Jane Steen

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Jane Steen

Goodreads Author


Born
in Redhill, Surrey, The United Kingdom
Website

Twitter

Genre

Influences

Member Since
August 2009

URL


Dear Reader,

Welcome to my page. Now, I could talk to you about myself in the third person, as if my author-self were someone else, but instead let me give you the Most Important Fact:

I was named after Jane Eyre.

I swear that this decision of my mother's influenced my entire life. I've always felt that I lead only half my existence here (here being wherever I happen to be) while the much more interesting stuff goes on in my head.

It also doomed me to spend most of that head-time in the nineteenth century, hence my books. My aim is to write entertaining fiction that hovers somewhere in the PG range (no graphic sex or nasty stuff unless the plot totally demands it) and is neither dumbed-down nor pretentiously intellectual. In short, it's the typ
...more

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Jane Steen Hi Susan! None of the other books have been published yet--I'm doing a lot of plotting at the moment to ensure the story lines are as well worked out …moreHi Susan! None of the other books have been published yet--I'm doing a lot of plotting at the moment to ensure the story lines are as well worked out as I can make them. I'm a bit of a slow writer so I don't have a publication date yet, but if you want to follow progress you can always sign up for my newsletter at www.janesteen.com.(less)
Jane Steen Research is very important. Some writers go overboard with research and spend years reading every possible book on their subject, visiting obscure lib…moreResearch is very important. Some writers go overboard with research and spend years reading every possible book on their subject, visiting obscure libraries for original materials, etc. I don't do that, but I do try to ensure that my story is as true as possible to at least the spirit of its age. I look up a lot of tiny details, because questions such as "what kind of moisturizers were available?" occur to me all the time while I'm writing.(less)
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And we'll give that another try, shall we?

So, 2020's reading challenge ended up four books short. And yet I've set my 2021 challenge for 70 books again . . . as Albert Einstein almost certainly didn't say, "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result."

Why am I fixated on this admittedly arbitrary number? A number which, what's more, I haven't hit since 2013? Wouldn't life be so m Read more of this blog post »
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“It's strange, isn't it? The greatest gift you could have given her stemmed from your disgrace. It's enough to make me start going to church.”
Jane Steen, The House of Closed Doors

“Even a lie told for a good purpose has a way of perpetuating itself, doesn't it? Look at all the trouble I caused by refusing to tell the truth about Sarah's father."

- Nell”
Jane Steen, The House of Closed Doors
tags: lies, truth

“This is why I teach; this is why I struggle to make my students look at all sides of a question. There’s surface, and then there’s depth. My passion is the depths.”
Jane Steen, Eternal Deception

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Comments (showing 34-83)    post a comment »

message 83: by Jane

Jane Ines wrote: "Thank you very much Jane!
(Salutant te ab urbe Mediolanensis)"


You're welcome, Ines, and I'm impressed to be greeted in Latin. Mine is very rusty, alas, so all I can say is Ave!


message 82: by Ines

Ines Thank you very much Jane!
(Salutant te ab urbe Mediolanensis)


message 81: by Jane

Jane Emma Sea wrote: "God, I am so sorry if you saw all my reshelvings. I thought I had turned off the feed notifcations while I did it. I hate to think of spamming your feed with 700 books I'll never get around to read..."

I've found that GR often posts stuff I thought I'd turned off notifications for. I didn't mind at all as I understood what was going on, and it really did make me think of sorting out my shelves.


Emma Sea God, I am so sorry if you saw all my reshelvings. I thought I had turned off the feed notifcations while I did it. I hate to think of spamming your feed with 700 books I'll never get around to reading.


message 79: by Jane

Jane Steelwhisper wrote: ""

Thanks! Best wishes for a prosperous 2016.


message 77: by Jane

Jane Emma Sea wrote: ""

Thank you so much! Wishing you all the best for 2016 xxx


message 75: by Jane

Jane Tracey wrote: "A couple of weeks ago I put together a list of "authors behaving goodly" (ETA: which, of course, included one Jane Steen), since someone had just started a list of the opposite... the negative list got dozens of responses and grew exponentially. Mine ... didn't... ."

That makes me very sad because I KNOW there are some authors who totally respect their readers, and quite a few of them belong to the Alliance of Independent Authors. I must do some digging.


message 74: by Jane

Jane Auntie J wrote: "My pleasure! There was a status conversation a bit ago, if I can locate it again I'll add a link here"

I'd appreciate that!


Alexandra Jane wrote: "Auntie J gave me a badge!

I feel so honored! And I love this positive, bridge-building initiative. Is there a list somewhere of authors appreciated by the GR reader community? Because I'd love to ..."


My pleasure! There was a status conversation a bit ago, if I can locate it again I'll add a link here.


message 72: by Tracey (last edited Mar 24, 2015 10:44AM)

Tracey Jane wrote: "Auntie J gave me a badge!

I feel so honored! And I love this positive, bridge-building initiative. Is there a list somewhere of authors appreciated by the GR reader community? Because I'd love to ..."


A couple of weeks ago I put together a list of "authors behaving goodly" (ETA: which, of course, included one Jane Steen), since someone had just started a list of the opposite... the negative list got dozens of responses and grew exponentially. Mine ... didn't...


message 71: by Jane

Jane Auntie J gave me a badge!

I feel so honored! And I love this positive, bridge-building initiative. Is there a list somewhere of authors appreciated by the GR reader community? Because I'd love to see who else is on it.


message 69: by Jane

Jane Hana wrote: "You are the only Goodreads author whose reviews and comments I take seriously. But I have to say that the GR author pages make it very hard to figure out what you are reading -- and what books you'..."

First of all, thanks for the compliment.

You're quite right about the GR Author page making it more difficult to appear as a reader on the site...unfortunately the damage is done :D And I do think it's confusing for those of us who are readers AND writers to have two profiles. Both options cause problems and I made what I thought was the best choice at the time.

Most of us self-published authors make gruel money - I know I do. If you're approaching the task ethically it takes a long time to build up a readership; it also takes money and a heck of a lot of hard work. But for those authors who do succeed, self-publishing offers a regular monthly income, the retention of your rights in and control over your own product, and the chance to interact directly with readers without being stifled by corporate policies.

I'm at that difficult stage where experience has shown me that I DO write to a standard that's appreciated by readers and that I CAN enjoy the process of producing a book, but I'm not at the point where the money's coming in. I'm trying to learn to work smarter and get better at marketing, and will probably having to seek some kind of crowd funding at some point soon.

The alternative, of course, would be to seek a traditional publishing contract, but the outlook for midlist authors (and I don't kid myself that I'm going to become a top tier author overnight) is horrendous. Advances are tiny or non-existent, publishing contracts one-sided and you have a very small window of time in which to succeed or be dumped by your publisher.

I'm fortunate enough that I don't have to make a living from writing, so I'm giving self-publishing my very best shot. It's unbelievably hard work, but I love it because for the first time in my life I feel like I'm doing what I was put on this earth to do. And I can combine it with being my oldest daughter's caregiver and all sorts of other responsibilities in my life.

Does that answer your question?


message 68: by Hana (last edited Aug 18, 2014 03:24PM)

Hana You are the only Goodreads author whose reviews and comments I take seriously. But I have to say that the GR author pages make it very hard to figure out what you are reading -- and what books you're reviewed and like (or not). In other words it gets in the way of friendship and turns the individual into a sort of billboard.

I think if I were a writer (being a shy sort of person) I would opt out of the author page functionality and just do normal friends. I could easily do a folder for 'stuff I've written'.

Just out of curiosity, do you think anyone besides Amazon makes any money out of this? Are there other reasons to do this? PS: I know I wrote that last as a true Wall Street type....Are there any other benefits that I'm completely missing?


Samadrita Glad to be your friend, Jane. Thank you for sending the invite.
Look forward to our sure-to-be interesting discussions!


Emma Sea Thank you for the friendvite.

No, not all porn, I swear :D But it's definitely there, and people would follow me who weren't expecting it, and it didn't end well. So now I try to warn people first!


Steelwhisper Jane wrote: "Thanks for the invite! I'm very happy to have an intelligent new bookfriend, ran..."

Why can't I "like" this? ;) Great post and yes, I agree with everything :)


message 64: by Jane

Jane Steelwhisper wrote: "Thanks for accepting the friending :) I'm looking forward to seeing your reviews and updates!"

Thanks for the invite! I'm very happy to have an intelligent new bookfriend, rants notwithstanding. I read your latest blog post on romanticizing BDSM and thought it made your own position very clear.

I think every reader has a "line" over which they prefer not to step in terms of sexual/violent content. My own reading line goes much farther than my writing line, although I write close to my own "ideal" comfort level--and even that has been too much for a couple of reviewers, as tame as it is!

The issue these days is that self-publishing has pushed that line all over the place, and booksellers don't know what to do about it. My own book was briefly withdrawn from Kobo but reinstated fairly fast. The mainstream success of books like FSOG and YA novels portraying unequal relationships is further muddying the waters.

I think your blog post is a valid contribution to a debate that's only going to get hotter. We need to find a way to reassure readers that their personal expectations can be met without resorting to blanket censorship. We also need to stop publishers and authors gaming review sites, encourage honest reviewing free of ad hominem attacks, and find some way to protect younger readers who are not ready for an onslaught of s&v. The writing communities need to lead the way because, as you point out, we KNOW what we're writing. In a world where everyone's honest we'd have a self-directed rating system, but...


Steelwhisper Thanks for accepting the friending :) I'm looking forward to seeing your reviews and updates!


message 62: by Jane

Jane Goose wrote: "Thanks for the friend invite. Welcome aboard the Goose Train
"


I'm looking forward to the ride...


message 61: by Jane

Jane Kris wrote: "Jane, thank you so much for your kind friend request. I've been following your reviews and updates with interest, so I'm especially happy about your request."

I'm so happy you like my reviews! I was really excited to see you're a history/biog fan, as I need more encouragement to tackle that kind of book. When I saw your review of Empty Mansions I knew we'd get along.


message 60: by Kris

Kris Jane, thank you so much for your kind friend request. I've been following your reviews and updates with interest, so I'm especially happy about your request.


message 59: by Elaine

Elaine hello Jane, thankyou for accepting my friendship. I look forward to reading more of your reviews and talking about our common interests :)


message 58: by karen

karen i mean to read her some day. i was just putting that book on a list i was making for work, and i like to read reviews to verify that they fit. and yours really helped me! so thank you!! some day i will surely read her.


message 57: by Jane

Jane Nenia wrote: "Aww, thanks for the friend request! I like people who like to be amused almost as much as I like friend requests! :D"

Goodreads amuses me way too much. I hope your GWTW statuses will pop up often in my feed; I really need to re-read that one because I haven't since the 90s when my copy fell apart.


Nenia ✨ I yeet my books back and forth ✨ Campbell Aww, thanks for the friend request! I like people who like to be amused almost as much as I like friend requests! :D


message 55: by Jane

Jane Crystal Starr Light wrote: "I'm trying to think of what my favorite line was, and I think this is it:

"pulchritudinous brunette’s blonde tresses, flowing from her head like a stream but made from hair instead of water and without any fish in."


"It made his insect eyes flash like a rocket."


Crystal Starr Light Jane wrote: "This made me so happy that even renowned author Dan Brown may not be able to describe how happy I was."

OMG! May I just say that was positively awesome?! LOVE IT!! I'm trying to think of what my favorite line was, and I think this is it:

"pulchritudinous brunette’s blonde tresses, flowing from her head like a stream but made from hair instead of water and without any fish in."

LOL!!


message 53: by Jane

Jane Willowfaerie wrote: "Hey thanks, Jane, for friending me! Yay!"

I seriously thought we'd been GR friends for ages. We always seem to be on the same threads. How could I have been so blind? *lifts tiny lace-trimmed handkerchief to brow and sniffs delicately*


Willow Hey thanks, Jane, for friending me! Yay!


message 51: by Jane

Jane Anthony wrote: "Thanks for the request, and Bowie is my all time favorite musician. He has been an integral part of my life since I was 15."

I fell for Bowie's music at about the same age. I saw him in concert at Wembley Stadium during his Thin White Duke phase, which must have been 1977 or 1978. I can't say I've followed him (or any other musician) much in the last few years, but it's weird how that song just jumped back into my head when I saw the title. I'm glad he's appreciated by your generation.

Loved your review of Willie Masters' Lonesome Wife! I'm always looking for GR friends who will pull me out of the reading ruts I tend to dig myself into. So many books, so little time.


Crystal Starr Light Jane wrote: "You need to realize that I will be back checking on your updates of the Vampire Chronicles obsessively like I did with the Earth's Children books. I went through a HUGE Anne Rice phase in my late 20s (ye gods, how long ago was that) and the books are still on my shelf, but they are covered with the dust of slight embarrassment and jaded disillusionment. "

Well, the first two books I thought were really good. This third book is just soooooo slooooooow. I'm 65% through and only now is it a bit more interesting - problem is, nothing is really happening. People just stand around and talk. At least in previous books, you got to watch Louis and Lestat live their vampire lives out along with long talky scenes.


message 49: by Karla

Karla I like Kevin Spacey but, well, from the trailer it looks like his fourth wall-breaking is trying too hard. Richardson was so effortless. Plus the politics are so mired in Thatcherism and the MONARCHY, which can't really translate to the US. I'll give it a shot since it'll be right there on Netflix, but I'll be judging. ;)


message 48: by Jane

Jane Karla (Mossy Love Grotto) wrote: "I just recently saw House of Cards and was bowled over. I can't believe they're doing a US version. Why mess with perfection?"

I know! Ian Richardson could not have played the part better. The supporting cast was amazing. I honestly can't see how they can translate it into American.


message 47: by Karla

Karla I just recently saw House of Cards and was bowled over. I can't believe they're doing a US version. Why mess with perfection?


message 46: by Jane

Jane Kim wrote: "Have you seen this, Jane?

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16..."


Ye gods, not another indie author whining about bad reviews. And in ebook format, to add insult to injury! I really liked this review and am now following that reviewer. I agree with her that the reader/reviewer community is wonderful, supportive of new authors and intolerant of any kind of BS be it from bestsellers or the most unknown of indies. Granted there ARE unfair reviews, ranging from fanpoodle attacks to you-scratch-my-back-I'll-scratch-yours author cliques to people who hate a book for some reason that has NOTHING to do with the book, but I believe they are pretty easy to spot and therefore unlikely to kill a book in the long run.

After all, what the author's got on her side is the sheer size of the internet community. Back in the day when reviewers were a powerful few, I'm sure some books got unfairly killed. But now, look at what we've got! Every kind of reader has a fair chance of getting out there and promoting their favorite authors. These people need to stop whining and concentrate on writing better books.


message 45: by Kim (last edited Nov 23, 2012 01:18PM)

Kim Have you seen this, Jane?

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16...


message 44: by Jane

Jane Pierre wrote: "hi Jane! Merc for friending!"

A pleasure :)


message 43: by Pierre

Pierre Vian hi Jane! Merc for friending!


message 42: by Hayes

Hayes Jane wrote: "Hayes! I'm on the Nook! Kobo coming any moment now..."

Yay! Good work!


Crystal Starr Light Jane wrote: "The Da Vinci Code was defeated by The Hunger Games this weekend. Started reading the second book before I went away and just had to know what happened, even though I didn't particularly enjoy the books as such... "

Not a problem!! I know how it can be, the call of another book.


Crystal Starr Light Jane wrote: "Yay! I didn't dare look at your statuses in case you were miles ahead. I'm hoping to get some Da Vinci time either this evening or over the weekend, after I've cleaned up the huge pile of mail and assorted papers from my desk. I never had ANY time to myself in England. "

Excellent! I really love reading your status updates; you always manage to catch something that I somehow missed.


message 39: by Jane

Jane Crystal Starr Light wrote: "I wanted to let you know, I haven't forgotten about our Da Vinci Code read! I slowed down a bit so you could catch up :) Glad to see you back on Goodreads!"

Yay! I didn't dare look at your statuses in case you were miles ahead. I'm hoping to get some Da Vinci time either this evening or over the weekend, after I've cleaned up the huge pile of mail and assorted papers from my desk. I never had ANY time to myself in England.


Crystal Starr Light I wanted to let you know, I haven't forgotten about our Da Vinci Code read! I slowed down a bit so you could catch up :) Glad to see you back on Goodreads!


message 37: by Jane

Jane Michelle Elizabeth wrote: "Hi. Just wanted to say congrats on getting your book published. I haven't read it yet but I honestly plan to soon. :)

~M"


Thanks! I've had so much encouragement from my GR friends, it's just amazing. It sounds like false modesty to say I wasn't expecting it, but I really wasn't - there are so many books everyone could be reading. I hope you'll review it whatever your opinion; the feedback I'm getting has been wonderful.


Michelle Sedai of the Brown Ajah Hi. Just wanted to say congrats on getting your book published. I haven't read it yet but I honestly plan to soon. :)

~M


Crystal Starr Light Sounds excellent!! I'm pumped :)


message 34: by Jane

Jane Crystal Starr Light wrote: "The narrator for mine is Geoffrey Harding.

No problem, if this book turns out to be like what I've heard, I can see how it would be draining :)"


Interesting that it's a different narrator... because Paul Michael made me quite furious, I remember. OK you're on - want to start this weekend?


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