Featured Interview With Jane Powell
Tell us a little about yourself. Where were you raised? Where do you live now?
Hi! Born in Sweden to Irish parents and raised in Montreal, I’ve always had a lust for new adventures. I lived in Australia, New Zealand and Norway (where my hubby is from) for several years and am currently living out my latest adventure (along with my family) in Golden, British Columbia. Along with being a mum and a special needs support worker, I’m a creative writer who has self-published two novels (YA/Contemporary fiction ), a children’s book, some short stories, and opinion pieces. My passion for creative writing started as soon as I could read. I’ve always been fascinated with books that tell stories about life, society, and people. I model my writing off authors such as Bryce Courtenay, Miriam Toews, Paulo Coelho, and Audrey Niffenegger.
For me, life is a riveting research project. Possibilities for learning are everywhere, in every interaction and experience (whether good or not so good). My “life toolbox” includes living and working in several countries, degrees in Anthropology, World Religions, and Education, as well as surviving the youth protection system (of which inspired my second novel “Butterflies in the System”), becoming a teen parent, and overcoming trauma associated with sexual assault (which inspired my first novel “Sky-bound Misfit”).
I am currently working on my third novel.
At what age did you realize your fascination with books? When did you start writing?
My passion for creative writing started as soon as I could read and I wrote several short stories and poems for friends in high school (just for fun). I began to write my first novel, “Sky-bound Misfit”, when my youngest son was a few months old. He was a great sleeper and would take long afternoon naps. I’d always wanted to write a book, so I decided to do just that. When I was about 3 chapters in, my son stopped napping so soundly. I put my writing project aside for 10 years and finally completed it in 2018. Since then, I’ve written a children’s book, short stories, opinion pieces, a second novel, and I’m currently working on my third novel.
Who are your favorite authors to read? What is your favorite genre to read. Who Inspires you in your writings?
Bryce Courtenay, Miriam Toews, Paulo Coelho, and Audrey Niffenegger – along with so many others!
Tell us a little about your latest book?
“Butterflies in the System” is a story inspired by my experience as a ward in Montreal’s youth protection system. The story brings readers on a journey through a year in the life of five teens (as well as a childcare worker and social worker) as they navigate their way through group-homes, detention centres, and street life. Full of both adventure and sorrow, I wrote this book to highlight ethical violations in Montreal’s youth protection system and to help bring awareness to the importance of mental health resources for youth and the need for systemic change in the system. For details, see my blog post “The Story that Inspired Butterflies in the System”: https://www.janepowell.org/post/the-story-that-inspired-butterflies-in-the-system
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