All of us here at OCC were shocked and saddened by the sudden death of our friend Janet Quinn Cornelow, and I want to dedicate today’s post to her memory.
Janet joined OCC in 1988 and quickly volunteered to take on the newsletter, a board position. Computers weren’t as sophisticated in those days, so the newsletter was still printed at a local print shop and snail mailed to the membership. Janet would collect the information and compose each story or column on her computer and print it out. Then a bunch of us would gather at her house once a month to literally cut and paste the final proof. Afterwards, we’d have lunch at a local coffee shop and talk writing. Later, Janet did other volunteer jobs like Lunch Coordinator, in addition to judging in the Orange Rose, manuscript critiques and hosting Ask-An-Author.
For those who didn’t know Janet as well as I did, here are some additional details about her.
Janet was a native Californian who grew up in the Riverside area. She attended Call State Fullerton and earned a B.A. and a Master’s Degree in Journalism. In addition to her writing career, she taught for many years and worked as office manager to a Sylvan Learning Center. In recent years, she taught online classes for two private universities.
Janet and I joined the chapter the same year, we sold our first books to New York around the same time, 1997-98, and when the 21st century came along, we went on a crazy e-book journey together. Last year she plunged into the Brave New World of self-publishing. No one can ever say Janet was afraid to take a chance or try a new idea. She had just finished another book, and I hope her family will be able to see it published.
The photo above, from a signing at Bearly Used Books, shows Janet as I like to remember: surrounded by books and with a big smile on her face.
Janet Quinn has always been a story teller. She has put her love of stories into her writing. While honing her craft, she earned a B.A. and an M.A. in journalism. Then she took up teaching high school English and writing. She has also taught novel writing classes at the Learning Tree University in California.
Her first novel, Yesteryear’s Love, was published by Berkley/Jove under their Time Passages imprint. It placed in the finals of the Romance Writers of America/Orange County Chapter’s Orange Award Contest for published writers for best historical.
Wild Honey placed in the finals of the Romance Writers of America/Orange County Chapter Orange Rose Contest for unpublished authors. Also, her manuscript, The River’s Treasure, placed in the finals for best historical in the PASIC Book of Your Heart Contest. The Irish Countess, a historical romance, was a finalist in the 2007 EPPIEs.
At her memorial service, Janet’s family handed out cards in her honor that said:
Janet Marie Quinn
August 14, 1949 – October 26, 2012
Janet was the mother to three exceptional boys, Nana to two wonderful grandchildren and an accomplished author.
There are no words to properly sum up such an amazing woman or such a life well lived. She played many roles: mother, teacher, author, friend…
She left far too soon and far too suddenly. There was so much that she still had to give to the world. We will mourn and miss her–but in the same moments that we find ourselves with heartache, we must celebrate her life. We must remember the laughter and humor that she brought and the love and warmth that she always offered.
No writer could have expressed it better. Janet was a good friend and I will miss her, as we all will.
Please feel free to share your memories of Janet in the Comments below.
Thanks to everyone for commenting. Janet was a good listener, and always generous with her time and expertise.
I'm sure Janet is smiling in that knowing way of hers, nodding her head and wondering what all the fuss is about. No one could have said it better, Linda. She was unpretentious and down to earth and she created the most wonderful worlds in her stories. Charming and smart and filled with emotion.
I still have the flyer she made for a booksigning we did together with other OCC members. I think of her kindness and generosity every time I see it.
Lovely tribute, Linda. Janet was such a special person that it's hard to find words to talk about her. When she started self-publishing her books and needed covers she supported her chapter by asking me to do them. Janet was so easy to work with. She was always very good about describing what wanted in a cover so it made it easy for me to do them. I will miss her wry wit and her big smile and how easy it was to talk to her about anything. There's definitely something missing at the chapter without her.
A fine tribute to a talented and popular lady. I only knew her in recent years, but always admired her intelligence and her sense of humor. We will miss her.
What a lovely tribute to Janet. She was a friend and pal and always welcomed me with a warm smile and hug as she did everyone. I loved volunteering with her. And I'll always remember her allergy to citrus. Never a lemon in glass of water for her.
Thank you for writing this. Janet alway had a smile and a laugh for anyone one who needed a little sunshine in their day. She was fine author, a gentle and helpful critiquer. And she was always willing to lend a hand. I will miss her.
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