Ann Hanigan Kotz
Hear It From Me
I was raised on a farm outside of Denison, Iowa. I attended UNI for English Education and started teaching in 1988. I earned a Master's degree in education through Viterbo University. I taught for 33 years, the last 30 at Waukee High School in the Des Moines metro area. Retiring in June of 2021 was a difficult decision, but teaching was getting more difficult with lack of funding, parents' lack of trust in teachers, and legislators making our jobs more difficult. I also wanted to move on to something new.
I started writing The Longest Journey in the winter of 2021 and finished in late summer. I sat on it for awhile because I didn't know what I wanted to do with it. I had no intention of writing any more books or selling the one I had written. My book club friends encouraged me to print 100 books, and I was convinced they would be sitting in my garage until I died. After selling over 400 books on my own, I started to believe that I had written something that entertains others.
I signed with BookPress Publishing in West Des Moines in 2022, and The Longest Journey became The Journey of Karoline Olsen with a new cover and a new name. Since then, I have been busy writing more books and visiting libraries and historical societies across Iowa. And I love it!
My husband and I live in Adel, Iowa, and are both enjoying retirement. We love to take our boat out and ride motorcycles. We keep busy, though. I now am back with Waukee Schools as a supervisor for the Para-to-Teacher program. What I miss most in the teaching profession are the students.