Journalist – Academic – Author
THIS IS ME: I grew up in Cambridgeshire. After some years in London (Hammersmith, Ealing, Acton, Twickenham) I now live in Hertfordshire. I have a doctorate in Creative and Critical Writing from the University of East Anglia.
THIS IS WHAT I DO: I have worked as a reporter and feature writer, mainly in the regional press, and I am voice-trained for radio work as well. Print journalism remains an abiding passion, but I have now added fiction to my portfolio – see MY BOOK, below.
I have taught journalism in several universities in and around London, and in Surrey and Hertfordshire. I have published academic papers on journalism, and contributed to a book about it.
There was a time when I was attracted to the catering industry and helped manage Julie’s Bar in Holland Park. Lately, I’ve been spending time at Christmas helping out at the west London ‘Crisis at Christmas’ venue, and I must say I love being back in the kitchen.
THIS IS WHAT MOVES ME:
Above all, I treasure my family.
I like travelling (Japan, Greenland, Chile, the Middle East, Iceland, Turkey, Mongolia, Siberia, China, in recent years ). Walking is another favourite activity (the end of the Chilterns near where I live is great for every day; Hadrian’s Wall, the Peak District and the Camino were were breathtaking).
Needless to add, I read all the time (a few favourites right now: WG Sebald, Ann Michaels, Robert McFarlane, Geoff Dyer … ).
I am a recent convert to Catholicism and a member of the Lay Community of St Benedict.
I volunteer at a project for homeless people.
Now read about my book, ‘Over Here’ …
‘OVER HERE’, a novel by Jane Taylor published by Thunderpoint Publishing Ltd.
‘A family tale told with the zest of Jane Austen … With sensitive fingers, Taylor probes her creations’ pain, feeling their doubts, impulses and reasonings. Delicately, she traces their rebellion from the stultifying past and their explorations of new settings and relationships.’ Catholic Herald 15 Jan 2015
MY BOOK: ‘Over Here’ is published by Thunderpoint Publishing Ltd. It opens on a shabby Liverpool dockside in mid-December, 1921, where a lone nine-year-old boy sits shivering in the rubble. Will anyone believe him if he says he has just arrived from Canada – alone? The novel is set in the troubled first half of the 20th century during the era of the great passenger liners.
The destabilising effects of estrangement and displacement – of what it means to be the outsider, the stranger, the one left behind following the devastation of two world wars – are central themes affecting several members of one family, each of whom must respond to the call of ‘over here’ as it becomes either a cry from afar, a beckoning, or a refuge. Coursing through each of their journeys as they set out to re-define what ‘homeland’ means is the Atlantic ocean, dividing two continents. Who will work out how best to answer that call, particularly in the light of one fateful decision, too hastily taken, affecting them all indelibly down the years?
Will it be the vulnerable young Canadian medic preparing for Ypres in Folkestone, the ambitious one-time servant from ‘Laundry town’ Acton in its heyday, or the city girl who arrives in England in the late 1940s, unprepared for life in a remote East Anglian village? And what of that lost boy … ?
RAVE REVIEWS ON AMAZON:
‘I don’t know how she does it … This is first class writing … Nuanced, assured, filled with dramatic irony, this is a gorgeous, sensitive, engaging swtory told with wit and poetry. Bravo!’
‘Overall a superbly assured debut. We expect to be hearing more of Ms Taylor!’
‘Jane Taylor has the rare talent of writing about the characters as though she is each of them, and the courage to cast aside the reader’s natural expectation of events as they unfold, so as to tell the story as she really believes it should be told.’
‘My measure of a good book is that when I finish it I feel a certain sense of loss as it will no longer be part of my daily life. I definitely felt that with this book and highly recommend it.’
‘I love the way Jane Taylor explores and develops her different characters so that they really get under your skin, whether you actually like them or not. She also vividly describes places and situations, gradually drawing you further into the different strands of a story that weaves through the years, until you finally discover the outcome you lhave been waiting for.’