A Note from Janis

I’ll just say it:  my last published book, She Wascame out in hardcover in 2008 and in paperback in 2009. In the publishing world that is a long, long time ago, maybe a couple of lifetimes ago.

For me, novels arise from the deepest core of my psyche. I have learned that it takes time to absorb my life before I can write my best, next book. And life has been rich. It has been full. It has been challenging. Here’s what the last twelve years has looked like for me.

She Was came out during the 2008 election. Remember 2008? The presidential election dominated the media. The economy was tanking. Publishing was struggling and my publisher, Wm. Morrow/HarperCollins was regrouping so fast that every week there were new people… read more.

Opinion: Does the Colorado oil and gas industry really think our bad air comes from China?

Dan Haley’s op-ed of March 9, 2020, “We All Breathe The Same Air. Colorado’s Oil & Gas Employees Want to Make Sure Our Air is Clean,” is long on nostalgia for when we didn’t know much about the negative effects of drilling and fracking.

It is woefully and dangerously short on facts.

For all his claims that drilling and fracking are safe, Haley doesn’t provide links to any sources… read more.

Dear Reader (a note 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.

I was on the back porch reading in the Sunday Times about an ordinary wife and mother who’d just been arrested in St. Paul for planting a bomb read more.


A short story by Janis Hallowell

I stood on Mr. Silvia’s porch with my last thirty-six dollars rolled in a rubber band tucked between breast and belly fat.

I remembered the house from when I was a kid. Back then it was a gap-toothed barn where we played while birds flew in and out above us. Now it was a fancy house where the famous author, Bernard Silvia, lived. As I listened for him on the other side of the wooden door I pulled my coat tight to protect against his eyes seeing… read more.

Mountain Passage

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 are the train and the men. Their task was to fulfill David H. Moffat’s dream of punching a tunnel through six miles of rock, allowing the railroad to pass under, rather than hauling itself over, the Continental Divide.

Moffat was a visionary in a time when trains were synonymous with civilization. He knew that Denver, landlocked, with its back to 14,000-foot mountains, needed a tunnel to connect the city to the world. He didn’t live to see his tunnel completed…. read more.