About Me

Jane Eagland

Photo by Jonathan Bean

A late starter in everything, it’s taken me a long time to arrive at this point, to think, Yes, it seems I am a writer!

How did I begin? When I was a child Dad used to put me to bed – he would tell me a story and sing ‘Go to sleep, my baby’. One of my earliest memories is waiting till he’d gone downstairs and then crouching on the end of my bed and reading my Big Noddy Book by the light of the landing lamp. Naughty, bad for my posture and my eyes, but I didn’t care.

Photo of young Jane reading

I like reading!

So I’ve always been a reader but unlike a lot of writers I didn’t start scribbling away at an early age. I enjoyed writing stories at school and I did have one early success. Aged ten, I won the school poetry prize for a poem entitled The Rivulet, inspired by my Grade One piano piece of the same name!

As a teenager I poured out anguished, awful private poems but in those days it never occurred to me to be A Writer. Writers, especially the ones I studied at university, like T.S Eliot and James Joyce, seemed to me to be very grand and know a lot. Apart from Virginia Woolf, they all seemed to be men, and most of them were dead.

After mulling over various career options – long-distance lorry driver, nun, percussion player – I became an English teacher.

Cover of Second Best

For many years I enjoyed teaching but every now and then I’d find myself writing something. This feeling – that I wanted to write – was like a niggle, an itch that grew stronger over the years and eventually, the year I turned fifty, I thought, ‘If I don’t have a go now, it will be too late.’ So I left my job and did an MA in Creative Writing which was the start of taking writing seriously.

When I’m writing, I think I’m trying to recreate that experience I had as a child reading – of being lost, engrossed, in the world of the story.

My first book was a story for young children called Second Best which in 2005 was published by the Andersen Press as a picture book with wonderful illustrations by Terry Milne. Sadly it’s out of print now but still available in libraries.

Soon after that I began writing historical novels for older readers, which I’m continuing to do, with great pleasure, though I also have ideas for different types of novels fizzing in my head. My only regret is that I didn’t start sooner – but I hope there are many years and many stories yet to come.