An exquisite collection of short stories that reflect on human longing and the power of the familiar … a magnetic, emotive offering.
Those were the words used by Foreword Reviews to describe self-published author Janet Killeen’s book of short stories, There is a Season. The book, released by AuthorHouse last year, has also received rave reviews from Kirkus and Blueink Reviews (which called it “a profound understanding of how to convey tentative interpersonal connection … highly recommended.”)
We’re thrilled to welcome Janet to our community of featured authors. Today, she tells us a little about her background and her literary influences.
Janet, please tell us about yourself.
I am a retired teacher: for more than thirty-five years, I taught English and English Literature and had the great privilege of teaching students of 17 and 18 years old some of the most significant works of English and American literature. Before that, I studied at the University of Kent at Canterbury, and much of my earlier life was spent in Yorkshire. There is no more exciting way to explore literature than to teach it – to exchange ideas, to learn from your students, and to equip them with the skills to analyze and appreciate the details of the text while exploring the richness of meaning that lies at the heart of great literature.
Having retired, I have the opportunity to write, travel, and enjoy the relationships built up over a lifetime.
Were there any particular literary influences that helped you develop your style?
My reading has been eclectic (much to prepare for teaching, much for pleasure.) It would be impossible to disentangle the influences and models of excellence that have influenced me – too many and for too long! However, I do have distinct personal favourites in fiction: for example, the classics of Dickens, Austen, Charlotte and Emily Bronte, Golding and Orwell. I also enjoy crime fiction, such as the writers of the “golden age,” like Sayers and Tey, and most especially the novels of P. D. James and Susan Hill – whose detective fiction goes far beyond the “whodunnit’ genre.
I read poetry: Chaucer, Keats, Wordsworth, Arnold, Dickinson, Hopkins, the First World War poets, Eliot, Auden, R. S. Thomas, and Larkin. I hugely enjoy and am challenged by the poetry of C. A. Duffy. I have been, as surely every reader and theatre-goer has been, most profoundly influenced and shaped by the continual miracle of Shakespeare. So the answer is yes – but not in a conscious way. These things are “in the blood!”
We’ll have more from Janet Killeen later this week, so check back at Author’s Digest soon!
Janet has also published Recognition and two illustrated books for children (The Barking Cat and The Moonlight Foxes.) For more information, check out her homepage. There is a Season is available in the AuthorHouse Bookstore.