About Jane Sanderson


The author, Jane SandersonI was born in 1962 in Barnsley, and grew up in the mining town of Hoyland. For the first years of my life we lived in a small three-up, two-down terraced house with a tin bathtub and an outside toilet, so I really do know what I’m writing about! We moved when I was six to a brand new bungalow – with all modern conveniences – and that’s where my parents still live.

My older sister Jackie and I went to the local primary school and then on to Kirk Balk comprehensive school, which in the 1970s was very good for toughening us up. It was a mixed bag of experiences, not all of them good, but I did have a lovely English teacher called Mr Farrimond, who encouraged my efforts at creative writing.

After A levels I went to Leicester University to read English, and I had three fantastic years there, loving the independence and the course I’d chosen. I’d decided while still at school that I wanted to be a journalist, and  though I dreamed of working for The Guardian or The Times, I got a job with a trade magazine called the Hardware Trade Journal – very unglamorous, but a good grounding in the craft. From there, I went to work for a local paper in Oxford, and then on to London, where I had a happy time working for the Hampstead and Highgate Express – where I met my husband – before finally ending up as a producer with BBC Radio, working for The World at One and then Woman’s Hour.

All of that seems a very long time ago, however. I left the BBC when our second child was born, and for years I did the full stay-at-home-mum thing in Crouch End, North London, where there were lots of other women doing the same so I made some wonderful friends there. And then, in 2002, I said a tearful goodbye to them all because my husband Brian and I and our three children moved to a lovely old house in rural Herefordshire and life changed beyond all recognition. We’re still here, with our dogs and chickens, and we all love it, though I like to pop back to London occasionally for an urban fix. Anyway, it was here in the country, with the children all leading increasingly independent lives, that I finally sat down and started to write a novel. My first attempt got me an agent but not a publisher, but then I wrote Netherwood, and Little,Brown published it in September 2011. The second in the series – Ravenscliffe – comes out this September, and a third book is currently underway, with many of the same characters and one or two fantastic new ones, who I’m currently enjoying getting to know!

– which brings the story of my life so far bang up to date.

Find out more about Jane in the Author Q&A.