books

Biog

Jane Struthers

Writing is part of me. It’s as central to my life as breathing, and I don’t know what I’d do without it. I can’t remember ever not writing. I started doing it when I was small and the habit was immediately impossible to break. The first thing that I remember writing was my version of the Bible. I cut out the boring bits and got it down to four snappy pages. I have no idea what was in it but I do recall that it made my mother laugh. She was less amused during the next open day at my primary school when she discovered that the diary we were encouraged to write each Monday contained a vivid description of her tripping over on Eastbourne promenade. I had even illustrated it.

The grammar school I went to in Eastbourne focused on academic achievements, which meant I was a bit of a disappointment. I didn’t have time to do much studying because I was so busy writing. Or reading. Or teaching myself astrology, tarot and palmistry, all of which intrigued me. Or puzzling over my latest romantic entanglement.
It soon became clear that I wouldn’t be whizzing off to university, unlike most of my friends, so I took a secretarial course instead (which turned out to be fascinating) and learnt shorthand and typing. My next step was to get a job. In London. And by some miracle I became the secretary to the editor of a rather trendy paperback imprint. Even though the electric typewriter ran away with me (I’d been trained on an old-fashioned manual) and I often struggled to read my shorthand, I loved publishing. I loved London.

After a couple of years of making a hash of my various bosses’ letters, I became an editor of illustrated non-fiction books. And then I started to write books under my own name, and I’ve been doing that (and editing) ever since.
I do other things as well, of course. I continued studying astrology, palmistry and the tarot, and have written books about them all. For two years I was the astrologer for The Sun, before switching to Bella magazine, for whom I’ve been happily writing astrology columns since 2000. I am also one of the tutors for the London School of Astrology.

In what is laughingly called my spare time, I bake lots of bread and try to resist the temptation to make cakes in the vain hope that then I won’t eat them. These days, I’ve swapped the dust of London for the mud of the East Sussex countryside, where I live with my husband and our two cats. Although, as most cat owners will recognize, it’s more a case of our two cats allowing us to live with them. But as they say in The Apartment (one of my favourite films), that’s the way it crumbles, cookiewise.

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