This website © Jan Marsh 2014
Proud to be a product of Dylan’s
‘ugly lovely town’, Swansea
Jan is a graduate of Swansea University and had her first teaching post there, at the same school she attended, formerly Glanmor School for Girls.
Although she never planned to become a teacher of English, after Glanmor she went to teach in Surrey and Huntingdon and more recently to Penarth which has become her adopted home town where she taught English at St Cyres Comprehensive for twenty years. After taking early retirement from teaching, she took up a part time post in the Education Department at Swansea University where she mentored future English teachers.
During her time teaching, she began a small desk top publishers called Coleridge Press, specialising in the publication of English teaching resources for the classroom which now produces mixed media materials and which she runs with her son David: Coleridge Press has just brought out the latest of these written by her, A Study Guide to An Inspector Calls.
Over the past few years she has also written study guides to English Literature for Zig Zag publications, notably on The Rivals, the School for Scandal, The Duchess of Malfi and Chaucer’s Prologue to the Canterbury Tales. (For further information please visit www.coleridgepress.com)
Apart from the teaching materials, Jan has written fiction for women’s magazines, especially Woman’s Weekly where several of her humorous stories have appeared in Woman’s Weekly Fiction Feast. Her experiences as a teacher prompted her to write and self-publish Free Play in 2002, a novel for teens set in the world of computer piracy.
Living Space, the first novel she has written for adults, was begun back in 2009 but put on ice until 2013. It tells of a co- housing project in the Welsh Marches, the brainchild of Maggie Perkins who inherits a large rundown property which she gradually renovates and makes into a community of like- minded people who want to live ‘together but apart’, sharing resources, offering one another support in their later years . The novel tells of the birth of Foxwood, the people who come to live there, the friendships and jealousies, the clashes and attempts to interact with the wider community. She has just finished the second book of the Foxwood series, Foxwood - Another Year which charts the development of the project and the lives of its first residents.
Asked about the inspiration for the novel, Jan says:
“Many older people – myself included- especially those who are single or who have few family ties can suffer loneliness and a sense of isolation after they retire from full and demanding working lives. The company of like-minded people can make for an interesting and happy retirement. Resources can be shared and the costs of living in a single person household can be reduced. And there’s always someone to help out with the crossword or have a chat with over a coffee.”
Jan lives with her Jack Russell cross, Miffy, in Penarth where she is a member of Penarth Community Choir, tries to improve her Spanish and spends time with saxophone playing daughter Tamasin and music producer son David.