The Author

The Short Official Version

Janice Hardy is the award-winning author of the teen fantasy trilogy The Healing Wars, including The Shifter, Blue Fire, and Darkfall from Balzer+Bray/Harper Collins. She also writes the Grace Harper series for adults (Starting with Blood Ties) under the name, J.T. Hardy. When she's not writing fiction, she runs the popular writing site Fiction University, and has written multiple books on writing, including Understanding Show, Don't Tell (And Really Getting It), Plotting Your Novel: Ideas and Structure, and the Revising Your Novel: First Draft to Finished Draft series.


The Longer, Slightly More Detailed Version

Janice Hardy is the award-winning author of the teen fantasy trilogy The Healing Wars, including The Shifter, Blue Fire, and Darkfall from Balzer+Bray/Harper Collins. The Shifter, was chosen for the 2014 list of "Ten Books All Young Georgians Should Read" from the Georgia Center for the Book. It was also shortlisted for the Waterstones Children's Book Prize (2011), and The Truman Award (2011).

She also writes the Grace Harper urban fantasy series (Starting with Blood Ties) for adults under the name, J.T. Hardy, and is currently working on a science fiction detective series (also for adults).

When she's not writing fiction, she runs the popular writing site Fiction University, and has written eight books on writing, including Understanding Show, Don't Tell (And Really Getting It), Plotting Your Novel: Ideas and Structure, and the Revising Your Novel: First Draft to Finished Draft series. She also speaks and teaches at writing conferences across the country.

She’s represented by the wonderful Kristin Nelson at Nelson Literary Agency.
Currently, she lives in Central Florida with her husband, two cats, and way too many books.

The Long (and More Personal) Version

I was born in Pennsylvania, but since I was only ten days old when we moved away, I don’t think it really counts. At that time, I was the youngest person to ever fly on Eastern Airlines and I needed special permission to do so. My family moved around a bit during my first two years of life, but I eventually wound up in South Florida, where I celebrated by toddling right through the living room, out the back door, and falling headfirst into the pool. My sister yanked me out by my feet and saved me from a watery death. (I’m told I was still chewing my gum.) As revenge, I threw all the shoes in the house into the pool and we had to go to dinner that night at the neighbor's in bare feet (Yes, this is all absolutely true and I'm still hearing about it).

My life calmed down significantly after that. School was fun when the subject interested me, less so when it didn’t. I had an English teacher who introduced me to the works of Harlan Ellison, and he’s been my favorite author ever since. I got into trouble quite often for reading in class, but it was a good kind of trouble. Teachers aren’t so hard on you when you’re reading, but you still wind up in detention if you do it enough (I did it enough). At least there, you can read and no one bothers you. I started writing my first novels in middle school, and most involved horses of some kind. (I was terribly influenced by Walter Farely’s Black Stallion series.) There was also a strong comedic love story plots, influenced by Paula Danzinger.

The high school experience was fairly uneventful, which didn't help me create a traumatic and dark past to help me with my writing, so I stuck to making up dark and moody stories on my own. I worked summer and weekend jobs at a local ranch as a trail guide, and raised and trained my own horse. When you have horses, you get hurt, and I had my share of injuries. I once tore multiple ligaments in my left ankle training for a rodeo. Believe it or not, I hit a bridge. On horseback. (Don’t ask). Despite what you read online, Florida wasn’t a bad place to grow up, and I spent a lot of days sitting on picnic tables at the beach by the volleyball and basketball courts. I don’t play either sport, but that’s where all the cute guys hung out.

After high school I went off to college (go Gators) to study architecture. I debated majoring in creative writing, but figured I’d starve a lot faster as a writer than an artist. After a few years, I discovered I really didn’t like architecture enough to do it forever, and didn’t have the skills—or the confidence—needed to design a building that wouldn’t fall down on top of people. I switched to art school and got my degree in graphic design. It's served me well and that's how I made my living when I was struggling to do "that author thang" as my husband calls it. These days, I get to be a writer full time, which is awesome.

I got my first professional job in publishing (magazines, not books) and did fairly well for myself as a magazine designer. Won a few awards and everything. To counteract my boring bookworm nature, I got my PADI SCUBA certification as a Rescue Diver, jumped out of a perfectly good airplane (once, though I'd do it again), and braved the rapids on a river (which I'd love to do more of).

Photo credit: Nemo
Since then, the husband and I travel when we can, enjoying out of the way places where we can read and explore, but we’re pretty much a pair of happy homebodies. He’s my best friend, which works out really well in the marriage department. We’re both big geeks and own most gaming platforms out there. Don’t even get me started on my favorite games or you could lose me for days.

On the family front, I have an older brother and sister, five nieces, and one nephew. I’ve tried to spoil them mercilessly, but I don’t think I’ve done as good a job as I’d planned. Of course, I was also guilty of filling them full of candy and Yoohoo when I babysat, so it might balance out in the end.

And that’s about it. All the super exciting stuff came once I got an agent and sold my book, but that’s another story.