Meet Jane Kirkpatrick

Jane Kirkpatrick: Writer, Speaker, Teacher & Healer

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A bit about Jane...

Jane is internationally recognized for her lively presentations and well-researched stories that encourage and inspire.

A New York Times Bestselling author, her works have appeared in more than 50 national publications including The Oregonian, Private Pilot and Daily Guideposts. With more than 1.5 million books in print, her 30 novels and non-fiction titles draw readers from all ages and genders. Most are historical novels based on the lives of actual historical women often about ordinary women who lived extraordinary lives. Her works have won numerous national awards including the WILLA Literary Award, the Carol Award, USABestBooks.com, Will Roger's Medallion Award and in 1996, her first novel, A Sweetness to the Soul, won the prestigious Wrangler Award from the Western Heritage and National Cowboy Museum. Her novels have also been finalists for the Spur Award, the Oregon Book Award, the Christy, Reader's Choice and the WILLA in both fiction and non-fiction. Several titles have been Literary Guild and Book of the Month choices and been on the bestsellers list for independent bookstores across the country, in the Pacific Northwest and the Christian Booksellers Association. Her books have been translated into German, Dutch, Finnish and Chinese.

Bend, Oregon

In 2010, after twenty-six years on the Homestead, Jane and Jerry and their dogs, Bo and Caesar moved to central Oregon and call Bend, home. The seasons on the ranch changed their lives and they left with no regrets. They continue to enjoy new adventures in writing and life.

Jane's Special Projects

Start Making a Reader Today

One of the organizations I support is SMART. In 2016, we kicked-off the non-profit's 25th anniversary by asking 25 authors and illustrators to write a story to be read aloud to kids. OREGON READS ALOUD is the result. Although, I don’t consider myself a children's author, I was asked to write the introductory story that offers an explanation in story form of what SMART does for kids. Authors and illustrators signed copies during the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association Trade Show. The first printing sold out! Oregonians love books and want kids to know that reading matters! 

Burundi, Africa

In 2015, as a part of the joint efforts of First Presbyterian-Bend and African Road-Portland, I was privileged to visit Burundi, Africa with three other women from our church. Our visit to three villages of the marginalized Batwa people has accomplished much. To date they now have identity cards so can access government services and legally marry. Their children have birth certificates. They have medical cards. We assisted in leasing ground and buying seeds for self-sustaining growing of their own food. And for the first time, 152 children have uniforms and books to attend school. God has blessed my life in the privilege of walking beside these indigenous people. This is a five year project, please contact me if you’d like to know more about how you can help.

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Early Years

Jane grew up near Mondovi, Wisconsin, a little town not far from the Mississippi River. Her older sister Judy (now deceased) and younger brother Craig helped on the family dairy farm. Dozens of cousins lived within 50 miles providing the privilege of extended family memories. Most of the "Rutschow" clan remained in the Wisconsin-Minnesota area. Jane moved to Oregon in 1974 after completing her master's degree in social work at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She worked in the disabilities field and became the director of the mental health program in Deschutes County and the first female president of the Oregon Community Mental Health Director's Association.

 

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Homesteading

Eventually, Jane "retired" to homestead and begin a new adventure in writing, working on the Warm Springs Indian reservation, growing watermelons, and attempting to grow grapes, alfalfa and cattle. The Kirkpatrick's new life included "clearing sagebrush and wrestling wind and rattlesnakes" while "homesteading" land on the John Day River in a remote part of Oregon known locally as Starvation Point.  "It was our 'rural 7-Eleven' since our home sat seven miles from the mailbox and eleven miles from the pavement" notes the author. Additionally, she worked for seventeen years as a mental health and educational consultant on the Warm Springs Indian Reservation in Central Oregon with both Native American and non-Indian communities, a position she left in 2002. 

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Speaker & Philosophy

A lively and humorous speaker, Kirkpatrick is a frequent keynote presenter for conferences, women's retreats,fund-raisers and workshops.  In addition to her historical fiction which dramatizes pioneer life, Homestead relates, with love and laughter, her own family's modern-day struggle to catch a dream in the Oregon Territory.

Jane believes that our lives are the stories that others read first and she encourages groups to discover the power of their own stories to divinely heal and transform. Visit her blog for more information about her current projects and the privilege of following one's passion wherever the dreams may lead.