Author Ann Ferrar / Contact
Journalist and author Ann Ferrar is an accomplished writer of narrative non-fiction. Her motorcycle lifestyle articles have been published in The New York Times. Her feature stories and essays on women's issues and eclectic human interest subjects have been published in national magazines, online venues and via newspaper syndication. Ann is best known as the biographer of Bessie Stringfield and the author of the groundbreaking book Hear Me Roar: Women, Motorcycles and the Rapture of the Road (NY: Crown Trade Paperbacks/Random House, 1996, first edition; NH: Whitehorse Press, 2000, later printing).
The author's forthcoming book is the definitive long-form biography African American Queen of the Road: Bessie Stringfield—A Journey Through Race, Faith, Resilience and the Road. In the book, Ann is expanding on her story "Bessie B. Stringfield: The Color Blue." This original narrative was written by the author as part of the first edition of Hear Me Roar. Ann's earlier version of the piece was first published in 1993 as Bessie's eulogy in American Iron, an international biker magazine. The piece later appeared at the American Motorcycle Hall of Fame for Bessie's induction in 2002.
Ferrar's celebrated story of Stringfield, in its three incarnations, introduced Bessie to the world and sparked the global fascination with her that exists to this day. The new biography will reveal the still-untold parts of Bessie's story, which Stringfield shared exclusively with Ann. Along with other research and interviews with Bessie's peers whom are now deceased, the book is painting a fascinating portrait of Bessie, a woman who today remains essentially as unknown as she is admired by her millions of new fans.
Ann met Bessie in 1990 at the start of her research and road trips for Hear Me Roar. During the years since, the author has explored other hidden areas of Bessie's life. The author's private, exclusive tapes of Bessie—the only sound recordings of Bessie Stringfield in existence—are protected and copyright-registered in the U.S. Library of Congress but they are not available for use by other parties. Ferrar's comprehensive biography of Bessie Stringfield, which draws upon those tapes, is a work that simply cannot be written by anyone else.
Ann rode her own motorcycles for 18 years, owning six different bikes ranging from Hondas to BMWs. She began riding in her native New York City and became an assertive urban biker and a long-distance solo rider, covering 35 of the 48 lower U.S. states and parts of Ontario, Canada. To write and photograph Hear Me Roar between 1990 and 1995, the author interviewed more than 100 women bikers, rode tens of thousands of miles around America alone, and was a participant-observer in scores of motorcycle rallies and other biker events. Ferrar's archival research, and interviews with descendants of deceased, early 20th-century female bikers, yielded the first detailed look at these forgotten pioneers of the American road.
Ferrar, with her background in journalism and her passion for writing the lives of unusual and overlooked women, was the first to chronicle this little-known facet of women's mobility and gender role-reversal. Hear Me Roar was critically acclaimed, cited in scholarly studies of women in non-traditional roles, and covered by The New York Times, CNN, Entertainment Weekly and other media outlets. Ferrar was recognized by the American Motorcyclist Association with the Hazel Kolb Brighter Image Award for Hear Me Roar.
Born and raised in South Brooklyn, New York, Ferrar is an alumna of Brooklyn College, City University of New York. A member of the Authors Guild, Ann lived in TriBeCa in Lower Manhattan for many years and was part of the city's biker scene during the 1990s and 2000s, where she was nicknamed The Literary Biker Chick. She still lives in the Greater New York region of the northeastern United States with Ruby, her rescued Staffordshire bull terrier. Currently in between motorcycles, Ann's next bike will likely be a motorcycle with a sidecar rig and Ruby as her co-pilot.
Along with her work on the African American Queen of the Road biography of Bessie Stringfield, Ferrar is writing the 25th Anniversary Global Edition of Hear Me Roar. This anniversary celebration begins by taking a retrospective look at women and events from the first edition, along with new material on Bessie and other prominent female bikers. And unlike the first edition, which focused solely on American women, the 25th Anniversary will include a diverse array of female bikers from around the world. Release dates for both books are TBA.
In 2002, the author was asked by the American Motorcycle Hall of Fame to adapt her story "Bessie B. Stringfield: The Color Blue" from Hear Me Roar for the Hall of Fame website and for oral recitation during Bessie's induction ceremony. The longer version of Ferrar's story from Roar was posted on the museum website simply as "Bessie Stringfield: Inducted 2002" for many years, where it was read by countless people who learned of Bessie for the first time. (Now, only a much shorter version of the story, abridged by the author, remains posted.)
Over the years, Ferrar has been consulted for her expertise on the early history of women bikers, particularly for her unparalleled knowledge of Ms. Stringfield, for museums and for PBS and History Channel documentaries, including American Biker and Glory Road: The Legacy of the African American Motorcyclist. With her passion for documenting and preserving the history of women bikers, the author has done readings and talks at colleges, libraries, women's and motorcycle events.
Motorcycle lifestyle articles written by Ann Ferrar include:
"Windswept Freedom on Two Fast Wheels," New York Times, May 19, 2002
"The Biker Question: To Roar or Not to Roar,: New York Times, July 25, 2003
"Where Neon Meets the Road," New York Times, May 14, 2004
Independently reported articles about Ann Ferrar's seminal work on Bessie Sringfield include:
Stevenson, Jed: "Hear Me Roar: A Woman's Symphony on the Road," New York Times, July 28, 1996
Logan, Ian J.D.: "Feature, Bessie Stringfield," Iron & Air Magazine, 2017: Issue 029
For Amazon's description of Hear Me Roar's first edition, search for the title with the author's name on Amazon.com. Coming soon on this website is a new page dedicated to the 25th Anniversary Global Edition.
For professional, licensing and media inquiries about Ann Ferrar's stories of Bessie Stringfield and the new Global Edition of Hear Me Roar, contact:
Larry Zerner at firstname.lastname@example.org, 310-773-3623