Author of Young Adult Fantasy Novels, Creative Non-Fiction Books, and Murder Mysteries and a true story of her childhood........ JAN FRAZIER

Jan gets first-place National Award in Chicago at NFPW Conference for Destination Disaster Aug 2010

Kye, Jace, and Oma

My grandsons, Jace and Kye, along with Jessa.

Jan in the classroom 2010

Accepting award at the IWPA for "I Visited Europe and Survived"

Easter, 2009, Kye always has a smile!

Easter, 2009, Jace shows his missing teeth!!

Jace and Kye, summer of 2008 -- GO CUBS

Christy Loy's Creative Writing class at Prairie Central High School, Fairbury, IL

Jan Frazier at Lincoln Prairie Elementary, Algonquin, IL, talking with fourth-grader Kenna Skepnek.

BOOKSIGNING AT BARNES AND NOBLE, SPRING HILL MALL, WEST DUNDEE, IL., SPRING, 2008. Photo is of Jan Frazier and Katie Keller of Indian Prarie Elementary School. Photo taken by Chris LaPelusa, CNG, Weekly Journals, Dundee, IL.


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.

Me (right) -- at age 5 -- "reading" to my cousin.

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!

Me (left) and my best friend, Chris, practicing to be "cowboys," as opposed to cowgirls.

Jace and Pop Pop


I've always felt that travel is the Number One means of education -- it is first-hand knowledge not obtained within the classroom walls of a school.

For many years, I have had the privilege of taking high school and college students abroad to discover Europe. Each time I have gone, I re-discovered Europe through the eyes of my students, who were seeing foreign lands for a first time. What an adventure!

Seeing the grandeur of the changing of the guard in London, surveying the incredibly ancient Colosseum in Rome, seeing the splendor of an Alpine peak, viewing the Eiffel Tower aglow in the night sky in Paris, going on the Sound of Music tour through the magnificent Alpine mountains of Salzburg, taking a memorable, romantic gondola ride in Venice, seeing the shimmer of "Beautiful, Beautiful Copenhagen" at night, experiencing the incredibly blue Mediterranean of the Greek islands, and basking on the gorgeous French Riviera beaches were just a few of the students' most memorable, noteworthy experiences in Europe. All of the students remember relaxing at a good ole American meal at the Hard Rock Cafe in London, Paris, Athens, or Rome and having real ice in their cokes.

Returning to the States after two weeks abroad, the young adults all agreed that they were not only glad to be home, but also that they had received an education not found within the walls of the classroom.

Beautiful Hummersen, Germany, in Lipperland where my great grandfather Christian Pollmann was raised

Falkenhagen Church near Hummersen, Germany, where my great grandfather was baptized and confirmed.

In Schwalenburg, near Hummersen, my great grandfather -- at the age of 24 -- walked to get his papers to come to America. It was 1852.


Visit the book trailer of J.C. van Winkler. See her in action!! http:/​/​​watch?V=O7h6Ia3spb8

Signing books at Printers Row in Chicago....largest Midwest book festival.

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. is a mystery book, published in 2009. In addition to these, I have two creative non-fiction books, I Visited Europe and Survived and Transatlantic Journey 1852.

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 janfrazier47@​ or jfrazier@​

Book signing at BookExpo in Los Angeles in May, 2003.

Eichleiter Family in Hummersen, Germany
My cousins, the Eichleiters from Hummersen, Germany, during the summer of 2006. I experienced an awesome visit to Lipperland to visit these new-found relatives who will come for a Pollmann Reunion in America in May, 2007. Left to right...Katharina, Jan, Felix, Edith, Peter, and Ruben Eichleiter

The Eichleiters come to America from Hummersen, Germany, for the first Pollman family reunion.

The Gunther and Joachim Dully family in Wilgartswiesen, Germany. I'm related through my great-grandmother. Picture taken summer, 2008.

Most recently, I have been teaching English 300 in London during the J-Term (January Interm) with Bradley University. What an incredible experience this has been. It's a travel writing course, and the students have two essays and twelve travel journals to write along with many projects and readings. It is an incredible experience for not only the students but also for me. Stonehenge is just one of the many, many places that we have visited.

London J-Term class of 2012 on the Thames River

I am obsessed with Michelangelo's magnificent David as seen in Florence, Italy

The incredibly beautiful Greek islands

Historic Stonehenge from B.C., located in England

The golden habor of Copenhagen

Evening in the Greek islands...spectacular

The beautiful, picturesque L'Alsace area of France

Changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace.

Windmill and tulip field in Holland

A unique view of the Eiffel Tower.

Amazing Amsterdam at Night

The majestic white Alpine peaks amidst the clouds.

Carpet of tulips covering the fields of Holland


Fantasy for Young Adults
J.C. van Winkler along with Smitty -- a ghost -- enter a time-warp and travel throughout Europe, visiting some of the most fantastic cities abroad. By helping people in the past, present, and future, Smitty -- a Civil War soldier, who was killed unexpectedly -- finally finds peace with his soul.
Use time-warp travel to return to the Holocaust of WWII, and watch J.C. van Winkler help the Jews hide from the devastation of the Nazi Regime.
Enter the fantasy, time-warp world as J.C. van Winkler learns to fight evil in the imaginary Underworld.
Two young adults go abroad and find themselves intertwined in three murders.