Working with Jan

Jan had a knack for turning professional relationships into friendships, and she loved working with friends. Many of her books are dedicated to the editors who commissioned them – it could take awhile for schedules to coincide so that they could work together.

I have many friends, people whom I have met while working and travelling, whom I may not see from one year’s end to the next. Some I may never meet again, but it makes no difference. Occasionally we ring each other, occasionally we write. One sends the other a postcard, or a book. Sometimes it can take six months to answer a letter, but we are all busy. We understand each other. Real friends stay friends.

Author note to ‘The One That Got Away’, in Best of Friends, Methuen Children’s Books, 1995.

She was profoundly interested in the illustration of her work, and often enthused when her text was given to a new illustrator, such as Rachel Merriman (The Tale of Tobias) or Richard Holland (The Museum Book).

As a teacher, tutor, speaker, reviewer and prize judge, Jan moved in many circles, building friendships along the way. This part of the website is devoted to memories of Jan from her colleagues.

There’s a lot more to come, I promise you …

The Editor: Maurice Lyon

The Artist: David Parkins

The Storyboat crew

Tutors and students

Illustration from the title story in Nothing to be Afraid Of (c) David Parkins, 1980.