Born in 1940 and raised in Passaic, New Jersey, Jane was a New Jersey girl until she went to Vassar College in New York State, graduated and married a Yale grad student, and, moved to New Haven, Connecticut in 1962. There she began her teaching career which lasted 40 years. The first seven were the hardest. Even three decades later she was unable to forget struggling through that long apprenticeship, so she wrote a memoir about teaching high school English in New Haven in the Sixties. Titled GOING BY THE BOOK, it won the James N. Britton Award for Inquiry in English Language Arts from the National Council of Teachers of English in 1996.
During the next thirty-three years Jane taught community college students in Connecticut and then in New Jersey. These years were also inspiring and, along with her first hot flash, moved her to write THE "M" WORD which was published by Avon in 1999. A comic mystery, THE “M” WORD features a menopausal community college English prof as amateur sleuth and is the first of eight novels and a shorter anthologized work that make up The Bel Barrett Mystery Series. HOT WIRED, the last novel in this series was published in 2005.
By then Jane had raised a daughter and a son, lost a husband, remarried, retired from teaching, and moved to the Puget Sound area to be near her daughter’s growing family. She looked to her new surroundings for inspiration and soon began work on THE BONES AND THE BOOK, a historical mystery set in Seattle's Jewish community during the Gold Rush and in 1965. It was published in 2012 by Oconee Spirit Press. THE BONES AND THE BOOK won a Willa Award from Women Writing the West in the category of soft-covered original fiction.
Jane continues to find inspiration in Washington State’s history, geography, politics, and people. So she is currently completing another mystery set in the Evergreen State’s Yakima Valley.
Awards and Recognition
- I received the 2013 Willa Literary Award for Best Original Softcover Fiction for The Bones and the Book from Women Writing the West and the 1996 James N. Britton Award for Inquiry in English Language Arts from the National Council of Teachers of English for Going by the Book.