What I Do
As the author of The Fairy Godmother Academy, a series of six novels for pre-teens published by Random House Kids / Yearling Books, Jan has described her dreamworld – Aventurine – to children near and far. From her breezy adobe house in Marfa, Texas, Jan spent three years writing stories about fairy lineage, the magic of plants, and finding a rare, special power called Wisdom. Jan is also the author of Pet Eyes, Dances With Dogs, and Justa Bear. She is now developing her next series: Coded For Greatness.
Girls & Games
In 1997 Jan was hired as Vice President of Creative at Girl Games, the world’s first girl’s gaming company. During her time of influence, Girl Games received a National Science Foundation grant to study ‘girls and how they use computers’. Since then Jan has designed and produced 15 games for girls such as Clueless, Barbie Designer Series, Teen Magazine, Diva Starz (Mattel), Sabrina the Teenage Witch (Viacom), Let’s Talk About Me (Simon and Schuster), and Dora the Explorer (Fisher-Price).
Teaching & Speaking
Empowering girls, inspiring women, transmedia and technology, designing the future, and the importance of dreaming are just a few topics Jan explores. Her speaking roster includes Carnegie Mellon University’s Entertainment Technology Center (ETC), National Conference for the Society of Visual Communications, ComicCon, FaerieCon, Frankfurt Book Fair, Texas Book Festival, SXSW, Dallas Museum of Art, RISE, and Women and Business. Jan has been a faculty member at Banff New Media Center and a songwriting mentor for Grammy in the Schools. She developed and taught the Tribes Music Program for the City of Austin, Texas Commission on the Arts, and Kellogg Foundation. Jan was a Governor on the board of NARAS (National Academy of Recording Arts and Science, Texas Chapter) and the Digital Media Program at the Graduate School of Business at St. Edward’s University.
As a creator, Jan has always held an avid interest in the future. In 1998, her passion for ‘what’s next’ led her to Microsoft as an early developer of their new music and data platform. She helped the educational publisher, Holt, Rinehart and Winston, transition their textbooks to web books in 2000. Her work with Mattel’s music and dance game, Barbie Gotta Groove, was the first to use motion capture, dance, and music creation software and was nominated by NAGAS ( National Academy of Games and Science) for Best Kids Game. Jan was a Trans-Media presenter at Random House Publishing and a Disney Imagineers designer. She has worked with Deep Learning technologies and is currently developing Augmented Reality games for children.
Jan has written and produced original music for nearly everything she has ever worked on. That’s four book series, 15 interactive games, as well as several workshops and mentoring projects such as Grammy in the Schools. Jan has written songs for four original musicals and won a B. Iden Payne Award for Best Music in an Original Children’s Musical (Waking Sleeping Beauty). She was even written up in Grammy Magazine as a Game Composer. Jan often works with her three sons – Shane, Dustin and Evan – who partnered up in 2016 to create and produce original music for film and television as Red Dragonfly Studios.
Dreaming is the central theme of Jan’s work and study. She experienced her first lucid dream in 1963 and has kept dream journals for 50 years. Jan studied Jungian Dreamwork and joined the Jung Society in 1986. She has spoken to tens of thousands of children and young adults about the importance of dreaming, believing and achieving. Jan has personally dreamed and manifested five major life dreams. She is ever-expanding her Curriculum for Young Dreamers at Dreameroo. Jan is co-authoring a new book about dreaming called Pie in the Sky.