Jane V. Blanchard

Biography

Jane V. Blanchard is the author of the award-winning "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.

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.”

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 late-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, Jane enjoys gardening, cooking, reading, and spending time with friends and family.

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

Camino 4-Book Box Set: See, Feel, Prep, and Enjoy the Camino (Woman On Her Way 6)
Price: $8.99 USD. Words: 120,800. Language: English. Published: December 10, 2016. Categories: Nonfiction » Travel » Hikes & walks, Nonfiction » Travel » Specialties & interests
This four-book box set is the ultimate Camino collection: Take a peek at the remarkable Camino. Find the meaning of the journey. Learn how to prep for the Camino and how to get the most out of The Way. Read about modern-day pilgrims. Get all four "Woman on Her Way" Camino books for one great price!
A Peek at the Remarkable Camino de Santiago: A Photo Journey
Series: Woman on Her Way. Price: Free! Words: 2,390. Language: English. Published: August 12, 2016. Categories: Nonfiction » Travel » Hikes & walks, Nonfiction » Travel » By region
See how remarkable the Camino de Santiago is with this FREE photo journey.
Camino Quotes and Poems: The Meaning of the Journey
Series: Woman on Her Way. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 2,290. Language: English. Published: August 5, 2016. Categories: Nonfiction » Travel » Specialties & interests, Nonfiction » Travel » Specialties & interests
Feel what it is like to be on the Camino and what the journey means via poetry and illustrated quotes.
Camino Tips: How to Get the Most Out of "The Way"
Series: Woman on Her Way. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 33,860. Language: English. Published: April 10, 2016. Categories: Nonfiction » Travel » Hikes & walks, Nonfiction » Travel » Travel - Reference
Seventy incredibly practical tips to help you prepare, enjoy, and get the most out of "The Way. " This must-have ebook is chock-full of references and links to valuable information.
Hadrian's Wall Path: Walking into History
Series: Woman on Her Way. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 31,200. Language: English. Published: March 19, 2015. Categories: Nonfiction » Travel » Hikes & walks, Nonfiction » Sports & outdoor recreation » Backpacking
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
Series: Woman on Her Way. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 80,460. Language: English. Published: July 3, 2012. Categories: 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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Jane V. Blanchard's favorite authors on Smashwords


Smashwords book reviews by Jane V. Blanchard

  • The Flame and the Arrow on Sep. 06, 2016

    If you like paranormal romance mixed with adventure, erotism, a variety of supernatural creatures, and a tale of epic proportions, then I highly recommend The Flame and the Arrow by Emigh Cannada. Ms. Cannada has a talent for fleshing out the main characters and creating realistic dialogue. I, in particular, enjoyed visiting this magical world, though I thought the descriptions and details slowed down the pace too much. When the portal to this realm closes and Annika Brisby becomes trapped in a parallel universe to earth, wood nymphs take her to the elves in hopes of finding a way back. There, she encounters mysteries about herself and learns a bit about a prophecy that includes her and members of the elven family. I think you will enjoy how it all works out. The Flame and the Arrow won't be the only book in the Annika Brisby series that I read. I'm looking forward to finding out what happens next to Annika and Talvi.
  • Shadow Stalker Part 1 (Episodes 1 - 6) on Dec. 18, 2016

    I love, love, love this story! The characters and dialog are believable. The action is swift. The story flows unimpededly between Auren's first-person POV and that of other characters. The storyline is episodic and this book contains the first six episodes. Shadow Stalker is so compelling that after finishing the book, I immediately bought the sequel. If you like fantasy or paranormal thrillers, I highly recommend Shadow Stalker by Renee Scattergood. (The author assures me that the book is being revised to correct spelling and grammar. Once that is completed, I will revise my rating to 5 stars.)
  • Shadow Stalker Part 2 (Episodes 7 - 12) on Dec. 18, 2016

    If you like the first book, Shadow Stalker Part 2 will not disappoint. Ms. Scattergood's writing is so good that you feel Auren's pain, mental and physical, as she struggles to accept her fate as the Delohi-saqu, the leader of the Shadow Stalkers. As a result of preparing to lead her people, Auren must learn to follow her instincts and not her emotions or endure strict punishment by Kado, her mentor and step-father. When she tries to rescue her best friend, Shai, Auren is captured and "cleansed" by Makari, the son of the enemy leader. A fated romance between the two complicates the storyline adding a new depth to Auren's emotional development. There are a lot of twists that keep the story moving quickly and Auren's emotional rollercoaster takes the reader on a thrilling ride. Once again, I couldn't wait for the sequel, which I preordered.
  • Journey to Aviad on Dec. 27, 2016

    I was quickly drawn into Journey to Aviad (Wind Rider Chronicles Book 1). Even though the book is written in the third person, the author skillfully lets the reader into the mind of the main characters, Elowyn and her sister Morganne. Elowyn is a free spirit who loves to spend her time in the forest near Tyroc and ride the wind on the branches of the tallest trees. But something unnatural is happening in Tyroc and the girls flee putting their faith in Aviad, the Creator. Morganne uses a book given to her by her monk tutor to read about the Prophets and the rise of Alazoth. Though there are religious overtones, this book is not preachy. It is a tale of adventure with strong female protagonists who try to find their way to Minhaven and struggle against the rising evil. Both girls feel a calling from Aviad but do not understand what His purpose is for them. The pace is steady drawing the reader into the story with many characters, subplots, and underlying themes. I so enjoyed the book, that I quickly purchase the sequel, wanting to know what happens next to the young girls. I highly recommend Journey to Aviad to those who enjoy allegorical tales set in medieval times.
  • Ancient Voices: Into the Depths on Dec. 27, 2016

    The second book in the Wind Rider Chronicles, Ancient Voices: Into the Depths by Allison D. Reid, is a captivating as the first book. Whereas in the first book we learned more about Elowyn, in this sequel we learn more about Morganne as both young girls continue to find their path and purpose in life. The tale takes place in Minhaven from one Winter Festival to the next. In the course of that year, Morgan has the opportunity to read and interpret the sacred texts while Elowyn tries to fit in with the community. Both learn self-protection; Morgan with a sword and Elowyn with the bow. The hardest lessons are to accept Aviad calling especially without knowing exactly what that calling is. I am looking forward to the next sequel in hopes that the calling is revealed and to see how the girls carry it out.