General News

Jana Petken with her books

Hot Dogs Ensure A Full House

The Goodwill Team knew how to encourage a full house at the October General Assembly – feed the members with hot dogs. This incentive and a good speaker, Jana Petken, certainly did the trick and after the Association meeting we were enthralled by her talk.

Jana had previously visited U3A in 2019 when she had written only 10 books, now she has 18. It shows what some people got up to in lock-down!! At that time I bought and thoroughly enjoyed her book ‘Guardian of Secrets’, based on the period 1900s to the end of the Spanish Civil war.

Jana came to Spain when she was only nine-year-old, in the days of peseta and Franco. She had a career in the army, then a tour rep before BA cabin crew – from which she retired after serious injury due to an accident caused from air turbulence during a flight. Her physio suggested typing could be a good therapy to recover movement and dexterity damage. So she bought a computer and 18 books later she is still writing.

Jana is an independent author and publisher, with her books also in Kindle format and as audio cassettes. She highlighted her concerns now with the advent of Artificial Intelligence (AI) being used to generate, and plagiarise, books and also with the banning of many classic books in the USA, such as ‘1984’ and ‘Catcher in the Rye’, because of words/phrases/actions deemed in appropriate for children. As someone who studied Franco’s life and regime, she noted also her concerns at the recent demonstrations when Franco’s body was moved from its mausoleum to a private cemetery.

Obviously a deep thinker and detailed researcher for her books. Our thanks to Jana for a most interesting talk – now I can sit down with my new purchase, Jana’s ‘The Man From Section Five’, the first of a series of books – can’t wait.

Written by Peter Sockett
Photos by Dolly Sockett

Jana Paul

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