My father died when I was five, and though I shared a room with my older sister, I often felt very alone and sad. I stuttered a lot and never spoke in class. Of course I had feelings I wished to express, but since I couldn't talk about them, I began writing poems about my feelings and thoughts. From the time I was eight years old, I always felt better about myself after writing.
When I got older, I went out west to the University of New Mexico, got married, and had a son when I was just 20 years old. Then when he was 18 months old, my marriage was over and I returned to New York. I worked at any job I could get to support myself and my baby. I remember the hard times, living in a fifth-floor walk-up tenement, with the bathtub in the hall and only cold water. I worked as a waitress, as a model, in publishing companies. Working at a publishing company inspired me to try writing a children's book.
I married Marty Scheiner in 1970, and with him I learned to scuba dive, sail, and photograph around the world. He died in 1992. Today my family consists of my children, grandchildren, granddogs, and grandcats. We all scuba dive. With all 12 of us, we fill up a dive boat! (No, the cats and dogs don't dive!) I couldn't ask for a more wonderful family.
I leave New York City often these days to visit schools, travel somewhere exciting, and visit my family. I spend a month every year in Mexico. I love to return to New York City and the excitement and multi-colors of the most vibrant city in the world.
I've been writing children's books for more than 35 years. I've written over 50! I'm excited about the different topics I write about — adventures in faraway places, the sea and its creatures, stories and picture books, biographies, funny books, folk tales, poetry, question-and-answer books about life in long-ago America, animals, and a whole lot more.
Ann McGovern passed away on August 8, 2015 at her home in New York City.