|Ann was born in Holland, in the small town of Uit-huiz-er-meeden which,
translated literally, is "out-houses in the meadows"! Before she could
even walk she rode into town on her mother's bicycle's front carrier.
Once she could take
some steps it was hard to hold her back. She wanted to go, go, go all
the time, even when she had to stay with her older sister.
Ann made her first solo
journey when, as a toddler, in
a bottomless playpen, she walked off the lawn, down the driveway and
onto the road, carrying her playpen with her. As soon as she started
kindergarten she decided she wanted to be a teacher. She made art
projects even back then, with building in the sand box being her
Ann was a gardener right from the
beginning. At age four her father gave her a corner of his garden so
Ann could grow her own flowers and fruits.
Here she is showing off her raspberry canes.
As a child Ann entertained her siblings on their one-hour walks to school with installments of stories that continued on their next walk. She wrote her first "book" at the age of seven. Ann was born into a family of actors and she learned at a young age to tell stories and act out plays from books.
The Alma family loved animals. Dogs, cats, rabbits, chickens, ducks, geese, even a donkey and a pony were part of Ann's early life. As a young person she had her own favorite animals.
All this gave Ann the confidence for her future solo travels with a backpack. She journeyed around the world twice and worked in a number of countries.
Some of her most memorable jobs were bottle-feeding orphaned lambs in New Zealand, riding a horse to check pasture fences in Australia, helping the toddlers of Somali refugees in Kenya find firewood so they could eat their one meal a day, teaching orphans in Zambia, teaching cross-cultural studies to a group of Maoris in New Zealand, to Japanese students, and to Inuit children in Aklavik and Tuktoyaktuk (Northwest Territories). Ann has travelled on water-skis, cross-country skis, on foot, by bicycle, motorbike and balloon.
Ann became a teacher while still living in Holland. She immigrated to Canada in 1970 and became a Canadian citizen in 1975. Over twenty-five years she taught students from kindergarten to collage in five different countries.
While teaching intermediate grades in Armstrong, B.C., Ann wrote her first novel in the early morning hours and on weekends. With the backing of her enthusiastic students, Ann sent the manuscript off to publishers andthis became her widely acclaimed best-selling novel Skateway to Freedom. Ann quit teaching in 1992. She bought a house in the West Kootenay mountains and became a fulltime writer and gardener, growing her own vegetables and fruits for year-round consumption..
She is a member of The Writers' Union of Canada (TWUC), and CCBC
Ann's favorite hobbies are still the activities she started as a child. She loves writing and walking in the mountains and playing with her cat, Miepke. She gardens from spring to fall while she travels and camps when she can pull herself away from writing her next book.
snowed in during the Kootenay winter, skiing and reading keep her busy.
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