Jan Gangsei has been making up stories as long she can remember—thanks to a childhood in rural Vermont, where she had to invent her own entertainment (when she wasn’t busy putting on backyard shows with her best friend or trying to get out of stacking wood). While her early attempts at book-writing might not have gained publication, Jan was already pondering the Big Questions from a young age (she’s still waiting for someone to explain the meaning of Wednesday)…
After graduating from the University of Vermont with degrees in Political Science and English, Jan began her career as a journalist and photographer. From there, she went on to work for a beachside resort in Key West and a start-up dot.com outside Washington, DC. Her travels then took her to NYC, Barbados, northern Virginia, Vermont, and back to northern Virginia, where she currently lives with her family.
Through it all, one thing stayed constant: she never stopped making up stories (or asking “why?”).
Now, Jan writes full-time with her rescue pup Willie curled at her side. Her books have been featured on several award and reading lists, but nothing makes Jan happier than hearing from a young person who discovered a love of reading through one of her books. For that, Jan considers herself the luckiest person on earth.
Some random facts about Jan:
- Soon after she learned to walk she was stuck on a pair of skis (Vermont law), which she promptly removed and watched as they slid down the mountain solo—likely explaining her future love of physics (and staying safely in the lodge).
- She’s a graduate of the DIA’s attaché program for spouses, where she learned how to properly set a table, select the appropriate evening gown, and disable an attacker with a few well-placed kicks. (She suggests you don’t ever sneak up on her in a dark alley, especially if she’s wearing heels.)
- She has tons of favorite authors, but some of her biggest influences growing up include: Judy Blume, Margaret Atwood, Edith Wharton and Kurt Vonnegut. (Also, whoever wrote the copy for the back of her Cheerios box, which she’s pretty sure she’d memorized by third grade.) Nowadays, she’s addicted to young adult and children’s literature, thrillers, and pretty much anything that makes her heart race or laugh out loud.
- Jan’s hometown of just 9,000 people is best known for the “Barre Gray” granite that is quarried there. It gives Jan a little thrill every time she goes into DC and sees the monuments and structures carved from Barre Gray, including the steps of the U.S. Capitol’s east wing.
- Jan loves meeting new people, and interacting with other readers and writers. Drop her a note and say hello!
Jan’s secret identities
In addition to her original work, Jan also writes series fiction under various pen names for book packagers, publishers, and some well-known franchises, that have been published in multiple countries and languages.
The Wilder Boys: Saving Cody by “Brandan Wallace” published by Simon and Schuster on 1/3/2023
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