Jane K. Cleland was born in Boston and reared in Newton, Massachusetts, graduating from Newton High School. She then attended the University of Denver, graduating with a B.A. in English and Theatre. She obtained an M.B.A in Marketing and Management from Babson College and an M.F.A. in Playwriting and Speechwriting from Western Connecticut State University.
Jane is the author of the Josie Prescott Antiques Mystery series, which includes eleven novels published. The first Josie Prescott book was an Independent Mystery Booksellers Association bestseller and nominated for the Agatha Award, Macavity, and David Awards for Best First Novel.
Her non-fiction publications include “Mastering Suspense, Structure & Plot,” which is the winner 2017 Agatha Award: Best Nonfiction.
Bernadette Sukley had an opportunity to speak with Jane about her writing and helpful hints to other authors.
Bernadette: What prompted you to start writing? An inciting event? A teacher? Some inner calling?
Jane: My mother was a writer, so I grew up thinking that’s what women do. And then there was Nancy Drew. The first time I read one, I knew I wanted to write that kind of book.
Bernadette: Question: A favorite author(s)? Why?
Jane: Rex Stout’s Nero Wolfe mysteries, Robert B. Parker’s Spenser mysteries, Irwin Shaw’s NIghtwork… I could go on and on.
Rex Stout: He created a world where honor and decency count above all. And the books are funny and charming and a love poem to New York. (Mr. Stout wrote from 1934 to 1975. The stories from the 40s, ‘50s, and 60s are my favorites.) I’m an active member of the Wolfe Pack, the literary society that celebrates all things Nero Wolfe. http://www.nerowolfe.org
Robert B. Parker: He created a world where honor and decency count above all. (Do you notice a theme?) Early Autumn is, in my view, a literary masterpiece.
Irwin Shaw’s Nightwork is also a literary masterpiece. It’s a story of redemption, of the incredible power of second chances.