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Jayn first used Central Library in Birmingham whilst studying in 6th form as a venue to meet friends for study. At the age of 18, Jayn left the city to pursue a career as a dancer, before embarking on a career in performance and teaching.
However, throughout her life, Jayn has maintained an interest in history which manifested itself when she visited the village of Abbots Bromley and discovered the Abbots Bromley horn dance, a yearly ritual in which residents take to the streets to perform dances whilst brandishing antlers kept in the village church.
Intrigued by the origins of the peculiar tradition, Jayn set out to research the dance and found herself back in Birmingham Central Library once again where she was amazed at the information she was able to find.
Upon unravelling the stories behind the ritual, Jayn was inspired to write her first novel, ‘Emily & Jen Dance for Deeron’ – with the story even featuring ‘The History of the Antiquities of Staffordshire’, the book used by Jayn to research the novel.
Jayn has now moved to the Midlands, and drawing on her joint passions for Dance, History and Literature, has already delivered exciting interactive workshops to visitors of the children’s library.
On her experience of researching her first novel in the library, Jayn said: “Heritage can be used as a stimulus. It’s not just something in history books, it’s something we can use creatively to make something modern.” With much improved access to the Archives and Heritage collections in the Library of Birmingham, doing just that will be easier than ever in 2013.
Rewriting the Book