Jane is an award-winning author of short fiction. She loves to show the darkness that lurks behind the facade of sweet domesticity and respectability. Recently she is experimenting with writing for young adults. Her story, “There Be Dragons”, was a finalist for the Crime Writers of Canada Award of Excellence for Short Stories.
Mesdames: How do your readers see you when they meet you today?
Jane: They’ll find a rumpled, COVID-haired, brain-fogged lady who looks a little bit like a benevolent granny and a little bit like Lear on the Heath!
Mesdames: You’ve had a fascinating life from training as a ballerina to meeting notorious Idi Amin. What more secrets can you tell us?
Jane: I once did an impromptu Hula dance for the Mayor of Atlantic City at a large reception. They gave me the Key to Atlantic City! I was four at the time so I wonder if the Key is still good. Perhaps it will get me a free coffee!
Mesdames: You have to use this dance in your next story! Have you thought about writing for children?
Jane: I do want to include a young child in the story that is starting to form in my mind. The Mesdames of Mayhem anthologies have given me the opportunity to be free, to try writing from different points of view. My story, “There Be Dragons”, in 13 Claws, let me explore a magical world through the eyes of children.
Mesdames: And “There Be Dragons” was a finalist for the Crime Writers of Canada Award for Best Short Story. This could be the start of your career as a children’s writer!
Jane: I do love the sense of carefree spontaneity in children. Where do we lose that freedom of spirit? That bravery? But I’m finding that I can have a more enjoyable adolescence in my later years. This time I’m living it with money and a car!
Mesdames: Jane is one of the stars of the CBC documentary, The Mesdames of Mayhem, directed by award-winning director, Cat Mills. (Also a Mme!) View on GEM here to learn more about Jane’s fascinating life. CBC Gem – The Mesdames of Mayhem – The Mesdames of Mayhem