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the story behind the book

Writing an extension of Annie Weatherwax’s visual art

david wilson for the boston globe

“I’m dyslexic,” Annie Weatherwax said at the start of her telephone interview. “I struggled a lot when I was kid. I’m an exceedingly slow reader. I read a lot, because I love it so much, but I definitely struggle with it.”

A graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design, Weatherwax is a longtime painter and sculptor (including sculpting superheroes and cartoon characters for children’s television and movies). “All We Had,” which was published this summer, is her first novel.

“I never thought in my wildest dreams that I actually could become a writer because of my dyslexia,” she says. “But I was always drawn to it.”


Making the leap from visual to literary expression wasn’t as drastic as she had thought. “Writing for me is really just an extension of my visual art,” Weatherwax said. “I’m a highly visual person. And when I write, I see it all. I just see it, in my head. The struggle for me is to then get it down in words.”

The book’s success has been a thrill, she said, especially the news that the actor Katie Holmes optioned it for a movie (it will be her directorial debut). “I’m totally excited about it,” Weatherwax said. “I think it’s easy to see it as a film, because it plays out in your mind that way.”

The Roslindale resident said she’s at work on a second novel, as well as a series of character studies that will blend words and images. “My painting style and my writing style are very, very similar,” she said. “I have this comic sensibility. It’s very bold and slightly exaggerated.”

Weatherwax will attend a reception at 6:30 p.m. and read at 7 p.m. Thursday at the West Roxbury Branch of the Boston Public Library, 1961 Centre St., West Roxbury.


Kate Tuttle, a writer and editor, can be reached at