Jan Siegel

Born in London, now a long-time resident of Lewes, Jan Siegel won the Most Promising First Novel Award (created specially for her that year) from Southeastern Arts for her debut Pzyche, published by Faber and Faber. She has since gone on to publish no fewer than seventeen other novels, most notably the Sangreal and Fern Capel trilogies.

At the outset of her writing career, Jan's publishers wanted her to be a serious literary author, but Jan knew her heart belonged in popular fiction. Before Pzyche came a novella, The Alchemist, which appeared in print in the seventh edition of Faber's Introduction series, which also launched the literary careers of Alan Coren and Tom Stoppard. In Introduction 7, The Alchemist appeared alongside a story by Booker Prize winner Kazuo Ishiguro, garnering as much praise as his work and gaining consistently positive reviews, notably from the famous sci-fi critic Tom Hutchinson who, in the Times, compared Jan's writing to that of the Polish legend Stanislaw Lem.

Jan quickly followed this early success with two psychological thrillers, Tantalus and Bacchanal. Tantalus drew comparisons to John Fowles’ The Collector and to Bouquet of Barbed Wire, both being focused on warped family relationships including, most controversially, scenes of sibling incest.

There came two more thrillers, this time expanded to neo-Gothic blockbuster proportions: The Viper’s Heart (published in the US as The Poison Heart) and Soulfire, after which she returned to science fiction and fantasy with the hugely successful Prospero’s Children, published by Harper. This brought Jan's work a global fan base, with US reviewers such as the San Francisco Chronicle bracketing her work with that of J.K. Rowling and Philip Pullman.

Two sequels followed, The Dragon-Charmer and Witch's Honour (published in the US as the hyphenless Dragon Charmer and The Witch Queen, respectively) and the trilogy was completed.

Jan's second fantasy trilogy, the Sangreal trilogy (The Greenstone Grail, The Traitor’s Sword, and The Poison Crown) all but disappeared due to a cockup by publishers Harper. However, the books still received much acclaim, including what she considers to be her best review of all time from sci-fi magazine Locus.

Jan Siegel has already lived through one lifetime, during which she travelled the world and supported herself through a variety of professions, including those of actress, barmaid, garage hand, laboratory assistant, journalist and model.

She is now completely devoted to her writing, but she also finds time to ride, ski and scour the planet for the best banana daquiris on earth.