Today we’d like to introduce you to Ann Narcisian Videan.
Every artist has a unique story. Can you briefly walk us through yours?
As an author and book shepherd, I live inside stories and creativity all day long every day. What joy to create my own worlds with words, and to help other authors manifest the books of their dreams, too!
Creativity continues to weave itself in and out of my life’s tapestry, starting from my first thread growing up in Colorful Colorado. I was one of those girls who seldom played with dolls. I’d rather be outside playing a game of basketball H.O.R.S.E. with my two brothers, whizzing up and down my neighborhood street with skates clamped on my shoes, or on my white bike with plastic streamers plugged into the handguards. When not outdoors, I gravitated to scissors, paper, paints, or other art supplies, or a book. I also loved to sing and play my Dad’s four-string guitar, or to “dress-up”—now known as “cosplay”—as one of my favorite book characters. I often imagined myself a kindly witch who brewed a waste-can cauldron of back-yard florals to perfection. Mom fueled my vivid imagination by reading books aloud to us and, as I grew older, I knew one day I would weave a writing career into my work.
My family left Colorado when I was eleven and moved to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. That charming back-woodsy town became a lovely muse for my first novel later. When a communication education called me to Arizona State University, the sunshine and opportunity made me answer.
After graduating from what is now the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication in 1981, I planned to be a radio DJ and spin music into the airwaves. As fate and job availability would have it, I ended up in banking PR for eight years. This included helping plan grand-opening parties for VIPs and media when Western Savings & Loan purchased the Wrigley Mansion. I also drove all over the state, touting the corporation’s Arizona essay scholarship program to high school students. I helped coordinate the judging as well as a huge student awards banquet, which all served as another writing nudge for me. I learned the PR field in the trenches with tons of writing, and the help of the Public Relations Society of America, and Women in Communications, each of which I served as president and a long-term board member.
With a short stint in medical PR, where I met my husband, I turned my communication skills to the innovative high-tech industry in the late 1980s. After three years in a local PR firm that supported large semiconductor companies in Phoenix, northern California, and Switzerland, I joined MicroAge Computer Centers, Inc. I served there as editorial director of a national award-winning news magazine for computer resellers.
When my focus moved to starting and raising a family, the urge to become an author also hit. That, along with the desire to have a schedule allowing me to go on elementary school field trips with my son and, later, my daughter. So, I started my own business— vIDEAn Unlimited, LLC—in 1996, starting with a PR job enticing 15,000 extras to Sun Devil Stadium for the filming of the movie Jerry Maguire. I served as the catalyst to reintroduce white rhinos to the Phoenix Zoo in 2004 and won a national Crown Jewel Award as the top U.S. home-based business in 2005. My PR contacts selected me for PRSA’s top peer honor, the PERCY award, in 2007.
By then, my adult imaginary friends, in the form of book characters, started invading my psyche. After years of writing every possible nonfiction vehicle anyone could possibly read, I took some time to learn how to write fiction and independently publish a book.
This is where my creative tapestry truly started its weavings.
Please tell us about your art.
In 2011, I realized my goal to publish a fiction book, Rhythms & Muse, along with a CD of five original tunes as a soundtrack for the contemporary women’s novel. Half of the storyline takes place in 1970s Cd’A, ID, as I mentioned in my story blurb. In 2014, I published my fantasy adventure, Song of the Ocarina, featuring New Zealand Fae with native Maori influences, whose bad guys pattern themselves after burned out human rock stars. The second book in this Delfaerune Rhapsody series, Beat of the Pakiri, is currently nearing completion.
As I became knowledgeable about the book-writing and publishing industry and realized how very difficult it could be, I decided to make it my business, in a literal way, to support other authors. So, since 2011, I’ve “book shepherded” other authors who need help with ghostwriting, editing, formatting, cover creation, and print-on-demand production. I also kick in my marketing and PR background to consult about word-of-mouth development techniques. Can you say, “Dream job?”
My creative tapestry enhanced even further three years ago when my friend Cherie Scott and I co-founded Absolutely Wild! Enchanted Faerie Portals & Other Whimsy. This home decór and experiences company was inspired by the Fae characters in *Song of the Ocarina.* I write Faeries’ Tales about the wee creatures who inhabit the faerie doors Cherie so beautifully sculpts. Hiding the portals and stories also generates memorable “finding” expeditions for special occasions. All of this prompted me to write and illustrate my 2016 Absolutely Wild! Enchanted Faerie Portals Coloring & Creative Writing Pages, an adult coloring book with writing prompts.
Whether playing at author, book shepherd, or with the Absolutely Wild! Faeries, all three of my businesses support young writers and artists.
What do you think about the conditions for artists today? Has life become easier or harder for artists in recent years? What can cities like ours do to encourage and help art and artists thrive?
Everything we create—for fun, for business, for productivity—involves some level of art or creativity. No one would hold an iPhone or walk into a building without some visionary artists’ magic happening in the background. This pertains not only to the way things look but to how things function. It’s the creativity of out-of-the-box thinking that builds functionality. I love that, these days, we right-brainers are coming to the forefront as leaders for the future.
This happened partly through technology, which makes art accessible to the world. Musicians can post their songs on YouTube to gain a following and BandCamp to make purchasing easy. Artists can upload their work for printing on tee-shirts, mugs, calendars, and every other form of merchandise available through sites like CaféPress, and RedBubble. Storefronts are available on Etsy for handcrafted goods… even our favorite online bookseller has moved into the art sales arena with Amazon Handmade. All it takes is a dedication to focused marketing to cut through the clutter and gain customers.
What I would like to see is a community connection between creatives and marketing experts, both young and established. Such a connection could teach the younger clan how to effectively showcase their works, while the mature group gains fresh ideas about new technology and access to less expensive creativity. It could be structured as a “tribe” of interested individuals, simply gathering in-person or online to share ideas and resources. How about it?
How or where can people see your work? How can people support your work?
A pet project involves an effort to solicit art and writing submissions to fill and publish *The Storytelling Book of the Ancient Traveler.* Submitted pieces will appear along with works by the incomparable James Artimus Owen, author/illustrator of the bestselling series The Chronicles of the Imaginarium Geographica, and Gini Koch, author of long-running Alien series. We hope to auction off the original leather-bound volume and make a paperback version available on Amazon once we fill the pages and produce the book. More info on this opportunity, open at no charge to everyone, is available at AbsolutelyWild.net.
If you need a faerie door in your home or garden, you can explore Cherie Scott’s faerie portals and my accompanying Faerie’s Tales at AbsolutelyWild.net too.
All the volumes I’ve book shepherded, plus a few of my own favorite authors, appear on my “Words and Writing” Pinterest page: www.pinterest.com/anvidean/words-and-writing/.
My books are available on Amazon and Kindle under my full name, Ann Narcisian Videan: www.tinyurl.co/ANVamazon.
Come weave new threads of creativity into your life tapestry by visiting me at ANVidean.com Let’s have some fun!
- Address: 745 North Gilbert Road, Suite 124, PMB 211
Gilbert, Arizona 85234
- Website: http://ANVidean.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: annvidean
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ann.videan
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/WordsMusicTribe
- Other: http://www.AbsolutelyWild.net/