Skip to content

About Me

(Photo from Blocksy)

Janet Ambrosi Wertman grew up within walking distance of three bookstores and a library on Manhattan’s Upper West Side – and she visited all of them regularly. Her grandfather was an antiquarian bookdealer who taught her that there would always be a market for quirky, interesting books. He was the one who persuaded Janet’s parents to send her to the French school where she was taught to aspire to long (grammatically correct) sentences as the hallmark of a skillful writer. She lived that lesson until she got to Barnard College. Short sentences were the rule there.  She complied. She reached a happy medium when she got to law school – complicated sentences alternating with simple ones in a happy mix.

Janet spent fifteen years as a corporate lawyer in New York, she even got to do a little writing on the side (she co-authored The Executive Compensation Answer Book, which was published by Panel Publishers back in 1991). But when her first and second children were born, she decided to change her lifestyle.  She and her husband transformed their lives in 1997, moving to Los Angeles and switching careers.  Janet became a grantwriter (and will tell anyone who will listen that the grants she’s written have resulted in more than $30 million for the amazing non-profits she is proud to represent) and took up writing fiction.

There was never any question about the topic of the fiction: Janet has harbored a passion for the Tudor Kings and Queens since her parents let her stay up late to watch the televised Masterpiece Theatre series (both The Six Wives of Henry VIII and Elizabeth R) when she was *cough* eight years old.  One of the highlights of Janet’s youth was being allowed to visit the Pierpont Morgan Library on a day when it was closed to the public and examine books from Queen Elizabeth’s personal library and actual letters that the young Princess Elizabeth (technically Lady Elizabeth…) had written.

With the Seymour Saga is complete, Janet is deep into writing the first book of her next trilogy, which takes up where the Seymours left off to illustrate the life of Elizabeth I – and she is getting ready to publish her translation of a nineteenth century biography of Henry later this year. And because you can never have too much Tudors in your life, Janet also attends book club meetings and participates in panels and  discussions through History Talks!, a group of historical novelists from Southern California who work with libraries around the state.

23 Comments

  1. So pleased I stumbled upon you over at Facebook (via Henry VIII page) as I too am fascinated with the whole Tudor Dynasty, before and after! Funny thing, this didn’t spark any interest when I was younger…it all happened after watching a few good films and TV series 🙂

  2. Diane brozosky Diane brozosky

    I thought you were a British writer ! I’ve been a English history fan since grade school history reading about Henry VIII and Bloody Mary and the Crusades ! And am so thankful for Facebook which has connected me to so many who share my interest ! And I look forward to your books !

    • PS Best comment ever – I cannot imagine a greater compliment than you thinking I was a British writer!

      • Don’t be so eager to attain ‘the badge’, us Brits are not all we are cracked upto be! I think a Brit influenced American writer is just as good, probably better, at making history more accessible as there is a non-assumption of ownership. Catherine Parr was one hell of a woman as she got Henry when he was stinking and rotten! Girl Power for sure. This parallels with the pioneering spirit of American women ‘going West’. Tenacious, acerbic and apt at holding ones tongue (usually!) but most excellent at giving ‘The Look’, which was enough for anyone or any situation! There seems to me to be a common thread back to Scandanavian Dark Europe (Vikings and ‘Dark’ because ‘we are kept in the dark’ due to very few people being able to write or read). The things we sometimes take for granted! (from the 28th great grandson of Ragemer of Normandy Knight b1036 & 28 degrees away from Henry VIII Tudor via marriage to Catherine Parr)

        • Ah, thank you, but my point was that Brits have a perspective that can never really be accessed by anyone else. This point was hammered home to me over the eons I spent translating The Six Marriages of Henry VIII, which brought a French lens to his story. I am proud that I was able to capture the essence without revealing preconceived notions…

  3. Nancy Hall Nancy Hall

    Janet – I am reading “Jane the Quene” right now and am enjoying it tremendously. Like you I have been fascinated with Elizabeth and from that, the Tudors since I was young and I do read a great deal now that I am retired. “Jane the Quene” has a wonderful quality that really breathes life into her history. The reader feels like a fly on the wall observer of real people living real moments. That is not easy to achieve – you’ve done a wonderful job. I look forward to more of your work. Must add – my younger son lives at 106th and Broadway so I am on the UWS often.

    • Thank you so much for your kind words! And for bringing me back to Broadway and 106th Street! (My mother used to volunteer at a community organization with its offices right there so I spent a lot of time on that corner!)

  4. Katherine Brunson Katherine Brunson

    Janet , just finished Jane the Quene, you infused just great dimension, sucessful burning through the “plain Jane” persona.
    I have read maney works from maney authors on thus time period, I loved the book and can’t wait to read more of your work.

  5. Ramjet Ramjet

    Too bad Wertman didn’t live at the time of Elizabeth or Edward. Would it have made any difference to her between the reality and its consequences on the one hand and her sympathetic musings on the other?

    • I love our modern time – as much as I would love to experience the past through a quick visit, the parts that most fascinate me are best viewed from a distance…

  6. Valerie Morgan Valerie Morgan

    Hi Janet ,
    I so enjoyed your first two books in the Seymour saga , but I was wondering when the third book will be published? I have a particular interest in Thomas Seymour as I volunteer at Sudeley castle . I Hope to meet you next time you’re visiting.
    Val Morgan .

    • Thank you so much! And I am so sorry I didn’t get to meet you when I was at Sudeley last summer! The Boy King should be coming out late this year…though poor Thomas doesn’t fare all that well given the whole incident with the dog…still, I blame Dudley! 😉

  7. Patricia Palleschi Patricia Palleschi

    Dear Janet:

    Your books have inspired me to learn more about this era.

    Unlike most of your followers, prior to reading your books, I had known almost nothing about this era. I harbored a rather one-dimensional view of Henry and a blurred vision of his wives — with no interest in more!

    The caricatures of my grade school history class gave me the leeway to provide Henry the benefit of the doubt about the need to hang a couple of wives. And, in opposition to my Catholic indoctrination, I had rather favored Cromwell over his more religious predecessor. You have engaged me in a much more nuanced version of history.

    You are empathetic to each character (including some of the lesser-known) and encourage your reader to share that empathy. You intertwine accuracy with a sense of immediacy and detail.

    I can now “feel” the strengths, foibles and pains of the Tudors (and those around them). And I’m beginning to understand the interplay of history and characters.

    I can’t wait for “The Boy King” … and more from you!

    Thank you,

    Pat Palleschi

    • Oh, my goodness, thank you so much for this incredible series of compliments. Reactions like this mean the world to a writer, and I am near tears right now. Thank you!

  8. Jane Jane

    Dear Janet,
    I just finished Jane the Quene and I really loved it! I have loved the Tudor era since I was very little and visited the Tower of London, and was always fascinated by Henry and his wives. I always loved the first three, odd considering they all were somewhat against each other, but my favorite has always been Jane Seymour. I initially liked her best because I was 7 and my name is Jane, but as I got older and read and watched things about the Tudors, the initial favoritism remained and she remains my favorite. Many people overlook her compared to the regal Catherine of Aragon, and the infamous Anne Boleyn, her reign was short and she died before she had a lasting impact on her son. Many accounts, I believe misjudged her of being too simple and meek. I had always thought she was very clever, determined enough to get what she wanted but intelligent enough to do so without pushing the King passed his limits, she after all was the only one who died a queen. I also thought her one of the kindest, her relationship with Mary proving that. I was very frustrated that she never seemed to have a book or a show about her, she was an extra detail in the fall of Anne Boleyn when I thought she deserved more. Then I read your book and was so delighted not just that it featured her but I thought it did her justice. Even though I knew how it would end, I still latched on to every detail and was surprised at several moments. I just ordered The Path to Somerset, and I can’t wait to read the Boy King when it comes out, hopefully soon!!
    All the best,
    Jane

    • “I thought it did her justice” – thank you so very much! Yes, I love Jane and Edward and Edward – I think the Seymours are the central Tudor story that no one ever tells…except me (which I kinda like). The Boy King will be out on September 30 – I plan to reveal the cover next week, so your timing is great! Hope you love it!! And please post reviews – even just a star rating – it would mean the world to me!!

  9. Nicolette Dumas Nicolette Dumas

    I love reading about the Tudor dynasty. I stumbled across your page researching a topic. I would love to read your books but I almost exclusively read through audiobooks (I work way too much and this is the only way I get books in). I have searched all my audiobook sources and was disappointed. Any plans on making any of your books into audiobooks?

    • Aww, thank you! I do have plans for the audiobooks but they are still very early stage…I’m afraid it will be a while!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.