Having grown up in the Midwest during the 50s and 60s, there was never a lack of things for me to do. Even though there was no television, computers, or Nintendo games, I never was bored. I had books to read, and using my own creative imagination, I'd write.
I was a voracious reader as a child -- stories of animals and mysteries always topped my list. Nancy Drew Mysteries took priority in my bookcase at home. Even in elementary school, I had decided that one day I would write a mystery novel. Encouraged by my fifth grade teacher, I churned out poems and stories weekly.
My advice to young people is read, read, read -- anything and everything. When you write, use all of your senses. For example, sit outside with your eyes closed and listen to the sounds of nature -- then write. Take a walk through the snow or into the countryside and observe all your surroundings -- then write. Hold a kitten or a baby in your arms and feel --then write.
Every experience of reading and writing will prepare you to someday write that novel!
BIOGRAPHY OF JAN FRAZIER
Visit the book trailer of J.C. van Winkler. See her in action!! http://www.youtube.com/watch?V=O7h6Ia3spb8
I believe that most English teachers have a secret desire to write a book during their lifetime -- if lucky, a best seller! Being an English teacher in the Illinois secondary schools for over twenty-five years, I continually yearned to author a novel. Because my family's ancestors included Samuel Langhorn Clemens, I was always encouraged by a special aunt to pursue my love of writing. She, my husband, and my two children were my true inspirations as I started my first novel.
I was born and raised in Pekin, Illinois -- a small Midwest town -- but my love of travel was instilled early in my life. Traveling the United States with my parents, I soon found that I wanted to reach beyond the boundaries of America and explore Europe. In 1973 --having graduated from college and with two years of teaching behind me -- I went abroad. I lived for several years in Holland, which first spirited my love for the charm of the old-world countries of Europe.
When I returned to the United States to start my family, I became a stay-at-home mother with a constant desire to write. Eventually, I returned to the secondary-level English classroom. With a family and a busy career in education, precious little time was left to fulfill my dream of authoring a novel.
However, my desire to travel continued, and my husband and I had wonderful opportunities to chaperone many summer trips abroad with high school students. With more than twenty years of traveling to Europe, I had the knowledge, basis, and inspiration for my first novel, Starlight Laser Express.
Even though I still loved teaching -- and had been honored with Who's Who Among America's Teachers for the years 1998, 2000, 2002, 2004 and 2005 -- I decided to take early retirement from secondary school teaching in the spring of 2002. Finally, I had time to start writing, work on my Masters in English Composition to further my own education, and continue to travel abroad. In 2004, I started teaching English at Bradley University. Thrilled to be back in education, I now am started on my seventh year at Bradley and have thirteen novels behind me. The fantasy adventure series with J.C. van Winkler as a heroine -- Starlight Laser Express, Ghost of a Chance, A Glimpse of the Netherworld, Destination Disaster, The Bells of Europe, The Patchwork Quilt, A Magical Christmas -- has been popular with young people. In addition, my other novels, Murder Times Three and Mission to Murder were released and are the first of several murder mysteries to be published.
My goal as an educator is to introduce my books to the school districts so that they may incorporate them into their curriculum. Numerous elementary schools and middle schools in the Midwest are using the novel in their classrooms now, and Bradley University in Peoria, IL, has put it into their syllabus for Young Adult Literature.
I am available for special visits, speaking engagements, or workshops for school districts who have introduced their students to Starlight Laser Express, Ghost of a Chance, Glimpse of the Netherworld, Destination Disaster, The Bells of Europe, The Patchwork Quilt, A Magical Christmas. In addition, I would love to hear from the young people reading my novels.
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com