Janie lives outside of Portland, Maine and works as a publishing consult to direct marketers. She is originally from Alexandria, Virginia and has a Bachelor’s degree in History from the University of Virginia. She sings and acts with several theater companies in the Portland area, and has a published one act play through Pioneer Drama, called The Mysterious Case of the Missing Ring. She is married and has two daughters.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Alexandria, VA, the descendant to Irish immigrants like many here in the US. My family never talked about the past much which is part of what got me researching what life was like for Irish immigrants in the US in the famine years - and where we came from in Ireland. My first "on the ground" research in Ireland, I went to Waterford which was our county, but didn't feel a deep connect there. Once I got to Dingle, I knew I was home and had found the location for Gunny Malone.
Describe your desk
I have two desks - one where I do my busy work, and another where I write. When I'm writing, I don't want to see a lot of clutter. I like open space with a few rocks on deck :)
Gunny Malone had no more chance of finding happiness than any other poor Irish girl raised on the west coast of Ireland in the early 1800s. She finds love, but tragedy soon follows and she is left to rebuild her life on the remote Blasket Islands. When famine strikes, Gunny’s world is once again tipped toward disaster. Only in the end does she find the truth that may finally set her free.