Author returning to Morpeth for book festival shares life, laughs and success of her 'retirement’ career

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A former teacher at Morpeth’s high school has found literary success by picking up her pen after retirement.

Jane Ions’ series of humorous novels are receiving an enthusiastic following and some acclaim, and she will be speaking about her writing at this year’s Morpeth Book Festival – she will be part of the line-up on March 31.

After university, she returned home to teach at King Edward VI School and began the teaching career she was able to draw on years later in her novels.

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Her first foray into literature came when her children were both at school and she could not resist turning their previously unloved school newsletters into ‘mini sitcoms’. This led to her submitting articles of interest to national publications and some of them were published, including in The Times.

Jane Ions will be speaking at the second Morpeth Book Festival later this year.Jane Ions will be speaking at the second Morpeth Book Festival later this year.
Jane Ions will be speaking at the second Morpeth Book Festival later this year.

After marriage and happy years living in Newcastle and Ponteland, husband Keith’s career took him to the Cumberland Infirmary and the family moved to Dalston. Jane continued to do some writing by submitting columns to publications in Cumbria and Tyneside.

Following her retirement, Jane wrote her first novel – Domestic Bliss And Other Disasters – chronicling the humorous adventures of semi-retired teacher Sally, politician husband Bill, their ‘boomerang’ son Dan and flock of friends.

Published in 2021 by Bluemoose Books, it proved an immediate hit with readers. Picked as Times Radio’s Book of the Week, it also made the shortlist for the prestigious ‘Comedy Women In Print’ award alongside alumni like Lynne Truss, Dolly Alderton and Mel Giedroyc.

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Jane said: “It was great to have my book read and enjoyed, and to have people ask me when the sequel was coming out.

“Memories are an enriching resource to any writer, so memories of being a pupil at Goosehill School during its scary, mid-century, spam and semolina pudding period, or of being an inexperienced teacher at King Edward VI school, are all valuable.

“It will be a great honour for me to come back to my home town to talk about these books and I hope to see some familiar faces there.”

‘Love, Politics and Possibly Murder’ was published last year, with political scandal and a startling confession from Sally’s best friend Jen setting off a chain of fast-paced, laugh-out-loud action, and Jane is currently working on her third book.

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