About me

I’m Janna G. Noelle, a writer of historical fiction set in the pre-modern (medieval and classical) era.

Like so many writers, reading was my first love—my earliest hobby when I was young that has stuck with me through to adulthood. As a child, my mother used to drop me off at the local library while she did her shopping. Hours later when she returned, I would complain that she’d come back too soon!

I started writing both out of worship of my favourite authors and because I sometimes couldn’t find the types of stories I wanted to read. Although I’d always written little tales in my early childhood, I started having more complex story ideas in high school and during university, and started thinking of myself as a writer who would someday seek publication.

My journey as both a writer and a reader began with epic high fantasy, and in my 20s I wrote my first novel in that genre. However seeing as this masterpiece was both 900+ pages and still incomplete(!), it was an epic disaster, and was eventually relegated to the electronic oblivion that it deserved.

My next novel was also fantasy, but in the course of writing it I found my interest starting to drift toward a different genre—that of historical fiction.

When worldbuilding for fantasy, you often have to do just as much research as for histfic—and then still have to make things up after that. Historical fiction seemed like a lot less work! But more than anything, historical fiction lets me dramatize real people/places/ideas/events of the past, and reflect on their enduring legacy in the present.

No matter how far back in history a story is set, it always needs to hold relevance to modern audiences. History repeats, and it holds many valuable lessons for those who heed them. It’s in this way that I use historical fiction as a vehicle to examine modern social issues at a remove of emotional safety. Issues of particular interest to me include domestic violence, hypermasculinity, the positive role of immigrants in society, racial discrimination, and colourism.

This remove from modern times is even greater given my fondness for the pre-modern era, which harkens back to my days of epic fantasy. No matter how many issues I tackle in a story, I still want it to be a gripping, character-driven read that’s both immersive and a little adventurous. I often stay true to my fantasy roots by including the paranormal beliefs people held in the past, although usually in a way that neither confirms nor invalidates their reality in the narrative. Each reader can either believe in magic or consider the historical context and commentary that magic represents as they see fit.

I’m currently working on final revisions of a novel set in medieval England, with a plan to start querying shortly thereafter. I blog about my writing journey, as well as writing craft in general, plus other topics including, reading, travel, music, opinions, gender, movies, TV, historical research, and more to come.

New posts are added the first Monday of each month, so please feel free to visit again, or subscribe.

~ Janna G. Noelle, Vancouver, BC / Unceded Coast Salish Territory

40 thoughts on “About me

  1. Hey, Janna always glad to hear from you. Looking forward to reading your posts so I can stay in touch.

    No, I’m probably not going to start a log of my own. I have enough trouble keeping email & Facebook up to date.

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    • Yay! My first comment on the blog; I can always count on you, Rhondo. Thanks for joining me on my journey. It’s okay if you’re behind in your FB and email. I enjoy the emails you do manage to get out, and am always interested to know where you are now.

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  2. Where I am now … Cambridge. Working: MNR in Guelph.
    I still hate commuting, but here I am commuting with all the other people who don’t live where they work.
    Contract end: March 30. Provincial budget will be tabled a day or 2 before the that. My office wont get their budget until April.
    Word on possible extension until budget’s final: LOL! You were joking, right?
    Other job prospects: nothing promising.

    Almost as frustrating as trying to get published … I must be a masochist

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  3. Adventures great and small, travel and writing –
    Oh and introverse lefty-brained. Yep, I’m sold. We’re all wandering over this sorry planet looking (inadvertently) for ourselves replicated in others, aren’t we? 😉

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    • Hi celenagaia, thanks for visiting and for joining me in my adventures. You are so right – we are all looking for ourselves, and constantly learning new things about ourselves that we like and don’t like through the people that we come to like or not like. I think all people in the world are just separate pieces of the same whole, and that we all have the capacity to become each other.

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      • Absolutely. The human race is a scattered jigsaw. I was only an hour bemoaning this fact to my partner; it’s so goddamn difficult to find people of a similar wavelength. Similar interests, easy enough – but it’s all redundant if they can’t laugh at and with you, and let themselves receive the same treatment.

        I’m on the hunt for unbiased critiquing of my written work, the chance to critique someone elses, and exchanges of writing technique/building blocks. That OK with you?

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  4. One of my goals in starting this blog was indeed to meet other writers and share skills, etc. We should find out if our specific goals are compatible in this regard. Let’s talk: janna dot vancouver at gmail.com

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  5. Hi Janna,
    Just discovered your blog 🙂 You have an adventurous spirit and the ability to articulate it very well! I admire that! Good luck on your adventures great or small 🙂

    JC

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    • Hi JC, thanks for stopping by. I do try to express myself clearly here, so I’m glad you find that to be the case. 🙂 I know I have many adventures, great and small, to go before I’m done, and I look forward to living them, loving them, and learning from them!

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  6. Hi Janna, your life and mine are very similar. I have been in eight of ten Canadian and have lived in five of them: Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Alberta, Ontario and Quebec. I love back packing. I am also an introvert writing a book.

    Congratulations on finishing the first draft of your novel.

    Cheers,
    Dennis

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    • Hi Dennis. Always nice to meet a fellow Canadian. You’ve lived in most of the provinces I haven’t (with the exception of Ontario, where I lived for 10 years). I hear that Manitoba and Saskatchewan are going to be the next big thing, so maybe one of them will be my next stop.

      I think most writers are introverts – or at least have a well-developed introverted side – otherwise, we’d never be able to stand all the time spend alone the writer process requires. Since my novel is in two volumes and I’ve only finished the first one, I don’t technically consider draft complete, but I’ve the goal to finish it before the end of the year. Wish me luck! 🙂

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  7. Now let’s see, did you ever live in some of the other cities where I’ve lived besides Vancouver –Toronto, Calgary, London, Kitchener-Waterloo. Yes, in my blog. Canada can be contrasting at times —what an underestimate, since now I’m in Alberta.

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    • Toronto – check! London and K-W, no, but I’ve spent time in both. The only time I’ve spent in Alberta is in the Calgary and Edmonton airports. I really should go visit one or both cities; I want to see as much of Canada as I can. Do you like living in Calgary?

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  8. Hi Janna! Enjoying your blog and finding some encouragement to start mine (soon). I didn’t realise you had also written a fantasy novel. Don’t let it die on the shelf….you never know what can happen. My fantasy novel is the one I find myself going to more than others. I, too, have doubts about whether it would get published, but I do want to finish it. Good luck with everything!

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    • Hi Norine, thanks for visiting and commenting. Yes, get your blog started – I will follow it!

      My fantasy novel was the biggest disaster ever, emphasis on “biggest”. I have plans to re-write it as historical fiction for my next writing project. I’m actually really excited to give it another go. I think I’m a much better writing now with the skills needed to pull it off. Good luck to you too!

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  9. Pingback: The Creative Bloggers Award | zealthinks

  10. “I’ve written over 900 pages in an incomplete(!), shelved fantasy novel that won’t ever be published”

    Never say never. If the idea behind this fantasy story is a passion of yours, plots and characters can change until you feel the story works and is publishable.

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      • Every journey starts with one step followed by another step until you have taken thousands of steps.
        The easy part is writing the rough draft. Revisions and editing that rough draft when it is done is 90 percent of writing the book so it’s ready to publish. During the revisions, a lot of plot problems and character flaws may be fixed.

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