How do you raise six young children and write bestsellers? For Jane Green, a Westport resident who was one of the first writers of “chick lit,” the answer lies in discipline and focus. The author of nine novels, Green explains: “My experience as a journalist taught me that you have to have lots of discipline to sit and write. Every morning, after the kids have gone to school, I take my laptop to the local library. Before sitting down to type, I have already set myself a goal — finishing a chapter, for example — and I stay and write until I have met my goal. I am usually finished before noon, allowing me to go home and get organized before the kids return.”
It all started in London, where Green was a features writer at The Daily Express, known for her wry take on dating and relationships. Her first novel, Straight Talking, published in 1996, became on overnight success. Her most recent book, The Beach House, was published in June; Cosmopolitan magazine named it one of “ten books not to miss this summer.”
Green’s novels reflect the lives of contemporary women, with all the trials and tribulations that come with real life. Her themes have closely paralleled her life. Her first few novels reflected the single woman living in London. Falling in love and getting married, having children, falling out of love and getting divorced, and finally finding love again are all part of Green’s life as well as the lifeblood of her characters. She endured an unsatisfying marriage for seven years, despite her four children with her first husband. After divorcing, she unexpectedly fell in love for the first time at age 38, with her landlord, Ian, her partner today. She learned, she says, that you view the world differently when you have happiness within.
“I draw on my life in all of my books in some way,” Green says, adding that her children have been included as characters. “I have six-year-olds and four-year-olds in my books. They inspire me.”
Although Fairfield County offers many diversions for kids, Green says she and her family like to stay close to home (although, admittedly, her 13-year-old’s favorite haunt is the local arcade). “We don’t allow videogames in the house,” she says. “My kids are always outside. They’re on their bikes in the neighborhood, they’re on the trampoline.”
Presently living in a rental, Green has been searching for the perfect beach house in Westport, and has finally found her place in the sun where she plans to build a home. “Finally, I have the life I’ve always wanted,” she says. “Our home is filled with children… my kids are happy and settled. While the chaos in our house is occasionally almost too much to bear, I love and am grateful for it every moment of the day. With chaos comes something I never thought I’d have — peace.”