Meet Jane Finch, children's book reviewer
I have always needed to write. I remember at school sneaking to the far end of the playing field at break times with paper and pen and just scribbling down short stories and poems.
When I was sixteen I won a national short story competition, and that encouraged me to keep writing. Various projects and stories accumulated in a desk drawer until my son was born.
When I started reading books to my son he soon became terrified of the stories about dragons, and ogres, and magic, and in particular one about a dream maker who whispered in the ears of sleeping children. He didn't sleep for weeks. So I started writing stories for him about things he was interested in, and had soon written my first novel about the war between red and grey squirrels.
I knew then I wanted to write about the natural world, and wrote another children's novel which deals with bullying in the animal kingdom. I later teamed up with an illustrator and together we produced a children's picture book about a dancing hippo; the story is about not being afraid to be different. All of my children's stories deal with life issues such as bullying, racism, and the importance of teamwork.
I joined several peer writing groups, reading other writers' works and critiquing as well as submitting my own work for critique. I also took a creative writing course with the Open University, which helped me to become more organised in my writing.
I then wrote an adult novel, a crime/thriller, The Black Widows. My next adult novel, Curse of the Dogwood, was published as an ebook in June 2014. I have just completed two further novels which have been submitted to my agent in New Zealand who is also now representing my children's novels.
I spent twenty-five years working in English law, always day-dreaming of the time I might be able to give up work and just write. Now that is what I am doing. I have had seven published novels, and am working on two more, with a few more ideas swimming about inside my head.
-- Jane Finch
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