Photograph by Doreen DeSalvo

Photograph by Doreen DeSalvo

Judith Janeway believes that she was born with a Ticonderoga no. 2 pencil in one hand and a canary yellow lined pad in the other, because she can’t remember a time when she wasn’t writing stories.
She attended the University of California, Berkeley, the University of Bordeaux, France, and San Francisco State University and emerged with a Master’s degree in Comparative Literature.

She took up teaching at a men’s college, which wasn’t as much fun as it sounds. After seven years it finally occurred to her that having a passion for literature didn’t correlate with having a passion for teaching literature.

She left teaching in favor of the study of Health Psychology and the Philosophy of Science. She received a PhD from the University of California, San Francisco, and has pursued a career in social science research, studying people coping with serious/terminal illnesses and their caregivers. Just to be clear, she is a research psychologist, not a clinical psychologist. She has she never been reimbursed for handing out advice to people foolish enough to tell her their problems.

During this time of teaching, not teaching, pursuing an advanced degree, conducting research, and publishing scholarly articles, she married, divorced and acquired a number of children—not necessarily in that order. And, of course, she wrote fiction.

She wrote in the library when she should have been studying for comprehensive exams. She wrote in hotel lobbies while attending professional meetings. She wrote while waiting for children at swimming, piano, violin, and guitar lessons, or at soccer, baseball, and basketball practice. She wrote while on the commuter bus to and from work. She wrote while family members waited impatiently for food to be put on the table.

She entered a romance novel in a contest and won first prize—an opportunity to show her manuscript to an editor. The editor bought the book and a second one. Since then, Judith has turned her writing focus to mystery/suspense, which has always been her favorite genre. Odds of Dying is the first of the Alison Weaver mysteries. The Magician’s Daughter, which will be published February 2015 by Poisoned Pen Press, is the first in a series of Valentine Hill Mysteries.

Currently, she lives in the San Francisco Bay Area and continues to write in the interstices of a life that encompasses work, travel, fun with family and friends, and far too much Sudoku.