JT Twissel (Jan) was born in a small town in Massachusetts and raised primarily in Reno Nevada, leaving home at eighteen to see the world. Eventually she more or less settled down, living with her first husband in Chicago and then in the San Francisco Bay area where she obtained a degree in English from UC Berkeley. She worked as a newsletter editor, a secretary, a process analyst, project manager and technical documentation manager.
Five very important things to know about Jan:
- I start each day with a glance at my horoscope. It’s always wrong but that doesn’t stop me.
- After my daily dose of bullshit I skip over to the obits. Yes, as morbid as it seems, I start my day by reading about people who’ve just lived their last. Someday my horoscope will read “yesterday you died” and then I’ll skip over the obits and see how many words I rated. I wonder how many dying people write their own obits or pay a professional. I wonder what professional obit writers dream at night. I wonder a lot as you can tell – about a lot of things.
- I write sitting by an open window, glancing out at the Oakland Hills hoping to see the fog roll in. My cat, Pretty Kitty, watches me from his perch. If I get up to stretch and take too long, he steals my chair and I can never bring myself to dislodge a sleeping cat unless it’s for his own good.
- I don’t believe in reincarnation because I never want to be a child again. I didn’t have a Dickensian childhood by any stretch but I did have it ground into my head from an early age that I’d better take full advantage of my looks because I had little else to offer which left me completely unable to toot my own horn, a disadvantage for a writer in today’s world of publishing.
- In my teen years I seemed hell-bent on making a fool out of myself. I played the guitar (badly), wrote horrible protest songs and wore costumes rather than real clothes. I once wrote an essay for a civics class on Project Blue Book (the Airforce’s attempt to explain UFOs) which I got a B on because “UFOs have nothing to do with government.” My teacher was so naive!
I’ve been married twice which means my husband and I have five kids and two exes with spouses. I wish I could say we all get along brilliantly all the time but I don’t write fairy tales. I did my stint in the corporate world, in offices and cubes, riding out rounds of layoffs, days of glory and days of belt-tightening, office intrigues and performance reviews. What I have for my efforts is a cupboard full of cups and several drawers full of tee-shirts all advertising various now defunct start-ups and dotcoms!