Jan Pierce

Why I Started Writing:

I was an avid reader as a child. Words like secret, treasure, and mystery sent chills up my spine. I was the kid reading under the covers with a flashlight after lights out. I was a shy child, very quiet, but came alive inside when I identified with the bold, adventurous characters in stories. 

Though I loved to read, I didn’t try to write my own stories. I did, however, find that I loved seeing my ideas take shape as I wrote essays in school. Even today, I organize my thoughts and sometimes my emotions when I write lists or webs of ideas. I process my life with the written word. 

When I retired from a long career in education, I happened to attend a women’s workshop about the power of story. One of the attendees suggested I join Oregon Christian Writers and when I attended the first conference I knew I’d found “my people.” 

I soaked in knowledge about writing. I read books, took classes and seminars, joined critique groups, and wrote my heart out. God knew how impatient I am, and enabled me to publish my very first efforts at writing devotionals in a non-paying market. I’ll always be grateful to the kind editor who put my words into print. 

I wrote devotionals and devotional articles for several years, then added content for Askgranny.com, a grandparenting website, and articles from my education background for regional parenting magazines.  

I struggled at first with saying I was a writer. It seemed too presumptuous. But when the rejections began to come for my first novel, I realized I could proudly join the ranks of bona fide writers.

Authors Who Have Influenced Me:

As a child, I loved Frances Hodgson Burnett’s The Secret Garden. I still remember scenes from the story: Mary carefully pulling weeds from around tangled rose bushes, the children eating  roasted potatoes around a fire. I read all the Nancy Drew Mysteries and wished I were old enough to drive a flashy, little coupe.  

As an adult reader, I often choose mysteries written in series. I read them not to solve the mystery, but to track the character development over time. I’ve loved Sue Grafton’s Kinsey Milhone, Louise Penny’s Inspector Gamache, Elizabeth George’s Lynley and Havers, and gobbled up every mystery Dorothy Sayers wrote. I absolutely loved Elizabeth Peters’ Amelia Peabody series set in 1920s Egypt. Her sharp wit and humor shine. 

I loved Francine Rivers’ Mark of the Lion Series in biblical fiction and have also been influenced by C.S. Lewis’s nonfiction books. In children’s literature, I have loved Beverly Cleary’s wonderful stories written out of her great empathy for children. I honor A.A. Milne and E.B. White for their stories of innate goodness. 

Books I Have Written:

I self-published two books: Homegrown Readers and Homegrown Family Fun. The first is meant for parents helping their children learn to read, and the second is filled with ideas for families to unplug and enjoy quality family time together. 

I have an unpublished novel, Prema’s Journey, set in 1800s India. It tells the story of a young Hindu girl who becomes a Christian and then a Bible Woman. The Bible Women were local women who helped missionaries spread the Gospel. 

What I'm Working On Now:

I’ve taken Edna and Gertie, two women of a certain age, on three adventures thus far, releasing as The Exploits of Edna & Gertie from Elk Lake in 2022. I’m currently working on their fourth story. I’m also working on a memoir based on my life from age three to twelve entitled 4624 Montana Avenue. I continue to write articles for Askgranny.com and for regional parenting magazines on topics related to education, parenting and family life. 

Edna & Gertie

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