Janeen O'Connell

Janeen O'Connell was born and grew up in Melbourne. Her parents separated before her first birthday, and her maternal grandmother had primary care of Janeen for some years. It was her grandmother's strong sense of justice, her strong political will, and the passion filled stories she told of her childhood and the Depression years, that instilled a love of family history and politics into the aspiring writer. 

Janeen majored in Political Science in her Bachelor of Arts Degree through Deakin University, and sub-majored in Journalism. She later completed a Graduate Diploma of Education at Monash/Gippsland, and after working in different situations for several years, eventually settled into secondary teaching where her specialties were English and Humanities. 

After retirement, a Diploma of Family History at the University of Tasmania whipped Janeen's random genealogical research into a manageable form and enabled her to write the books about her long-forgotten convict ancestors. She is currently studying a Graduate Diploma of Creative Writing at Deakin.

A treasure of a discovery in her family history was her First Fleet 5x great grandfather, who was in his late forties when transported. He was shuffled around by the vagaries of the English Government and in 1808 settled with many other convicts in New Norfolk in van Diemen’s Land. He finished building a Georgian mansion there in 1818, which still stands. Janeen launched her first book at the property in April 2018, and has spoken at literary high teas which the current owners organise. http://www.glenderwent.com 

Janeen lives in a suburb of Melton with her husband of fifty years, and their miniature poodle, Teddy.


Historical fiction:

  • No Room for Regret (Book one of the Cullen/Bartlett Dynasty) 


  • Love, Lies, and Legacies (Book 2)


  • Time Tells All (Book 3) 


  • The Conviction of Hope (Prequel)



  • Ebony Makepeace is Dead. (Brad Culley Mysteries, Book 1.)



First Prize City of Melton Short Story Competition, 2019 (Irish Girls Can Weave.)

Edition Eleven of Swinburne’s “Backstory” (Empty Beds.)

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