Jan Michael was born in Wigglesworth in the Yorkshire Dales soon after the Second World War but from the age of six 'home' became the Seychelles, then Lesotho, Pakistan and Malta. Her schooling was in the Seychelles and North Wales, followed by University at Bristol and Nottingham, before she went into publishing in London, working as editor for two firms. In the late seventies she moved to the Netherlands, to Amsterdam; after a short stint as editor with a big company there she decided to leave and go freelance, still in publishing. In 2009 she and her English husband, whom she had met in Amsterdam, returned to the U.K. to work and live in the Yorkshire market town of Settle, not far from where she was born.
She started writing in the late 1980s and has had fourteen books and several short stories published, some of which are for children. Many have been translated, all into Dutch, others into German, Japanese, Italian, Polish and Danish. Moorside Boy, published in 2013, is set in the Yorkshire Dales, as is her latest novel Stone on Stone published in November 2016.