Finding my Voice


In 1982, I moved to from Jamaica to Philadelphia to live with my mother and my brothers.  I had to adjust to a new country, a new household and the typical middle school anxieties.  I was a shy, introverted child and I struggled to find my voice; it didn't help that my voice had a very strong Jamaican accent.  For many years, I didn't speak up as much as I needed to - I feared saying the wrong words and getting into trouble; I feared being teased because of my accent; I wasn't familiar with the sound of my own voice.  Fortunately, my upbringing gave me a quiet confidence. I was a good writer, a good student and I had a small group of great friends.

I attended Murrell Dobbins High School, a vocational high school and followed the business track but in my household, college was not an option for me; it was a requirement.  I always knew that I was going and when my older brother, Mark encouraged me to attend Penn State University, I jumped at the chance to follow in his footsteps.  I connected with the Caribbean Student's Association, joined a vibrant church and happily settled into life in Happy Valley.  It was there that I discovered that, at heart, I was a peacemaker.  I ditched my Business major and chose Labor and Industrial Relations , a choice that would lead me to law school. I discovered that I wanted to help people solve problems and a law school education enabled me to do so. 

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Why would an introvert go to law school?  Those who knew me well were puzzled because they had visions of the typical loquacious courtroom lawyers from all the popular television shows.  That was not my path; I wanted a job were I could be quiet, competent and effective. Boston College Law School, a wonderful Jesuit institution gave me the tools that I needed to find the voice that I didn't really realize that I had lost.  I gravitated towards small classes with grades based on writing assignments.  In a small-group class, I turned in a paper that I was really proud of; the professor commented that it was excellent but it was not in my voice.  I hadn't spoken much in class so my voice was really a mystery.  That is when I learned that it wasn't enough to let my writing speak for me, I had to let my voice be heard in all areas of my life. I wanted to  not only tell me story but the stories of other women.

Becoming a Storyteller

I created Women Leaving Footprints in the Sand to celebrate the lives of women, globally!  How many amazing women do you know whose stories are never told? Footprints in the Sand features the lives of women doing both ordinary and extra ordinary things.  The connecting factors are - dedication to family, service to community and pursuit of passion and purpose both professionally and personally.   I strongly believe that the footprints that women leave in the sand should be celebrated now and preserved as a written legacy for future generations.


Leaving Footprints through Writing

As a child in Jamaica, I spent a lot of time memorizing songs, poetry and bible verses, both in church and in school. After moving to the United States, I started reading everything that I could find by great authors, such as Dr. Maya Angelou. Her poems, “Phenomenal Woman” and “Still, I Rise” gave me the courage to walk confidently in the world.  Writing allowed me to find my own voice.I am really proud of the two books that are currently published. 

Growing into Greatness with God, 7 Paths to Greatness for our Sons and Daughters, was inspired by my own experiences  as a child growing up in Jamaica.  It is important to raise our sons and daughters to recognize and nourish what God has planted within each of them.  


Wild Heart, Peaceful Soul, a collection of poems and inspiration, is a love offering to strong, vulnerable, bad-ass women who lead with their hearts, love deeply and sometimes fall hard. The poems are inspired by my own journey spanning 30 years; it also dives deeply into the vulnerable hearts of women globally. Many of the poems capture the pain and struggle of women who love deeply and pour into others without first filling their own jars. The poems and inspirational quotes provide empowerment by holding a mirror to our common struggles and motivate us to care for ourselves and rise above our challenges.

Everything's is Irie: An Island Girl's Approach to Mindful Living and Being (coming March 2019) is the book that I have been waiting to write for the past 15 years. It is the story of how my childhood in Jamaica has influenced every step of my journey.  It is a testament to how a loving home, hard work, optimism, a good education and some good fortune allowed me to stay grounded through many of the struggles of life.  

Everything is Irie is also a tribute to Jamaica and the many islands that bring us fun and "Irie" times even when the people that serve you with a smile are fighting their own battles. Island mindfulness is focusing on mindful living and being; it is living in the moment, whatever that moment brings, knowing that you can weather any storms that will come your way.


Author, publisher, attorney and mother of 3 boys, Janet Autherine, is on a mission to empower children and adults to see themselves as unique and amazing—already blessed with what they need to succeed in life and to achieve their dreams.  Through her blogs, books and poetry, she provides inspirational stories and resources to help both children and adult grow into their greatness.  Janet’s blog GROWING INTO GREATNESS, is described as growth through books, poetry, positivity and purpose, with a healthy dose of mindfulness and meditation. She is also a proud introvert and share her experience in her blog THE INTROVERT VILLAGE.   As a book enthusiast and storyteller, she loves to introduce readers to inspirational writings through her blogs and publishing company, Autherine Publishing.  She is particularly proud of her project, Women Leaving Footprints in the Sand, which celebrates the lives of women who are walking in their purpose. 

Janet attended Pennsylvania State University where she received an undergraduate degree in Labor Relations.  She also graduated from Boston College Law School (JD) and the Georgetown Law Center (LL.M in Taxation). She launched her legal career in Washington, D.C, as an attorney for the U.S. Treasury Department. In addition to her writing, Janet has enjoyed a successful legal career, serving as an attorney, administrative law judge, a mediator and has held several legal management positions.   Janet continues to practice law but wakes up at 5am almost every morning to cultivate her inspirational writing and introduce readers to great books through her publishing company, Autherine Publishing. She is a proud introvert and running and reading are her peaceful passions. She is particularly proud of her role as a mother of 3 amazing boys, Gian, Giorgio and Gabriel. Her books are available on Amazon and she blogs at www.JanetAutherine.com



Birth your story

INTERVIEWS: Have a powerful story? I will help you share it with the world.

WRITING: Thinking of writing a book but don’t know where to start? Set up a consultation.

SPEAKER: I visit book clubs in person or virtually to discuss my books, Growing into Greatness (children) and Wild Heart, Peaceful Soul (poetry) and all aspect of birthing a book, including self publishing. I also speak on Mindfulness, the Immigrant Journey, Growing into Greatness, Leaving a Legacy (Footprints in the Sand) and living a life centered on positivity and purpose.


EMAIL ME - JanetAutherine@Gmail.com



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