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Jane Emerssen

Jane Emerssen belongs to the ‘baby-boomer’ post-war generation. Spending her first ten years in Carlisle, frequent family moves provided an interesting but disjointed grammar school education in Gloucester and later in North Cheshire. She left school at seventeen and started work as a secretary at Manchester Museum and then began a career in a variety of local government departments which she pursued for several years. Professionally she qualified as a local government administrator and became a Chartered Member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, eventually tying up her educational loose ends as a mature student taking ‘O’ level Computer Studies and Russian; ‘A’ level Theatre Studies; a BA Open University degree studying the History of English, Latin, Greek and the History of Mathematics, followed by a series of short science courses on Astronomy and Human Nutrition.

Taking advantage of a career break in the late ’80s she began a new career writing articles and short stories. Three years later she was commissioned by How To Books under her professional name Judith Johnstone to write a series of advice and guidance books on personal development and recruitment topics.


Several editions later, she returned to fiction, and her first well-received full-length novel A Necessary Fiction was inspired by research into various family histories and their historical context. This and its sequel A Plain and Simple Truth explore the consequences of discovering long-hidden family secrets.  

Branching out yet again, Jane has turned her attention to her long-time interest in science fiction. Under the penname C J Dacre she has brought together a collection of short stories entitled Walking in Darkness to be published in 2015.

Apart from a brief sojourn in Derbyshire in the mid-’80s, Jane and her husband have lived in Cumbria since the early ’70s. Their son is currently resident in Dubai from where he pilots large passenger jets around the world.