I have been a junior high school English teacher, a stay-at-home mom, and a part-time employee at a regional running magazine where I sold advertisements, wrote and edited articles and eventually became editor.
I started my teaching career in a small, country school where I was the English department for the Junior High, a heady position for a first year teacher even in a small school. I loved it. I finished my teaching career at a large school district where I was one of many in the English department.
The discovery of how uncoordinated I really am happened in front of a room full of seventh graders back in the day of projectors and pull-down screens. While facing my students and explaining what they were about to watch, I reached up to pull down the screen that was mounted in front of the chalk board (remember those). Unfortunately, I was standing under the screen instead of slightly in front of it and managed to pull the screen down on top of my head. The kids were wide-eyed and uncharacteristically but politely silent until I told them to go ahead and laugh. The room erupted.
Following my 10-year teaching career and 12-year stint at the running magazine, I served for five years as liaison between my church and an elementary school through the Partners in Education Program. During that time, I was a reading mentor, a creative writing contest judge, and co-creator of a newspaper club.
I enjoy bible study, reading adult historical novels, young adult and picture books both fiction and non-fiction. The beach is my happy place. The water brings me peace and calm. I love playing Pickleball and think every spring my golf game will be better than the last year, but it never is.
More About Jane
What is the first thing you remember writing (poem, a story, an essay)?
A devotional I thought the Upper Room would be thrilled to publish. Boy was I surprised. Then the poem for my father followed by a short, short story about the musings of a woman at the funeral of the family patriarch. Finally, the first draft of what turned out to be A Truck Named Tony. That first draft bears only a little resemblance to the final product.
Tell us about your favorite thing to write.
I like to play with ideas for picture books but am becoming interested in non-fiction picture books and easy readers.
Who or what has influenced your writing style?
Reading lots of picture books and my natural snarky attitude.
What do you read on a regular basis? Your genre of choice?
Adult historical fiction; Children’s picture books
Do you have any words of encouragement or advice for new or fellow writers?
What others told me has worked: Join a children’s writers group, go to conferences, be willing to have your work critiqued, and don’t get your feelings hurt. Use what suggestions you like and discard the rest. The process is work and you must commit to it. Read books about writing for children. And read gazillions of books in the genre you want to write.