Jane V. Blanchard

Biography

Jane V. Blanchard is the author of the "Woman on Her Way" series. Since retiring in 2011, she has visited sixteen countries by foot and by bicycle, and written two books about her wanderings.

In her first book, Women of the Way: Embracing the Camino, Jane mingles her personal story with conversations she had with modern-day female pilgrims who also trekked the Camino. In Hadrian's Wall Path: Walking into History, Jane shares her discoveries along the 84-mile path across northern England.

Jane was born in Hartford, Connecticut. Upon graduation from college, she worked as a travel guide in Madrid, Spain, and cried at her first bullfight. In 1975, she and her husband Dennis lived in a tent in Winchendon, Massachusetts, for six months (until December) while they built a log cabin. After two years of living off-the-grid, they lived a self-sufficient lifestyle on a five-acre “gentleman's” farm.

Before moving to Sarasota, Florida, she lived in Hampstead, New Hampshire for twenty-four years, where she raised two children, was a soccer and Odyssey of the Mind coach, and received the New Hampshire Excellence in Education Volunteer of the Year Award in 1996. She enjoyed hiking and biking, and climbed twenty of the forty 4,000-foot mountains in New England.
In her fifties, Jane started mountain biking and racing. In 2002, she placed second in the Eastern Fat Tire Association Senior Division. “Even though I was not the fastest competitor, I did attend and complete the majority of that year's races. Just like with the turtle and the hare, slow and consistent wins over fast but sporadic.”

In Sarasota, Jane became involve with several national and local organizations bent on helping women, and hosted a weekly radio show, Woman Matters, for two-and-a-half years.

When she married in 1974, her husband Dennis and she joked about creating a lifetime of memories to chat about when sitting in their rockers in old age. Now in her mid 60s, Jane is still creating memories, experiencing life as fully as possible, and looking forward to a long future. “I have to live long enough to write about all my adventures,” she says.

In addition to having adventures, writing and publishing, Jane enjoys gardening, cooking, reading, and spending time with friends and family.

Jane promotes writing as a business and blogs to help indie authors become successful. She started her writer's blog, My Musings in 2011 to provide strategies and support for indie authors and to chronicle her journey into indie authoring. As with any venture, some paths were more difficult than others. Sometimes she got lost and had to restart. Sometimes she went in circles. As she navigated her way into writing and indie publication, Jane realized that to be successful she had to treat her writing career as a business and started applying the skills learned in getting her MBA. Since that realization, Jane promotes “authorpreneurship” (being an author-entrepreneur).

Smashwords Interview

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in a very parochial French-Canadian working class neighborhood in Hartford, Connecticut. Most factories closed for vacation the first two weeks of August; during this shutdown my parents would take us to Lewiston, Maine to visit my grandparents and take day trips to ponds and sights of interest. As a result, I developed a wanderlust, always happiest when exploring.

Since I did not speak English until I went to kindergarten, I developed an ease for learning languages and for communicating with others who did not speak my language. Years later, this ability proved invaluable as I traveled. Going to new places is so much more fun when I can speak with the locals, learn their customs, and, if lucky, share meals with them. To me, this human contact is the best part of traveling.

In my book "Women of the Way: Embracing the Camino," I incorporate the conversations I had in various languages with women from around the world with my adventures on the Camino de Santiago.
When did you first start writing?
As a child, I would write "plays," which the neighborhood kids would put on for the parents. In my junior year in high school, my English teacher recognized my ability for writing and suggested that I develop my writing skills. At the time, becoming a writer was not a personal goal. In retrospect, I wish I had heeded her advice.

Writing has always been part of something I do. Newsletters, radio programs, letters to the editor, work instructions, and technical publications preceded my first book.
Read more of this interview.

Where to find Jane V. Blanchard online


Where to buy in print


Books

Hadrian's Wall Path: Walking into History
By
Series: Woman on Her Way. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 31,150. Language: English. Published: March 19, 2015. Category: Nonfiction » Travel » Hikes & walks
In Hadrian's Wall Path: Walking into History you can sense the presence of the ancient Romans and feel what it was like to live on Rome's most northern frontier. Vivid descriptions and 130+ photographs and illustrations of northern England and the archaeological remains depict life on The Wall—now and then.
Women of the Way: Embracing the Camino
By
Series: Woman on Her Way. Price: $4.95 USD. Words: 80,210. Language: English. Published: July 3, 2012. Category: Nonfiction » Travel » Hikes & walks
(5.00)
Women of the Way: Embracing the Camino is a story of hiking the Camino de Santiago. Come along with the author on this incredible 500 mile journey across northern Spain. Meet women from different nations. Discover why they chose to undertake this arduous adventure, what they learned, and why they would do it again.

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