JE (Jayne) Barnard
JE Barnard is a Calgary-based crime writer with 25 years of award-winning short fiction and children’s literature behind her. Author of the popular Maddie Hatter Adventures (Tyche Books), and now The Falls Mysteries (Dundurn Press), she’s won the Dundurn Unhanged Arthur, the Bony Pete, and the Saskatchewan Writers Guild Award. Her second Adventure, Maddie Hatter and the Gilded Gauge, was named 2018 Alberta Book of the Year for Children & Youth. Her works have been shortlisted for the Prix Aurora (twice), the UK Debut Dagger, the Book Publishing in Alberta Award (twice), and three Great Canadian Story prizes. Her most recent book is When the Flood Falls, a small-town psychological thriller set in the Alberta foothills west of Calgary.
Jayne attended high school first on a NATO base in Germany and then in Northern Ontario. Her childhood of camping, boating and fishing fostered a love for the wilderness and a passionate respect for the environment. She performed in church musicals and community theatre before beginning university. A graduate of the University of Regina in Psychology and Theatre, she volunteered with Transition House, worked for the Mental Health Association, created cultural awareness programs for children, and wrote a docu-drama about intergenerational domestic violence (Daddy Is Not Like Grandpa) which was filmed in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan in 1992.
Like author Laura Hillenbrand (Seabiscuit, Unbroken), Jayne was struck down in university by a crippling neuro-immune illness, ME/CFS. In the space of two months she went from being an active jogger, hiker, bicyclist, and cross-country skier to near bed-bound. Between relapses she completed two degrees, raised three children, and wrote. Her worst relapse, striking halfway through the first draft of When the Flood Falls, left her struggling to swallow a smoothie or compose a two-line email. Over the next five years she gradually learned to eat again, then to write again, and then to walk again. The years of complete disability informed a character in her contemporary suspense novel, When the Flood Falls. The novel won the Unhanged Arthur in 2016 and was published in July 2018 by Dundurn Press. Two more in The Falls Mysteries are in progress, each rooted in the society, politics, and geography of Alberta’s Eastern Slopes.
Jayne is a past VP of Crime Writers of Canada, a founder of Calgary Crime Writers, and a member of Sisters In Crime.