I have lived in Michigan my entire life, in small towns like Sebewaing, Bad Axe, and Reese (population 1454). While I chose Owosso as the protagonist’s hometown in my novel The Book of Jane, unlike Jane, I do not think of it as “crumby.” Owosso, like the aforementioned Michigan towns, is a fine place to raise a family.
After my two children, Joel and Stacey, were on their way to school and daycare in our hometown of Reese, I finished my education at Saginaw Valley State University. Following my graduation in 1981, I taught high school English, first at Akron-Fairgrove High School and then at Reese High School, where I stayed for twenty-three years. I taught at both small high schools during the best of times; my students challenged me, made me laugh, and brought me fulfillment.
The Book of Jane rattled around my head for years, and I started putting some thoughts on paper during my summer breaks the last few years I taught. When I retired in 2007, I spent three years writing and editing until I finally decided to let some friends and family have a look. They were enthusiastic about it, and I love them all for their encouragement and suggestions about the life of Jane Barrett.
In 2011-12, I battled triple negative breast cancer. Today I am feeling great, enjoying my husband Roy, children and six grandchildren. I have fun playing golf, sharing a beer and stories with friends, and spending time with my family. I participate in Relay for Life, and I answer questions and give support to newly diagnosed breast cancer patients at www.WhatNext.com. Like Jane, it took me a while to be a doer, but I finally moved ahead and entered the world of e-publishing.