At a time when most people my age are looking forward to the prospect of winding down, I came up with the bright idea of walking away from the last shred of security and income I had in order to spend 90+ hours a week trying to 'make it' as some sort of a writer.
This master stroke didn't exactly go to plan, so to keep the wolf from the door I now spend a couple of mornings ironing for people, and the rest of the time you'll mostly find me hunched over my Mac tapping away in the hope of one day being able to afford to put the central heating on!
My (Self-published) debut novel "Just Good Friends?" is for sale on Amazon/Kindle, but much of my time over the last three years has been spent writing my weekly 'Soapy Corner' blogs, which take a sideways look at the best (and the worst!) of the week's events in Soapland.
I was proud to have come 3rd in the Annual Daz 'Soap Blogger of the Year' 2011 Awards, which (as I'd only been Soap blogging for six months at that time) was a big thrill.
They haven't had one since, unfortunately – so I haven't had the opportunity to try and 'hit the top spot', but I DO now write a regular weekly post for YahooTV and have also written for the prestigious Digital Journal, the official Coronation Street Blog team, Corrie Countdown and various other bits and pieces along the way – as well as being a part of the Mumsnet bloggers panel.
I've attended several Press Events for Emmerdale and Coronation Street and interviewed a number of the cast and production staff
They even let me loose on the radio, where I do a regular half-hour Thursday 'Jane's Soapy Spot' on Swindon 105.5 FM, plus a live weekly internet Soap magazine show for Tellyspy @tellyspy (currently off-air as at 8th January 2014, but you can download the PODCASTS app on iPhone, iPod or iPad by keying in 'Telly Spy').
My riches to rags story:
The eldest child of two professional Jazz musicians; I lived most of my early life in a small Town near Bath before we moved to Swindon in 1971. I'd won First Prize in a National Short Story competition when I was 13 and had wanted to become a journalist, but my parents had other ideas so I went off instead to study music in Leeds – where I spent quite a bit of time reviewing books and drama productions for local student magazines when I really should have been practising my flute!
After finally admitting that I really didn't want to become a musician I ended up embarking down a rather different career path: Retail Management, which took me around the country and led to a move into Training; work I really enjoyed, as developing/producing training manuals and delivering training courses encompassed both my loves of public speaking, writing and comedy.
My other passion was food and wine. After spotting a big gap in the market my partner and I were about to turn our backs on our good, well-paid careers and sell our big detached house in order to make a move into Catering, but a sudden and unexpected change of circumstances unfortunately put paid to that. After a very difficult few years on my own, things were finally starting to pick up a bit when another cruel twist of fate once again stopped me in my tracks.
Life then took an unexpected turn when I was offered the opportunity to take on the role of Nanny/Housekeeper to a lovely couple and their gorgeous baby boy (and his two adorable little brothers who were to come along later). Being part of a busy, growing family was extremely hectic, fun, and provided me with some much-needed stability and security.
Writing had always been in the back of my mind though, and on the night of Friday 8th December 2006, I awoke with a start from a vivid dream which forced me up out of bed to grab a writing pad, and when I took a look at what I'd written the next morning I realised straight away that the garbled lines I'd scribbled down while half-asleep were – in fact – the exciting beginnings of a book.
Over the next few weeks the desire to write finally overwhelmed me. It broke my heart to leave my 'family' after nine happy years, but four months later I took a leap of faith and moved back to Wiltshire where I quickly wrote my debut novel “Just Good Friends?”
Since then, my life has – unsurprisingly – continued to not go to plan, but despite challenging circumstances I plough on doggedly with the dream/aim of being able to earn a proper living from my writing in some form. A radio play and several children’s stories are sat awaiting a final tweak, but the combination of trying to be a self-publicist, blogger and ironer (as well as trying to get a few hours sleep in now and again) all keep getting in the way!
In the rare moments when I'm not sitting at my desk (or sitting in a chair with a notepad in my hand watching Soaps), I'll be found either listening to Radio Comedy; watching TV Comedy, wandering round a Supermarket or eating pasta and drinking red wine – often more than one at once!
* 3rd place in the Daz 'Soap Blogger of the Year 2011' Awards
* Writing for DigitalJournal.com from March 2012
* 'Jane's Soapy Corner' 11.30-12.00 every Thursday on the Big Mid-Morning Show with Alastair Greener on Swindon 105.5 FM
* Co-presented the 'TGIF' show 4.00-5.00 every Friday with Paul Dawkins on Swindon 105.5 FM
* Occasional guest on the Girls About Town show, Wednesdays 11.00-12.00 on Swindon 105.5 FM
* Blogger on the 'Corrie Countdown' Website
* Other Radio appearances include: Rosie Wilby's 'Out in South London' show on Resonance FM, Radio 1Xtra, BBC Radio Leeds and BBC Wiltshire Sound.
* Read my interview with fellow writer Morgen Bailey (3/3/12) CLICK HERE
If you would like to engage me for my writing (or broadcasting) services, do please email me in the first instance via my Contact Page.