Janet Wise was born in a small rural farm community in Nebraska. From the time when dreams can be remembered, she imagined a bigger life. Novels and stories in print or film were always a much loved avenue into a myriad of worlds.
As a young artist and public school teacher, she and her husband landed in a northern California coastal community. From there it was to Denver, Colorado where Janet became submerged in the architectural and interior design industry. Later divorced and the mother of two, Janet’s interests shifted to social issues, and she began to journey down a different path, this time landing in the middle of law and politics in Washington, D.C. After spending two years with an international non-governmental organization focused on law and democracy, Janet left her desk job in the nation’s capital and joined their field project in Cambodia. Four years living outside her home country, working with legal types from all over the world, trekking around SE Asia and the South Pacific, left an indelible mark. For the first time, she was afforded a view of her nation from the outside looking in, seeing what others in the world see—the beauty and the blemishes.
Her first semi-permanent return home was to Atlanta, GA. From there it was back to California—San Francisco this time—to work with a law and democracy international development firm managing projects in Central and South America. Missing the expatriate life, she ventured back overseas to Delhi, India, where she would live and work (on a country-wide education project) for four and a half years. While there, Janet began writing her first novel, The Black Silk Road. It was later published in 2010 by Harper Collins India. But before then, Janet moved on to an education project in Palestine. In mid-2006, Janet left Palestine, and spent five weeks in Italy, exploring, seeing, and tasting where her fictional protagonist would come to rest. Returning to Atlanta, GA, she finished the novel, and began researching her second. Janet went on to join a field project in Kabul, Afghanistan (an elections support project this time), and from there to projects in Islamabad, Pakistan and Kathmandu, Nepal. In total, fourteen years were spent in the Middle East and neighboring South Asia.
Because the expatriate life frees the spirit to travel, Janet has done her share. In addition to having set foot in every state in the U.S. (except Alaska), she has explored over thirty countries in South and SE Asia, the South Pacific, the Middle East, Europe, and Central America. Regardless of where she went, books and stories have always gone with her. And while she is an avid researcher, absorbing both historical and current affairs in non-fiction, she enjoys a wide variety of both literary and genre fiction. Janet places her novels against unfolding current events – personalizing as only fiction can – but always the American telling the American story as it collides with that larger world.
Janet has now returned home to Denver, Colorado.
A Midnight Trade, her second novel, takes us into the world of Washington, D.C.’s top law firms, Special Forces Operators turned contractors for hire, and into the life of an international development medical professional who is pulled into the corridors of bio-warfare giants and the horrors of Bagram prison. The tale delves into the murky labyrinth of crony-corporatism conducting the ‘business enterprise of war.’
“As does John le Carré, I like to put my characters in complex situations—link those situations— and let them figure out how to deal with the snarled web, including all the messy entanglements: of love; intrigue; deceit; danger; and violence. And all the while, I explore the growth arc of the characters—either into good or into evil. It’s what life is about and giving focus to the messy clutter is what makes writing the pleasurable creative process that it is. And though my plots and characters are all fictional, their situations closely resemble those actually taking place in real time and place.”