Jan lives down the end of the road on a lake and has a passion for the Canadian wilderness. A storyteller as well as a writer, she has given readings and workshops, and performed at festivals across the country. As a storyteller, she has a particular love for the traditional folk and fairy tales and this love is creeping into her writing. A past National Coordinator of Storytellers of Canada/Conteurs du Canada, she is convinced that storytelling is for all ages. She produces a winter series of tellings from the world's great epics and has organized weekend performances of such works as The Odyssey -- in its entirety -- at her home. Her writing comes out of a conviction that young people can find within themselves all they need to manage in their lives. She writes about the times of struggle and darkness but also about finding the way through the darkness to change and hope. Her main focus has been on picture books -- not necessarily for very young readers -- but she plans on increasing the number of her works for young adults in years to come. An avid rock climber, Jan has done the research for exhibitions, programmed festivals and written for the government. She is co-founder of the Eastern Ontario arts education organization MASC: Artists in Schools and Communities.