Jayne Ann Krentz

Novelist, Writer, Editor

July 07, 2011

Jayne Ann Krentz, U.C. Santa Cruz, History '70

Romance novelist Jayne Ann Krentz is one of the country's best-loved and most prolific writers, with an impressive string of New York Times best sellers to her credit. Krentz uses three different pen names, one for each of her three fictional "worlds." As Jayne Ann Krentz (her married name) she writes contemporary romantic suspense. She uses Amanda Quick for her novels of historical romantic suspense, with Jayne Castle (her birth name) reserved these days for her stories of futuristic/paranormal romantic suspense. "I am often asked why I use a variety of pen names," Krentz says. "The answer is that this way readers always know which of my three worlds they will be entering when they pick up one of my books." Krentz' latest book—Quicksilver, published under her pseudonym Amanda Quick—is due out in April 2011.

In addition to her fiction writing, Krentz is the editor of, and a contributor to, a nonfiction essay collection, Dangerous Men and Adventurous Women: Romance Writers on the Appeal of the Romance, published by the University of Pennsylvania Press. She has a strong commitment to her chosen genre, saying, "This is the only genre where readers are guaranteed novels that place the heroine at the heart of the story," Krentz says. "These are books that celebrate women's heroic virtues and values: courage, honor, determination and a belief in the healing power of love."

"I was a small-town girl from a very small-town high school," says Krentz. UCSC opened my eyes to the world and gave me the self-confidence I needed to pursue a big-girl dream. It was not so much what I learned at UCSC—although that was important—it was that I learned how to learn."