Author Spotlight: Letter from Ann Whitely-Gillen

Posted June 18, 2013 by Karen in Authors, Guest Post, Spotlight / 2 Comments

Book cover          Last Train to Omaha came about under very extraordinary circumstances. Having been diagnosed with breast cancer last year changed my life–and in many ways, for the better. Taking a step back during my recovery allowed me to see things more clearly and redefine myself to become more of the person I was meant to be. Although I was a happily married mother of four, after my diagnosis, I felt I was still missing something deep and meaningful in my life.  Something about me was lost as I trudged through my hectic daily routine and never-ending demands of life. I lost me.

family at launch

I strongly believe my road to recovery began as I rediscovered myself through the characters in this book. I was able to seek solace in their ability to overcome diversity with courage in their hearts and the peaceful resignation they achieved with the connections they shared amongst themselves. Each character in this book represents a connection I’ve made in my life.

Through the eyes of James Milligan and his ensemble cast of supporting characters, we see that destiny is not only what life brings us–it’s about how life can be uniquely tailored simply by how we choose to respond to it.

All the best,



AuthorPhotoAnn Whitely-Gillen resides in Ottawa, Canada’s capital, where she is a communications advisor and freelance writer. In the 1990s, Ann lived in Sydney, Australia for more than a year volunteering her writing and public relations expertise to organizations including Greenpeace. She is also an accomplished musician and singer.

Ann has always wanted to write a screenplay and, in fact, Last Train to Omaha started out with that in mind. After forty pages of writing, Ann decided to turn the screenplay into a novel, as she wanted to delve deeper into James Milligan’s personal journey and enrich the cast of characters.

After recently travelling to New York City to attend a workshop on screenwriting with Syd Field (guru of screenwriting), she is now ready to embark on the visual transformation of Last Train to Omaha to the big screen. Her new novel, Egan’s Will, is also in the works, so stay tuned.

Ann lives with her husband and four children, who she loves to spend time with along with their family dog. In her leisure time, she can be found watching an independent film or reading a good book with a glass of red wine!

Ann and Syd
Ann and Syd

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