Jane Sigaloff was born on 16th April 1973 in London and despite brief trips into the countryside, she’s always been a city girl at heart.
Encouraged by her family to read and write from a very early age, Jane had her first entry in her school magazine at the age of five and was given her first dictionary when she was six. Reading anything and everything from the backs of cereal packets and shampoo bottles to her parents’ collection of books, thanks to Enid Blyton she had toyed with running away to join the circus several times before her ninth birthday, and always wanted a tuck box.
Brought up and educated in Ealing, West London she attended Notting Hill & Ealing High School where she worked and played hard and was forced to wear a skirt every day. Unsure whether to focus on arts or science subjects, at 16 she opted for the former on the basis that a lab coat and safety goggles were unflattering; although she has been known to watch ER with a certain amount of longing.
Having studied history at St Hilda’s College, Oxford University she entered the allegedly glamorous world of television as tea and coffee coordinator for Nickelodeon UK. As she progressed to researcher and then assistant producer, her contracts took her to MTV and finally to the BBC where she worked on various programmes including a Royal Wedding Interview. But it was three years as a talk-show researcher that gave her a keen insight into human behaviour – this, coupled with the experience of growing up as part of an extended dysfunctional-but-close family.
In 2000, an acute bout of millennium fever resulted in Jane leaving the BBC to spend more time on writing (this was not as foolhardy as it first sounds – see
‘How Jane got to be on the shelf’). After three months of living with her mother and step-father, no sign of a publishing deal and no pay cheque, Jane began a double life as a part-time personal assistant giving herself more time to write and feel guilty about not going to the gym.
Having done the whole living-with-a-boyfriend thing in her early twenties and the perfect girlie flatshare later on, Jane then lived on her own for two and half years. Sharing a flat with her laptop and her CD collection she refused to succumb to the stereotype of a writer living alone by not owning a cardigan or a cat. Concerned that she was talking to inanimate objects more than can be healthy, she has now moved in with a lovely man.