She was born on 1st of January in Thomasville, NC. During her childhood, she got the privilege of having the taste of both – city and farm life. She was recognized as a good writer during her school days by her teachers and parents when she wrote her first couple of poems and thus started the journey of her writing for school magazines and newspapers. She graduated in English as a major subject from Lenoir-Rhyne College in Hickory, NC. She did her Masters in Education from the University of North Carolina. Immediately after completing her Masters degree she got an offer for Jones Elementary School as a full-time Librarian.
During her 30 long years of the job at Jones Elementary School, Jane Tesh enjoyed two things very much – one, reading to children and two, the long teachers’ meetings providing her the opportunity to finish her chapters for her latest books. Jane is also fond of playing piano at the Andy Griffith Playhouse besides teaching aerobics and kickboxing. Her favorite pastime is with her one-eyed Chihuahua named Winkie.
Hello, Jane, a very warm and respectful welcome to you on my blog on behalf of your large count of readers and fans. Let us have a little interaction to get to know your ideas on certain aspects related to your work and life.
Your real name and pen name?
I write under my real name, Jane Tesh
Please share some of the best memories of your childhood
Every summer, a small carnival set up right across the street from my grandmother’s house in Thomasville, NC. My sister and I could walk over and ride the little Ferris wheel and roller coaster which were just the right size for children. There was also a beautiful merry-go-round with all different kinds of horses. We had names for all of them. After riding, we would sit on the porch and drink Cokes, and listen to the music and the excited screams from the older kids riding the bigger rides. One ride was called “The Bullet,” and I remember it was outlined in little white lights that looked like pearls. We never got up enough courage to ride it, though.
Also in Thomasville, there was a little train that went around the big public swimming pool. We could walk to the pool, swim for a while, and then ride the train. No one worried about children walking by themselves in those days.
Thomasville, home of Thomasville Furniture, is known as The City of the Big Chair because there is an enormous chair downtown. After the Christmas parade, Santa would climb up a ladder and sit in the big chair and wave to everyone.
About your education
I have a BA in English and a Masters in Education with a concentration in Library Science
What career did you plan during your education days
I didn’t plan on a career because I didn’t know what I wanted to be. I enjoyed English literature, so I decided to be an English major.
I finally realized I never knew what I was going to be because I already was what I wanted to be: a writer.
I sort of fell into library science by default, and my library job at an elementary school paid the bills while I tried to get published.
What is your biggest source of inspiration in life
Music, specifically upbeat, cheerful music like ragtime and traditional jazz. I also like marches. Somehow I can always hear a story in the music.
What hurts you most in this world
The death of my father
My biggest challenge was getting published. I sent manuscripts out for thirty years. Every now and then, I thought I’d found a publisher, but the company would go out of business, or decide not to take me on. I was determined not to give up, and, fortunately, found a publisher and got the contract for my first book two months after I retired. Good timing!
If you had to live a day of your life as one of the living or dead personality, who would it be and why?
As a child, I often wished to be a ballerina, but I was a tubby little girl whose feet turned in. I would love for one day to be a prima ballerina in a prestigious ballet company and perform, just to see what that is like.
I love fantasy, simply because there are no limits.
What is the purpose of your writing?
I have always written stories that I would like to read. If these stories entertain people or help them through grief, then that’s a wonderful extra.
Which of your work published so far?
I’ve had over thirty plays published by Plays Magazine, some poems in collections, two children’s musicals in collaboration with a songwriter, and six mystery novels with Poisoned Pen Press. These include The Madeline Maclin Mysteries: A Case of Imagination, A Hard Bargain, and A Little Learning, and the Grace Street Series: Stolen Hearts, Mixed Signals, and Now You See It.
Now You See It was just published, and the fourth Madeline Maclin Mystery, A Bad Reputation, will be out in March 2014.
What are your future plans?
There are ten more books in the Grace Street Series that I would love to see published.
What four top most things you take care of while writing a book?
The first and most important thing for me is to find the right name for each character. Once a character has been named, he or she really comes to life.
Second is the dialogue. I love writing dialogue. Usually, my characters start talking, and I just write down what they say. It’s a part of the creative process that always amazes me.
Third, I have some sort of plot in mind, although it doesn’t always turn out the way I planned.
The fourth is what my writing instructor called “texture,” the extra description that involves all the senses and adds depth and reality to the work.
Australia. Saving up for it.
Your origin of birth and other countries you have visited/ stayed.
I was born in Thomasville, NC. I’ve had the good fortune to visit England, Ireland, Scotland, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Netherlands, China, and Africa.
What best things you liked in these countries around the globe?
My favorite visits have been to countries in Africa, including Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Morocco, and Egypt. The best thing is meeting the people and realizing they are living their lives just as we are and the reports we get on the news are so exaggerated. Also, I loved seeing the animals in their natural habitat, the wildlife in Kenya and Tanzania, the mountain gorillas in Rwanda. I was at the pyramids on January 1, 2000, and have a photo of me standing between the sphinx’s toes. The temples and statues were amazing, and riding a camel through the Sahara is one of the high points of my life.
Your favorite time of the day?
I enjoy getting up in the mornings in time to see the sunrise.
Your zodiac/ sun sign?
I am definitely Capricorn. A late bloomer!
Your favorite color and why?
I like green because it is a very peaceful color and the color of new beginnings.
Your favorite book and why?
I have many favorite books, but one I can read over and over is Going Postal, one of the many Discworld novels by fantasy author Terry Pratchett. Pratchett has an amazing talent for combining humor, satire, drama, and pathos, something I strive for in my own work. In Going Postal, a young con man’s life will be spared if he can restore the obsolete and destitute post office.
Your favorite celebrity and why?
I don’t really have a favorite celebrity, but I could look at Bradley Cooper all day.
Your favorite food?