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.