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Jean at the Witching Hour

One lovely long fan-fic set in the Jean Robertson series has been posted to Archive of Our Own:

Jean at the Witching Hour is 13838 word short story telling the backstory about Old Pillans (the villain of the series).

Please do read and enjoy! (It is well-written and worth the time.)


Places to stay in Cromarty?

Finally planning a trip to the Black Isle, probably in April! Does anyone have any recommendations for a place to stay in Cromarty please?

Jane Is back in print!

This group has been silent for a long time - but I've just found out that the My Friends series appears to be back in print in paperback! And available on Kindle as well! I don't know if it's all the books, but it looks as though it is. How did this happen? Has there been any publicity about it? I just stumbled across the books accidentally on eBay and then found them on Amazon as well. It's such good news but I'm a bit puzzled I didn't know about it. I will have to look & see if my local bookshop has them. I feel I ought to buy some of them but I already have them all in hardback. Maybe the Kindle versions...

Did anyone else know about this or how it came about?

By the way, I do wish the information here was on a better website. I don't find Live Journal very convenient to use or access on my iPad.
A short story (3495 words) set in the universe of Jean in the Morning (and sequels, though largely set within the first book) has been 'published' on AO3 as a part of the Rarewomen fic-exchange:

"Jean in the Forecourt": http://archiveofourown.org/works/1569455

It reveals to us the inner musings of Isabel ('Eeba') Adair.

I highly recommend it; the writer does write well.


The Janet Reachfar series

I hadn't realised this series was still in print! I have just ordered the first three from Amazon ("Brave Janet Reachfar" appears not to be in print, for some reason) for about £15.00, which pleases me enormously, and they should arrive early next week. I am telling myself I have bought them for my grandson(s), but we all know better than that, don't we.....


There is a programme on BBC4 right now called Operation Crossbow, which I have only just tuned in to as we were watching something else, but it seems to be about RAF Medmenham. For those of you in the UK, it will be available on iPlayer tomorrow, I expect. Although you may have seen it - the blurb says it is a repeat.

The blurb on TV Guide says: "The little-known story of Spitfire pilots and Allied technicians whose work helped to thwart the Nazis during the Second World War. The programme reveals how stereoscopic 3D photographs were used to help interpreters map every contour of the enemy's territory, and uses personal testimony, computer-generated imagery and original wartime pictures to detail how the initiative was able to uncover some of Hitler's most dangerous secrets"
This year's Rare Women Fanfic exchange has seen one short story posted based on the Jean Robertson series (Jean in the Morning etc) written under Jane Duncan's other pseudonym Janet Sandison:

Link to "Jean in the Dark" by greerwatson


Rare Women Fan Fiction Exchange 2013

The Jean Robertson series (Jean in the Morning, Jean at Noon, Jean in Twilight, Jean Towards Another Day) has been nominated to the rarewomen fic-exchange and sign-ups for this fic-exchange are now open. I would encourage any writers in this community to consider signing up.

The fic-exchange operates very similarly to Yuletide (i.e. you write one story for someone else and get one in return). The central character you write about must be female.

The timetable is as follows:

February 14-28 sign ups through AO3
Early March: assignments go out
April 28 - stories DUE to AO3
May 4 - stories & authors revealed

Look here for the nominated Jean Robertson characters.Collapse )
Comparing the descriptions of the house at Reachfar in the books with photos of the real Colony buildings, I've come to the conclusion that Reachfar must have been a bit like Dr Who's Tardis inside!  In the early books, the house contains: Janet, her parents, her grandparents, George, Tom and at least one Aunt. That's eight people. Janet had her own bedroom (I think), so it can't be that everyone is sleeping in one room or anything. The impression is of a comfortable, cosy home, not an overcrowded bothy. And there's still room for visitors to stay!

Yet when you look at present-day pictures of the real Colony, (sadly ruined and abandoned) it just appears to be a small, one-storey building with a couple of low barns attached.  It doesn't look as though there can be more than two or three rooms.   (I'm sure there are photos of it online but of course I now can't find one to insert a link...)  So did JD simply enlarge the house in her fiction?  Admittedly, she enlarged the number of inhabitants somewhat, as neither she nor her parents lived there permanently.  Perhaps not all of those adults were there at the same time. But, to me, the appearance of the real Colony buildings doesn't seem to totally chime with JD's Reachfar.

Is it possible that an upper storey was removed and the corrugated iron roof put on since the Camerons left? Or was there another building or wing that has disappeared altogether? Or is it just that a forlorn, abandoned house always seems to look as though it could never have been a home?

Does anyone know if any photos exist of the house as it was when the family lived there?

I recently bought "Janet Reachfar and the Kelpie" and the pictures of the house in Mairi Hedderwick's lovely illustrations seem far more like the fictional Reachfar.

Incidentally, I can highly recommend the two  booklets on Jane Duncan and on Jemimaville, which still seem to be available from the Kirkmichael Trust http://www.kirkmichael.info/Shop/shopfront.html

picture of Jane Duncan

Vivien Cripps of Millrace Books wrote to me:

Am I right in thinking you are part of the Live Journal/Jane Duncan community online? I thought members might be interested in the following photo of JD on http://www.thecromartyarchive.org/picture/number3216.asp
Best wishes


Jane Duncan
My Friends - the Jane Duncan LJ

Jane Duncan about herself and her writing (in Letters from Reachfar)

Question: "Why did you write seven novels before trying to get publication?"
Reply: “I did not think that any of them were fit for publication.”

"I think that a detailed description of any act of sex is doomed to failure from the start. A sexual act, to be meaningful to those engaged in it, must be private... In the act of attempting to describe it, the privacy is destroyed and with it the meaning, so why give words and paper to the meaningless?"

“Some of the letters I received made me feel that George’s pronouncement that I was the biggest liar in the country was true, for people began to send messages of goodwill to some of my characters who did not exist except in fiction but the very words ‘fiction’ and ‘novels’ had gone out the window.”

“It will be obvious from the fact that my first novel was not published until I was forty-nine years old that I am a slow developer.”


‘My Friends’ Series (written for Adults):

My Friends the Miss Boyds
My Friend Muriel
My Friend Monica
My Friend Annie
My Friend Sandy
My Friend Martha’s Aunt
My Friend Madame Zora
My Friend Rose
My Friend Cousin Emmie
My Friends the Mrs Millers
My Friends from Cairnton
My Friend My Father
My Friends the MacLeans
My Friends the Hungry Generation
My Friend the Swallow
My Friend Sashie
My Friends the Misses Kindness
My Friends George and Tom

‘Jean’ series(writing as Janet Sandison for Adults)

Jean in the Morning
Jean at Noon
Jean in the Twilight
Jean Towards Another Day

‘Camerons’ series (written for children)

Camerons Ahoy!
Camerons at the Castle
Camerons Calling
Camerons on the Hills
Camerons on the Train

‘Janet Reachfar’ series(picture books for very young children)

Herself and Janet Reachfar
Janet Reachfar and the Kelpie
Janet Reachfar and Chickabird
Brave Janet Reachfar


Letter from Reachfar

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