Jane Yealland - Author

Jane Yealland

Jane Yealland, with her friend and collaborator Ann-Maureen Owens, is the co-author of the popular children's information books Forts of Canada, The Kids Book of Canadian Exploration and Our Flag: The Story of Canada's Maple Leaf.

The two authors met when they both had young children, eight in total, and spent many hours taking them to historical sites around Kingston, Ontario. These explorations led to writing books about some of the fascinating stories from Canada's past.

Researching the story of Canada's flag was the rare opportunity to learn directly from people who in the 1960s had been part of the effort in working for Canada to have its own unique flag. The late John Matheson had many stories to tell about the flag committee looking over 3000 flag designs, and the authors also had the opportunity to talk with Joan O'Malley, who as a young woman sewed the first maple leaf flag.

Along with her work as a research associate at Queen's Univeristy, Jane writes for a local magazine and is currently working on the story of her great-uncle who flew alongside Billy Bishop in World War I. She lives in Kingston, Ontario, with her golden retriever, Dory, and calico cat, Biddie.

Birthplace?
Ottawa, Ontario.

Birthday?
April 19th.

Where do you live?
Kingston, Ontario.

Who is in your family?
I have four children --- Alex, Jill, Carly and Chris.

Do you have any pets?
Usually I have dogs and cats, but right now I have two cats, Mittens and Lucky.

What is your favorite book?
Peter Pan.

What is your favorite movie?
Too many to pick one.

What are your hobbies?
Reading and sports.

When did you start writing?
In high school.

What was your schooling or training?
I have a Bachelor's in Sociology and English from Carleton University.

How did you get involved with children's books?
When my children were small I became interested in writing a book they would like.

What is the thing that you like the most about creating children's books?
I like how children are completely honest about what they like and don't like in books.

Where do you work?
I work as a communications coordinator for the Ontario Family Health Network.

How do you create your stories?
History is exciting and the more you research, the more stories you find that children would find exciting.

Do you have any tips for young creators?
If there is something you are interested in, read everything you can on the subject.

What is you favorite childhood memory?
Going for long cross-country rides on my horse, Hurricane.

When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?
An archeologist.

What is your next project?
I am working on a book about the Pony Express in Canada.

What is the weirdest or most interesting job you have ever had?
Working in a small restaurant in a taverna on Crete in Greece.

The Kids Book of Canadian Exploration

2006 - Hackmatack Children's Choice Book Award, Commended