My name is pronounced Jan TOY-voh-nen. The last name’s accent is on the first syllable. If the first name is still puzzling, just put your little thumb over the J and what do you have left? Anne! Janne, in reality, is a Finnish boy’s name, pronounced YUN-neh. I’ll never know why my parents gave me a boy’s name. But it’s what I have, and I’m proud to have such a Finnish name.
I started out in the mid-fifties, smack dab in the middle of the Baby Boom generation. First generation Finnish-American on my father’s side, third on my mother’s. That’s if I’m speaking about my Grandmother Libby’s side. It’s too complicated. Anyway, it was nineteen-fifty-four to be exact, almost in the middle of Hurricane Hazel.
Born in a small town near the Finger Lakes region of New York State, I was a chubby-cheeked, tow-headed baby with droopy diapers, the youngest in a household of three children and two parents. After high school, I earned a Bachelor’s in Education, majoring in Special Education. Right after graduation, I dared to leave hearth and home, moved cross country to Phoenix with a friend and taught there for a year. I found I really missed the northeast and the greenery and returned home. For the next twenty years I taught Preschoolers with disabilities in the Rochester New York area and earned a Master’s in Education.
Towards the end of those two decades, I got married. We adopted a baby from Russia in 1998. I decided to resign from teaching and be my daughter’s mother. I’m so proud of my little Ruskaya. She was an honor student all through grade, middle, and high school. She’s now enrolled in the class of 2020 at University of New Hampshire majoring in biomedical science on the pre-vet track.
In 2011 I began writing to fill in the blank spaces in my life. I haven’t stopped. Writing has become a driven passion. With nearly a dozen novels completed or in the works, I’d love to have a literary agent who will take on a new author who has a penchant for writing smart adult historic romance (this genre seems to have chosen me). I’ve penned an epic series of a family’s three generations of love, loss, and life that seems to have fallen out of the guidelines of the historic romance genre.
I’ve lived in southwest New Hampshire since 2002. I’m coming to the age now, where I can decide if I want to winter somewhere, if I ever want to leave New England at all. It’s a great place to live and write.