Jane Welch

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Author Review: Jane Welch (1964 – Present)
Review Written By: Diane

Biography 

Writing Style 

Body of Work 

Jane Welch Links 

An Interview with Jane Welch 

Biography

Jane Welch had a rather unique upbringing, the results of which are often apparent in her writing style. Born in 1964 in Derbyshire, England, Welch’s father was headmaster for a boys preparatory school. Perhaps a mixed blessing, Welch was educated in the same school, one of only 9 girls among 250 boys. This continued to be the case for her throughout her entire educational career. Invariably, she was, if not the only female, definitely in the minority segment, attending schools that heretofore had been all male institutions. Welch has commented that rather than being exciting to be at the forefront of a changing tradition, she found the experience to be isolating and strange. Despite this, she excelled academically and in sports, taking pleasure in competing and winning against boys. One of the few positive experiences she had was meeting her future husband, Richard, at the age of 13. However, even that had a downside. For various reasons, the relationship was disapproved of by school and parental authorities and Welch was sent to another school in a vain attempt to separate the two. Needless to say, the effort failed. Welch and her husband, Richard, have been happily married for over 17 years. They currently live with their two young children, Harriet and George, in Somerset.

In the early years of her marriage, Welch worked in a bookstore, then ran her own business, while her husband worked in the publishing industry. However, in the 80’s she and her husband became restless. They decided it was time for something completely different and moved to Andorra in the Pyrenees to become ski instructors. It was during this time that Welch began her writing career. Success arrived in an unorthodox manner. Welch had completed three chapters of her first novel, The Runes of War, and submitted them to HarperCollins. Three weeks later, the publisher contacted her requesting the rest of the book! Since she had not yet written it, Welch managed to buy some time by claiming (truthfully) that she would be away teaching skiing for the next six months. She then promised that after handling some minor revisions, the manuscript would be available upon her return. Fortunately, HarperCollins was willing to wait and Welch spent a hectic few months teaching all day and writing all night. The results were worth it and HarperCollins accepted not just this first novel, but the complete trilogy. An additional trilogy was soon forthcoming, along with a short story. Welch is currently at work on a seventh novel and she estimates that she has written one book every 9 months since the first one. She is currently published in the UK and Germany, with translations soon due out in Czechoslovakia. She is hoping to find a US publisher in the near future.

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Writing Style

As a developing author, Welch’s work has a lot to recommend it. Her writing style is highly descriptive and very detailed. It is saved from being flowery by the use of fast paced action and strong character development. Although the plot lines in some of her earlier novels were somewhat predictable, that is probably true of many new writers and usually improves with time and experience. I believe that growing up in a male-oriented environment has influenced Welch’s writing style. Her novels up to this point have been well-told fantasies, set in a medieval world full of swordplay and sorcery. They frequently seem to have been written from a masculine viewpoint, although equal time has been given to her female characters. There is a lot of action, much of it almost martial in its description. Welch’s characters, both male and female, are strong willed and independent. They have flawed personalities, which only make them more human and likeable. Overall, Welch has written some very good books and I’m looking forward to reading more of her work.

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Body of Work

The Runespell Trilogy

The Runes of War (1995)
The Lost Runes (1996)
The Runes of Sorcery (1997)

The Book of Önd Trilogy

The Lament of Abalone (1998)
The Bard of Castaguard (1999)
The Lord of Necrönd (2000)

Short Stories

Out of Avalon [A short story published in German in Marion Zimmer Bradleys Jenseits Von Avalon, unfortunately, this is not available in the English edition: Marion Zimmer Bradley's Out of Avalon] (1999)

Links

For a listing of all Jane Welch books available at Amazon.com, click go in the box below.

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Jane Welch's Homepage - the official home page of Jane Welch.

HarperCollins UK - publisher of Welch's Runespell trilogy.

Earthlight - SF & Fantasy imprint of Simon and Schuster UK.  Publisher of Welch's The Book of Önd trilogy.

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