Annie F. Downs is in the middle of living her dream.

And it’s fun!

Meeting Annie over ten years ago through a writer’s workshop, it’s been a pleasure to watch her star rise and see the fun she’s having while doing it. Ten years ago, I clearly remember the conversation of the importance of building your tribe.

Connecting with those who are reading what you are writing and building a community that is strong and supportive.

Fast forward to today, and Annie is making an impact on a scale that even she never saw coming.

“I couldn’t have dreamed this!” she said.” I couldn’t have dreamed how it would grow. The different areas we could be influential in as a team.”

Annie is riding high on her newest book, THAT SOUNDS FUN. All her hard work has come to fruition as the book recently hit the New York Times Best Sellers List, taking this “Expert of Fun” to an entirely new level in her career. The book hit No. 6 on the Advice, How-To & Misc. list, Downs is in good company, joining other top authors like Sanjay Gupta, James Clear, Joanna Gaines and many more. Likewise, the book also appears on the Publishers Weekly https://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/nielsen/HardcoverNonfiction.html at No. 8 as well as hitting USA Today’s bestseller list.

“I knew when I was writing this book, it was special,” Downs remarked. “This is a topic that is rarely discussed but really important. I couldn’t have known how timely it would be for our world. It feels like such an honor to write a book that is connecting with so many people in a real time of need.”

In That Sounds Fun, Downs offers an irresistible invitation to understand the meaning of fun, to embrace it and chase it, and to figure out what, exactly, sounds fun to you – then do it! While exploring some research and sharing some thoughts about why fun matters, she shows you how to find, experience, and multiply your fun.

With her signature storytelling style and whimsical vulnerability, Annie is the friend we all need to guide us back to staying true to ourselves and finding the fun we need.

“When I started the podcast and began asking people what sounds fun to them, my eyes were opened,” Downs remarked. “We undervalue and downplay fun and the place fun ought to have in our lives. We don’t prioritize the fun things; the simple things. Finding fun changes things. Fun is medicine for a sickness we all have. Searching for fun doesn’t mean you’re not responsible, and valuing fun doesn’t mean you’re not grown up! It just means you realize there’s something you’ve lost and are willing to go look for it.”

If there is something Annie has been known for, it is fun. “It’s in me,” she says. “I like to come up with fun ideas. Part of my struggle is that I always thought it meant I wasn’t growing up? But then I thought, what if this is how I was made on purpose? What if people on the planet need to hear about this? I actively practice this. It really matters to people to be invited to step into the things they want to do. That’s your invitation. Hope this book gives people an invitation to set aside extra time, try something new,” she adds.

And people are connecting with what Annie is presenting. She’s a sought-after speaker, as well as a successful podcast host and is based right here in the Nashville area. She’s engaging and honest, brings her readers and listeners into her world with her gregarious, loud and joyful personality and has created a life that engages her love of fun, writing and relationships in one place. Bottom line, her readers and listeners feel like friends.

When writing the book, Annie asked her podcast listeners to send in what they do to have fun and with over 4,000 responses, she had those words of fun put into the book and they pop up throughout the pages and it’s impressive!

Does she like writing or creating the podcast better? “The podcast and writing are definitely different. My hope on the podcast is that listeners will fall in love with my friend that I’m interviewing. In my book it’s less about the guest and more about my story,” she says. Some of her favorite podcast interviews include Chef Cory Barret from the Food Network. Singer Lauren Daigle, comedian Jon Crist, Pastor Jon Mark Comer and more.

Who would be her dream interview? “Dolly Parton!” she says enthusiastically. “I think so highly of her. She’s so gifted. I love what she has done for Tennessee. She is so authentically herself. She makes a point to make you comfortable. Such an example of what it is to be genuine and true to yourself.”

For the rest of her life, Annie says this idea of fun will be her life focus. “It’s so needed in our culture. We need someone reminding us to relax, take a break. I’d like to keep having this conversation for a long time. I’m so excited that I get to keep writing books,” she adds.

In October, the kid’s book version of THAT SOUNDS FUN will come out. It’s a picture book. It’ll actually be the first of three THAT SOUNDS FUN kid’s books. I’m also doing Monday night’s mini-BFF book club on Instagram. It’s such an honor that parents would trust me with their children’s ears. I’m just thrilled to have a kid’s book coming out.”

The year 2020 really was a turning point. “Part of it was that we were stuck in our houses,” she recalls. “I made a quarantine bucket list and I learned to amateur juggle. I picked up cross stitching again. It was a great experience to bring this old hobby back into my life,” she says.

“I knew when I was writing this book, it was special,” Downs remarked. “This is a topic that is rarely discussed but really important. I couldn’t have known how timely it would be for our world. It feels like such an honor to write a book that is connecting with so many people in a real time of need.”

In That Sounds Fun, Downs offers an irresistible invitation to understand the meaning of fun, to embrace it and chase it, and to figure out what, exactly, sounds fun to you – then do it! Through some research and sharing some thoughts about why fun matters, she shows you how to find, experience, and multiply your fun.

“When I started the podcast and began asking people what sounds fun to them, my eyes were opened,” Downs remarked. “We undervalue and downplay fun and the place fun ought to have in our lives. We don’t prioritize the fun things; the simple things. Finding fun changes things. Fun is medicine for a sickness we all have. Searching for fun doesn’t mean you’re not responsible, and valuing fun doesn’t mean you’re not grown up! It just means you realize there’s something you’ve lost and are willing to go look for it.”

One thing is for sure. Annie’s impact is only just beginning. “It would be the most fun for me to one day see that when I get on the internet, there would be a story on CNN or Yahoo about how Hobby Lobby or Michaels, or other stores are running out of supplies. Local sporting good stores are running out of equipment. Kitchen stores are running out of spatulas all because people are digging in and having fun.

That would be awesome!

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