J.M. (Jan) Vanek was born and (mostly) raised in California. Her mother, a Buddhist Japanese American, was an internee at Tule Lake and Topaz during World War II. Her father, a Southern Baptist redhead of Irish descent, retired from the Air Force.
Much of Jan’s writing reflects growing up in a multicultural, multi-religious, multi-political background, including her Fall 2017 release of her first picture book, Magical Red Kimono, (4RV Publishing) based on the characters, Sachi and Jubie from her award winning historical fiction, The Red Kimono. (University of Arkansas Press, 2013–written under pseudonym, Jan Morrill.)
Jan lives in Dallas with her husband, Obi (her dog) and Samba and Malika (two big, fluffy white cats). She enjoys teaching writing workshops and speaks about the history of the Japanese American internment.
But her favorite thing to do is being “Grandma!”