Welcome

lyon8

I am an Edinburgh-based writer of contemporary realistic fiction, of short stories and of life writing.  Before writing full time, I worked as a dietitian and health promoter for the NHS.  Then, during a three year career break in Grenoble, France, writing became more important to me, and that was it.

To me, writing means many things:  the pleasure (and challenge) of crafting a story, a space I can go to that is purely mine and is not determined by money, the cooperation of others, or the weather.  In addition, I generally set my novels in other countries, allowing me the opportunity to spend an afternoon in the lakes and mountains of Switzerland while those around me are enduring yet another blustery, wet Scottish afternoon…

I have included photographs in this website because beautiful places inspire me to write.  It’s no coincidence, I believe, that my passion for writing developed during my time in France, when I was surrounded by mountains and the most glorious, ever-changing light.

Jane Riddell

More about me:

  1. Have an intense relationship with chocolate.  We split for two years, hoping things might become more platonic.  Got back together to find that nothing had changed.
  1. Spend too much time admiring other people’s photographs on Twitter.
  1. My childhood dreams were to swim the English channel and back, to keep a monkey, to fly like a bird and to play tennis at a Wimbledon championship.  Decades later I’m resigned to none of these happening.
  1. Love colour and tend to assess people for their clothing coordination, working out what they could do to improve them.  Fortunately, I keep my opinions to myself.
  1. Lived in Australia and New Zealand for two years.
  1. After travelling back through Malaysia, Burma, Thailand, Nepal, India and Pakistan, arrived in London with glandular fever and two bowel parasites, none of which were confiscated. (Customs officers a bit slack that day.)
  1. Wrote my first novel aged 10, a crime story aka Sherlock Holmes, entitled The Missing Piece of Paper.  Wish I’d kept it.  Wish my ability to devise enticing titles for my novels had improved.
  1. Am terrified of snakes but enjoy watching Anaconda films.
  1. Current favourite clothing items: kimonos, maxi dresses and faux leather jackets.
  1. While living in France, we built a shed in the grounds of our rented cottage, in order to homeschool our son.  (The owner benefitted when he subsequently sold the property.)
  1. Love going to movies, especially when the film is beautifully shot.
  1. Am into house and pet sitting, as long as this doesn’t involve getting up at six am to give a dog the first of his four daily walks, or looking after a worm farm.
  1. Hate TV programmes such as Big Brother, Friends and The Big Bang and would rather scrub floors than watch any of these.
  1. Exhilarated by wild weather: thunderstorms, heavy snowfalls, torrential rain.
  1. Also love misty light – the most memorable being the purplish light in Srinagar, and more recently, in Shimla.
  1. The more I get into writing, the less of a domestic goddess I become.  Fortunately my partner enjoys cooking and in emergencies has been known to brandish a duster.
  1. Damaged my left ankle when falling off a horse on a high country farm in New Zealand.  The horse was only trotting, and I landed in some manure.
  1. Several years ago, discovered I had a talent for drumming.
  1. Prone to drowsiness and often nap on our sofa late at night, before going to bed.
  1. In the absence of having a conservatory, have turned our sitting room into a jungle of plants.