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

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: $2.99 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: $4.99 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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Smashwords book reviews by Jane V. Blanchard

  • The Orlov Diamond (Lloyd & Ladbrook #1) on April 18, 2016

    In The Orlov Diamond by Benjamin Kuttner, two treasure hunters from the Discovery and Exploration Club, Jonathan Lloyd and Simon Ladbrook, are hired to retrieve the Orlov diamond that was recently stolen from the Kremlin. Yuliya Yusupova, the bodyguard and translator for one of the oligarchy, is their interpreter. Together they follow clues, race others who are searching the diamond, and fight for their lives. The story is entertaining and I enjoyed Yuliya’s character and the bantering between her and Lloyd. There are a few surprises that make the story exciting. This is a good, quick read. Benjamin Kuttner created a great team for D&E, I look forward to reading about their next adventures.
  • 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.