Janet Marjorie Mark, writing as Jan Mark, was born on June 22nd in Welwyn, Hertfordshire, Britain. She was born in an evacuated hospital during World War II, and spent her childhood moving from place to place. She took full advantage of her familiarity with many locales, setting her books there, whether they were picture books, young adult books, or a collection such as The Oxford Book of Children's Stories, which she edited. She began working as an art teacher and had a great affinity for young people. She won England's Carnegie Medal twicein 1976 for Thunder and Lightnings (her first book) and in 1983 for Handles. Thunder and Lightnings also won the Penguin Guardian Award for a first children's book. Many consider her to be one of the finest of Britain's science fiction writers, authoring books such as The Ennead and Useful Idiots.
Ms. Mark died on January 15, 2006, at the age of 62.