About Janis


She Was

The Annunciation of Francesca Dunn

Short Stories


Tour Schedule





"Mountain Passage" part of Denver at 150 in 5280 Magazine

My grandfather worked on the railroad crew that built the Moffat Tunnel 30 years before I was born. I have a picture of him there, in 1927, standing at the west portal in the snow with five other guys and a boxcar. My grandfather is a young man, but his wrinkles are already deep from squinting into the bright sun. In that world of white the only dark objects... read more.


A note to her readers about She Was

Chances are, if you’re reading this you like fiction. But if you’re a person who generally prefers “true” stories about “real” people and you’re reading this because some addle-pated fiction lover in your book group chose the book this month, then this is for you.
The seeds for the idea that eventually became She Was came from a “true” story. For me, it started on a summer morning in 2000. We’d hit the millennium after two decades of unparalleled collective narcissism. We were all:  my happiness, my livelihood, my house, my car, my kids, my 401K. And now we were starting a fresh century, a fresh millennium, and we all assumed there would be more to come... read more.


Back Story for She Was

I was reading the Sunday paper in my bathrobe. It was May. It was 2001. The article was about a fifty-something soccer mom in Minnesota who had been arrested for planting a bomb that never went off in a police car tailpipe back in the early 1970s. From where I sat that morning, before the twin towers fell and before we went to war in Iraq... read more.


Back Story for The Annunciation of Francesca Dunn

I grew up in the 60’s in Littleton, Colorado, which was then a brand new suburb south of Denver and decades away from its Columbine infamy. Like other young couples in post WWII affluent America, my parents set out to make the safest, cleanest, most homogenous place they could to start a family.

What they didn’t realize was... read more.