NEW Book — Children's Stories from The Village Shepherd, Vol. III
Novel — Babes and Sucklings
NEW Novel — Vengeance Lies In Wait
Children's Stories from The Village Shepherd,
Vol. II
Novel — Heaven Spent
Book — Children's Stories from
The Village Shepherd
Village Shepherd

Janice's Bio

Born in Rugby, Warwickshire, youngest child of two. My brother Chris is 19 months older than me and emigrated to America in 1983. He now lives with his family in Maryland.

Our father was in the printing trade and when I was 18 months old, landed a job with Her Majesty's Stationary Office in London. So our family moved to South London where we remained throughout my school days.

I was educated at Ingram Infants School (aged 4-6) and Kensington Avenue Junior School (aged 7-10), both state schools. At age 10, I won a scholarship to a Girls' Public School (in the UK, 'Public' schools are actually fee-paying, private schools) Croydon High School for Girls, where I remained until age 17. Didn't do very well at school. Very quickly discovered that I was socially inferior to all the fee-payers (only 10% were scholarship places) and assumed that I was therefore inferior in every way, so never worked. It's easier to fail when you haven't made any effort. But when I was in the 4th form (age around 14) I came top in an English exam and suddenly discovered to my surprise (and everyone else's) that I could write. So I began to work on the subjects which required writing skills and managed to succeed in them.

Passed the necessary GCE exams and went to King's College Hospital in London to train as a physiotherapist.

After a couple of years working as a physio, discovered I missed all the study, so started to train once more, this time as a teacher of Physiotherapy. Met Ian, who was to become my husband, on the training course. We married at the end of the course and both started teaching physio at The London Hospital in Whitechapel.

A year later our first child, Fiona was born.

When Fiona was two we bought a private physiotherapy practice in Fakenham, North Norfolk (it was always a dream of Ian's to have his own practice) and moved there on the day our son, Alexander was born. Seven years later our youngest daughter, Rebecca, was born.

In my mid-thirties I experienced a call to ordained ministry, so it was back to training college, this time studying theology and ministry skills. I was ordained priest in 1994 with the first wave of women priests, in Norwich Cathedral.

In 1995 moved from Fakenham to be curate in a large city centre parish in Norwich and from there, moved to South Norfolk in 1999 as Rector of a rural benefice of six parishes. I was installed as Rural Dean in 2003, resigning from that post in 2006 in order to study for an MA in Pastoral Theology with the Cambridge Theological Foundation. Completed the MA in 2008. Also in 2008, I was appointed Honorary Canon of Norwich Cathedral.

As far as writing goes:
In the early days of our marriage had a short story published in 'Writers of East Anglia', the proceeds from which bought us two armchairs! Then won a local radio short story competition. Started to write 'Pause for Thought' a two-minute religious slot on local radio, which I continued writing until the programme was ditched in 2000. Started writing for Redemptorist Publications in the 90s and continue to write for them today.

Started putting my sermons online when the UK adopted the Revised Common Lectionary, bringing us into line with the rest of the world. And at about the same time began to write stories for children based on the RCL.

Have now had my first novel published. Called 'Heaven Spent', it's about the ups and downs of church life in rural Norfolk villages. It features Henry, a traditional, old-fashioned priest who has a young, female curate (Polly) foisted upon him. They find it hard to cope with each other and the story follows their struggles.

The sequel, 'Babes and Sucklings', follows Polly nearly four years after 'Heaven Spent'. Still in the same villages, she now has to cope with a new, and very odd, rector. When a girl disappears on her way home from school, the whole community is in turmoil. What has happened to the girl, and who is involved?

The third novel in the series, 'Vengeance Lies In Wait' has Polly as rector in her own right in a new set of parishes. This is a good, old-fashioned murder/mystery, albeit mild in character, in which Polly discovers a body already hidden in the grave as she conducts the funeral service of one of her parishioners. Who put the body there, and why?

I'm presently working on the fourth Polly Hewitt novel, with the working title of 'Where Moth And Rust Destroy'. Again this is a murder/mystery set in the same group of parishes near Norwich. This should be published some time in 2013.

I have also recently published a collection of short stories for adults, 'Poisoned By Yew', the title of one of the stories. If you fancy a quick read on a train journey, or a story a night, this easy-reading volume is for you.