Jan Fink was born in Tuscaloosa, Ala., in 1949.
Throughout her childhood she spent her weekends and summers on her grandparents forty-acre farm in Samantha, Ala. Her grandfather had little-to-no education but was a master storyteller. Neighbors would walk for miles every warm summer evening to join him on his front porch and listen to his tall tales. Jan would listen and watch as he wove his spell of rhythmic words, his only punctuation a pause and tap of his foot. Those evenings with granddaddy were the formative years toward Jan’s love of writing.
Jan left Alabama the day after her high school graduation, hitching a ride to New York, where she worked at Ohrbach’s while attending night classes at the Fashion Institute of Technology. While on a trip to The Cloisters Museum and Gardens in northern Manhattan she met Will Fink. They married in 1968. In 1971 they left the fast pace of Manhattan and moved back to Jan’s Alabama home town.
In the late 70s, when her granddaddy passed away, Jan and Will moved back to the farm in Samantha to be near her grandmother. It was there, on the same front porch overlooking her granddaddy’s barren fields, still hearing his voice – his words – that she began to write. She attended writing workshops and evening college classes in an effort to hone her craft, but soon realized society at large wasn’t prepared for the Southern Gothic truth her writing exposed.
During the 80s and 90s she worked as a reporter for the St. Clair News Aegis in Pell City, Ala., and The Blount Countian in Oneonta, Ala. She also has worked as a columnist for The Arab Tribune. In 2011 she retired her Arab Tribune column “Love the South” to work on her first collection of short stories, “Tales from a Strange Southern Lady.”
She and her husband Will live in Arab, Ala., where she is working on another collection of short stories and a novel.
Jan writes what she knows and loves, with no apologies: Alabama, the South and its beautiful eccentric and tragic voices.