and encouraging others to mine their memories, embrace their experiences, and tell their stories.
The Break-Up Diet: A Memoir
From the back cover:
Annette Fix always believed in happily ever after and was busy working her Five-Year Plan: marry her golf-pro boyfriend, homeschool her preteen son, become a famous writer, and retire to Fiji. When her live-in boyfriend calls it quits, Annette finds herself on The Break-Up Diet, consuming vast amounts of chocolate and exercising by diving blindly into the shallow end of the dating pool.
Working as an exotic dancer to bankroll her aspiring writing career and support her son alone, Annette uses her blue-collar instinct to survive in the plastic jungle of The OC.
Annette’s adventures take her on a wild ride as she attempts find the perfect balance between her dreams and her day-to-day life as Supermom.
My book isn’t going to win awards for its profound contribution to world literature. But that’s ok with me because it’s found readers who resonate with and are entertained by my story—
“…Fix describes the phenomenon of the weight loss that happens following a break up. More than that, she draws the reader in with her humor and by the end of the book you feel like she is someone you know and want to root for. There are portions of the book that are laugh out loud funny, and others that made me slightly teary-eyed. I am currently going through my own break-up diet and this book is a must read for anyone who is going through or has ever been through a rough break-up.”
~ Rita in Bakersfield, CA
“This memoir reads like chick lit, the good kind. I kept forgetting it wasn’t a novel as I read it. Every “character” feels real and Annette’s voice is so authentic. It’s a quick read and fun, even when working through some really tough, emotional stuff…”
~ Kaijsa in Laramie, WY
“I absolutely loved this book. I was stunned at the candor and freshness of the voice that jumped out of the pages. As I read through the book, I felt upset, applauded, and basically got really involved in Annette’s life. I found myself reading recipes out loud to my friends, all of us appreciating the amazing wit and word choice. I am going to recommend this book to all of my friends, sisters, and my mom. This book is perfect even for those who haven’t suffered a heart break yet.”
~ Laura in Minneapolis, MN
“Annette Fix’s memoir is a wake-up call to women—stop banking on your five year plan that includes that oh so perfect man. In an instant, your life can change leaving you to pick up the pieces. In the book, Annette shows the reader that picking up the pieces after a break-up is painful- yet can be done and that it IS possible to move on. Annette’s memoir is also inspirational, encouraging women to pursue their dreams…even if it means doing things in the meantime that are not ideal, like topless dancing. By writing The Break-Up Diet Annette has fulfilled her dream. I thoroughly enjoyed Annette’s style and wit in The Break-Up Diet – I sped through the book in no time. I was quite surprised that I related to her story even though I am a southern belle, leading a vastly different lifestyle than the Orange County supermom…”
~ Trisha in Drexel, NC
“This book read like Chick Lit, and I couldn’t put it down! I loved it! Although not meant for the prim and proper, I loved Ms. Fix’s style and she told her story with such honesty. I would admit there were parts of the book which held a little too much information (e.g. sexual encounters), but I do think it added to the humor. I felt involved in the story — rooting for Annette at certain moments, hoping certain things would happen, and sympathizing when things didn’t work out as she had hoped (and rejoicing when they did). The recipes were just an added bonus. I can’t wait to see what Annette Fix has in store for us next and you can be sure I will be watching for her next release.”
~ Denise in Plantsville, CT
—and, for me, that’s a goal achieved. #winning
My Storytelling Philosophy
There is no personal story too “small” to share. Our lives are made up of thousands of stories. Places we’ve seen. People we’ve met. And things we’ve learned along the way. Memoir is about exploring the human condition through story, sharing experiences that resonate on a universal, visceral level with others to educate, enlighten, inspire, or entertain. It invites a reader to peek through a window into someone else’s internal and external worlds. Memoir is a narrative examination of the thoughts, feelings, and insight that comes from our perspective of personally significant experiences. Our life experience IS our story.
If any part of what I’ve said speaks to you, this is where you check in with yourself about why you’re being drawn to tell your story.
· Do you want to preserve your life experiences as a story legacy of traditions, culture, history, or lessons for future generations of your family?
· Have you overcome a traumatic experience and want to share your insight to help others, or heal by releasing your pain?
· Do you want to record your personal experiences and unique perspective of this moment in history?
· Do you want to write a memoir and have it published, but don’t know how or where to begin?
If you answered yes to any of the above, then you are in the exact place you need to be to get started.