During the seven years she spent writing The Pale Surface of Things, Janey Bennett tracked down and read many books on aspects of life on Crete. She interviewed residents of Crete, Byzantine icon painters, archaeologists, and Greek Orthodox priests. The result is a novel into whose convincing setting Bennett has brought an intriguing group of characters in a story of redemption. The Pale Surface of Things has received seven awards from the book industry in 2008.
Janey learned her research techniques working on her master’s thesis under the guidance of architectural historian Reyner Banham. He showed her that the more the periphery of a subject comes into focus, the deeper the understanding of the core subject. It’s a philosophy of research that has served her well. Bennett’s writings on architecture have been published in the US and Finland.
Research is only one of Bennett’s skills. Her characters speak with individuality and vitality. Her plots unfold with surprises and satisfying conclusions. Her dialog is fresh and believable.
Janey’s childhood in a home filled with books and ideas led to her love of literature. She was born in San Diego, graduated from UCLA, did post-graduate work at Cal State University Northridge, and completed her MA in Architecture History at SCI-Arc.
She was possibly the first woman radio announcer on the West Coast, working at KPFK-FM, Pacifica Radio in Los Angeles in the early 1960s. She came back to announcing 20 years later at KBOQ-FM, classical radio in the Monterey Peninsula, where she also worked as a proofreader for CTB/McGraw-Hill and Brooks-Cole Publishing. In Monterey she also had a landscape design company (Water-Less Gardens was her business name), and trained dressage horses and riders. She is a keen cellist, but most of all, she writes.
THE PALE SURFACE OF THINGS is Bennett’s first novel, leading her into the study of classical Greek, Byzantine icon painting, geology, botany, the vernacular architecture and sociology of Greek villages, Minoan culture and art, the science of archaeology, World War II on Crete, and criminal law in Greece. Her second novel (working title: Jia Li) has just received the Joanna Catherine Scott Novel Excerpt Award from PEN Nob Hill’s Soul-Making Awards. A cellist, freelance editor, and author, Bennett divides her time between Bellingham, WA and Hornby Island, BC.
See Janeybennett.com for more information.