Jill MacLean was born on 1941 in England, UK. In 1950, her family moved to Nova Scotia, Canada.
After receiving her Bachelor of Science with honours from Dalhousie University, she married. She worked at the Fisheries Research Board until her daughter was born. Following the birth of her son, she was employed by the pathology laboratory of Sydney City Hospital and the biology department of Mount Allison University. More recently, she completed a Masters in Theological Studies at the Atlantic School of Theology; her thesis juxtaposed Hebrew concepts of chaos in the book of Job with modern chaos theory.
When her husband joined the Armed Forces as a chaplain, she had to stop working. They moved three times in the first 18 months, the last move was to Prince Edward Island. By then her children were in school; she couldn't get a job; and at the local bridge club, she kept forgetting not to trump her partner's ace.
However, she had always loved to read, fascinated by the lure of being drawn into the other world of the story. So one day she bought a dozen Harlequin novels, read and analyzed them, then sat down and wrote one. Her first book, To Trust My Love, typed with four fingers, was published in 1974 as Sandra Field (she believes she's curiously the first Canadian to write for Harlequin). During the four years she lived in Prince Edward Island, she researched an 18th century French settlement located near present-day Brudenell, resulting in a historical book, Jean Pierre Roma, published in 1977 under her real name. She also started to write in collaboration with other Martimer writer under the pseudonym Jan MacLean. She also used to singed her novels the pseudonym of Jocelyn Haley. Her pseudonyms was an attempt to prevent the congregation from finding out what the chaplain's wife was up to in her spare time.
Before she turned 40, her life was changed, she had lost three of the most important women in her life: her mother and sister to illness, and her seventeen-year-old daughter to a car accident, and she separated from her husband in 1976. One of the lasting legacies of the grief caused by these losses has been the idea that it is impossible and undesirable to live every waking moment in the knowledge that loss can strike at any time.
She's been very fortunate for years to be able to combine a love of travel (particularly to the north - she doesn't do heat well) with her writing, by describing settings that most people will probably never visit. And there's always the challenge of making the heroine's long underwear sound romantic. Her novels has been translated into Spanish, French, Portuguese, German, Italian, Greek, Dutch, Swedish, Yugoslavian, Japanese... and sold in more than 90 countries. Her first collection of poetry, The Brevity of Red, was published in 2003. When her nine-years-old grandson, Stuart, asked him a book for him, she wrote her first Children's book and decided continued writing this type of books.
Jill now lives in Bedford, Nova Scotia, and she's lived most of her life in the Maritimes of Canada, within reach of the sea. Kayaking and canoeing, hiking and gardening, listening to music and reading are all sources of great pleasure. But best of all are good friends, some going back to high-school days, and her family. In Newfoundland, she has a beautiful daughter-in-law and the two most delightful, handsome, and intelligent grandchildren in the world (of course!).