Annemarie O’Brien has an MFA in Writing for Children & Young Adults from the Vermont College of Fine Arts. She teaches creative writing courses at UC Berkeley Extension, Stanford Continuing Studies, Pixar, and DreamWorks. At author school visits she has captured children’s hearts from the Maldives to Germany and throughout the United States. She also advocates for literacy and empowering girls as a Writer Ambassador for Room to Read. Lara’s Gift is her debut middle grade novel inspired from a former life when she lived and worked in the Soviet Union and was gifted Dasha, her first borzoi puppy.
Annemarie O’Brien is a storyteller at heart. Most of her stories come from her experiences and adventures living and working overseas. Her travels have enriched the storyteller in her and have taken her around the world from neighboring countries like Canada and Mexico to places as far away as Thailand and China where she has:
hitched a ride on the Trans-Siberian Railway across Russia;
journeyed along the Silk Road through Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan;
sailed the northern lakes of Russia with the Soviet Olympic Yacht team;
dodged landmines in Bosnia and hooligans in Siberia;
heli-skied the Tien Shan mountains along the Chinese border;
tracked down her family roots to shipbuilders in Galaxidi, Greece;
traced Anne Frank’s last steps along the Amsterdam canals;
bartered for Tekke rugs in Turkmenistan as Marco Polo might have done;
traded Levi jeans for Polish amber during the Cold War era;
toured Volvo in Sweden and the Salvador Dali museum in Spain;
squatted in an English castle, as well as a Kyrgyz yurt;
paid homage to Hans Christian Andersen’s Little Mermaid in Copenhagen;
dined on caviar in Russia, snails in France, and sheep eyeballs in Kyrgyzstan;
fed bongos in Kenya, camels in Turkmenistan, and elephants in Thailand;
rubbed elbows with Mikhail Gorbachev at the Kremlin in Moscow; and
survived a Sarajevo snowstorm during Pope John Paul II’s outdoor Mass!
She hopes the adventures never stop. She still dreams of bumping into a snow leopard in Tajikistan or cuddling up with a panda cub in China, as well as returning to the places of her past to fuel future stories.
For now home base is in the San Francisco Bay area where she spends free time at Stinson Beach with her family, a silken windhound named Zeus, and two borzoi, Zola and Zar who inspired the fictional canine characters in Lara’s Gift.
Thank you for visiting and finding your way to my author page!