At some point I have been involved in every aspect of writing - fact and fiction, biography, ghost writing, short stories, articles, novels and more. Writing and research is what gets me out of bed in the mornings.
A passion for history has introduced me to hundreds of people I might never have met, English Civil War soldiers, 18th century prize fighters, Victorian novelists, the good, the bad and the not so perfect.
Human Rights, animal welfare, care for the world around us all motivate me to be involved. Humour, friends and family help to keep me sane. All in all, I am a very fortunate being.
Jan Toms in 60 seconds
When did you start writing?1949 On the Isle of Wight where I was born
What do you love about short stories?It calls for additional skill to say so much with so few words
Do you write in other forms?Novels, biography, articles
What distracts you from writing?Family and friends, exploring the countryside
Outside of writing, what are your other passions?Collecting things - two object means I have started a collection.
What is your favourite book?The Snow Goose by Paul Gallico
Who are your favourite writers?Henning Mankell, Nora Lofts and Peter Ackroyd
Where is your dream location?Where I am in the Isle of Wight
What one item would you put into Room 101?Racial Prejudice
Do you have any advice for new writers?Join a writing group - writing is a craft, you might have a flair for it but advice from experienced people can only help.
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