I wasn’t familiar with J.A. Jance’s mystery books but decided the keynote sounded intriguing—incorporating new technologies into her work. And, she didn’t disappoint. Overcoming prejudices and personal difficulties, the former K-12 librarian has risen to success and has a loyal following of readers. As Jane Dysart said, she’s one of us. Judy Jance has written some 35 books. She shared some stories about how she keeps up with the pulse of readers and the times. Heck, she even shared several songs–very gutsy.
Jane snagged her for the keynote after reading her novel, the Edge of Evil, which features a journalist fired due to her age who starts a blog. This was based on a real occurrence in Tucson. And, it even incorporates some interesting personal experiences, such as an e-mail nasty gram Jance actually received.
“I figure I’m here to provide some fun and lightness of being,” said Jance. She shared some stories that had nothing to do with libraries or technology but had everyone in stitches, including one about shooting at a snake in the desert.
She said that the act of writing for her “was like being covered with a comforting down comforter.” Her ideas come from all over—personal experiences, newspaper stories, even her alumni magazine. She said the Internet allows her to hear from people in a very personal way—sometimes not always in the nicest way.
While it was a different start to a conference, one attendee said it was definitely in keeping with our current Web 2.0 focus on personal networking and interaction. Another said, “She was awesome.”
Jance signing books for fans.