Alum Jan Ellison's 'A Small Indiscretion': A Large Love of Writing

Thursday, June 04, 2015
THE DAILY NEWS (SANTA CLARA COUNTY) -- The novel began as her thesis, a short story, for the San Francisco State Master of Fine Arts program. The mother of four, it took her seven and half years to earn that degree. But her adviser, Professor Maxine Chernoff, gave her encouragement. Ellison grew up in a Los Angeles suburb and studied history at Stanford. At 19, she took a year off, jetted to Paris, then worked in an office in London. During these travels, the seeds were planted for her coming-of-age novel, “A Small Indiscretion.” Her only goal at the moment is to write a second novel of which she can be proud. “There’s always that little bird sitting on your shoulder, saying, ‘That's terrible!’ I have learned that you have to just write straight through that,” Ellison says. “There’s no way you can wake up every day and believe in yourself as a writer. All you can do is wake up every day and write.”