J.A. (Judith Ann) Jance attended the University of Arizona and graduated in 1966 with a Bachelor's of Arts Degree in English and Secondary Education. In 1967 she married her first husband, a fellow graduate from the University of Arizona. She worked as an English teacher at Pueblo High School until 1968. She received a Master of Education in Library Science in 1970 and became a librarian in the Indian Oasis School District on the Tohono O'odham reservation. While living on the reservation where both she and her husband taught, Ms. Jance's husband received a ride home from a serial killer who eventually stalked the couple. Mr. Jance was able to help the police identify the suspect which led to his arrest.
In 1980 Ms. Jance divorced her husband and moved to Seattle, Washington with her two children. There she sold life insurance before marrying her second husband in 1985. In 1982, Ms. Jance began writing her first true crime novel based on her experience with the serial murderer on the Tohono O'odham reservation which was never published. Ms. Jance then wrote her first mystery fiction novel which was published in 1985. After publishing her novel Ms. Jance turned to writing full time. J.A. Jance is a prolific author who has written mystery novels in several series including the J.P. Beaumont, Joanna Brady and Ali Reynolds series as well as several thrillers, a book of poetry based on her marriage to an alcoholic, and several books in a children's personal safety series.
Papers, 1927-2006 (bulk 1991-2005). This collection consists of materials which document the literary career of mystery writer J.A. Jance. The bulk of the material is comprised of drafts of manuscripts, articles and short stories as well as printed materials including news clippings and various mystery newsletters and magazines. The collection also contains correspondence, photographs, audio visual materials and objects.