Writers love the promise of a new chapter, and Angie Bryan is no exception.
Her latest chapter is set in Portland, Maine, a city she first visited in September 2016. The city immediately enchanted her, as did its residents, providing her with a deep sense of home that she had never experienced during her frequent moves as a diplomat. In March 2018 she found herself on a one-way flight to PWM, excited to see how her romance with Portland would unfold.
As with any good romance, though, the audience needs the heroine’s backstory. Originally from Texas, Angie joined the diplomatic corps in 1992, fresh out of college at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas. She had always loved writing, and could not quite believe that the State Department was going to pay her to write reports on the political situation in Kuwait, Syria, Algeria, Pakistan, Afghanistan, France, Yemen, and Sweden. But pay her they did, and even taught her a few additional languages along the way. Angie often jokes that she speaks French and Swedish, but has also studied Arabic, Chinese, Dari, Japanese, Latin, and Pashto with wildly varying degrees of success.
As the years passed and she rose in the ranks, assuming leadership positions such as Consul General and Deputy Ambassador, she discovered her love of public speaking and her talent for connecting people. In both France and Sweden she was a frequently-requested speaker on topics such as leadership, networking, and managing cross-cultural teams. While posted in DC, she served as the chief negotiator for the union and professional association for diplomats and then as a member of the Board of Examiners, the entity which conducts the oral assessments of candidates for the Foreign Service. Her writing has been published in The Foreign Service Journal over a dozen times, and her cocktail bar reviews appear frequently in Maine Today. Yes, she actually found a way to get paid for drinking, judging people, and writing about it!
Excited about finally setting down roots in one place and becoming an active member of her new community, Angie is on the Board of Trustees of Portland Stage, is one of the 2019 spokeswomen for the American Heart Association in Maine’s Go Red for Women campaign, and teaches occasional workshops for Portland Adult Education on topics such as expanding one’s social circle and the non-financial aspects of preparing for retirement.
Angie spends much of her remaining free time working on a project which connects her diplomatic experience with her talents: a book on making friends later in life. She enjoys speaking to groups who are interested in such topics, and is also available as a guest contributor to various publications and blogs. She created the Friends in Real Life website and blog on the one-year anniversary of her move to Portland in order to have a forum in which to discuss a wide array of issues related to friendship and connections. At some point she hopes to acquire enough technological savvy to reduce the monstrously large size of her author photo.