Becoming Janice is now available in paperback and ebook formats

 

“A thoughtful story that teases out the complexity of human relationships, holding a mirror up to ourselves, whatever our age, our era, our past, our place on the spectrum of what it is to be human.”


Manda ScottSunday Times bestselling author

becoming janice by ragini werner is out now
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This is my story

ragini werner

Ragini Werner
Sapphic author from the Netherlands

ragini werner

Thank you for visiting my website! I’m delighted to have you here. My name is Ragini Werner and I’m a sapphic author who lives in the Netherlands.

I’ve been keen on writing ever since I was growing up in New Zealand. As a young girl I loved writing little stories for the amusement of my family. When I grew up, I was thrilled to see my short works get published in lesbian and literary magazines and reach a wide audience.

Much older (but not much wiser), and having left New Zealand for Australia, then England, and ultimately, the Netherlands, I continued to pursue my passion for writing—as a hobby.

That led eventually to the publication of my debut novel, “Revealing Philippa” in 2015. My first full-length book explores lesbian love and friendship against the backdrop of community theater.

My second novel, “Becoming Janice” was published by Iguana Books in 2024. This sapphic coming-of-age novel is set in Amsterdam and London and, I’m proud to reveal, it’s collecting amazing reviews from readers (see What others say, below).

People from all over the spectrum fascinate me. In my stories, I delve into the intricacies of human relationships, striving to capture their multifaceted natures in ways that resonate with my readers. Well, that’s the posh version of my aim. Basically, all I want to do with my writing is give you an easy, relatable read with a riveting kick.

I hope my novels entertain you, make you feel, but also, make you think. Happy reading!

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These are my books

Becoming Janice

My most recent novel “Becoming Janice” is a sapphic coming-of-age tale set against the vibrant backdrop of 1980s London and Amsterdam.

Revealing Philippa

My debut novel, “Revealing Philippa,” is an emotionally charged story that delves into the complexities of lesbian love and the enduring bonds of friendship. It is set in the wilds of New Zealand.

Want more of my writing?

 

If you want to keep up with my latest writing, tune into my Bashful Blagger blog. Here’s where I regularly share my views of the writing world at large and rave about my sapphic writing life.

And if you’d like to catch my latest writing news or if you’re in the mood for some lively wordy fun, feel free to join me on my word playgrounds on Facebook and Instagram. Here’s where I post my witty (witless?) wordplay and silly “punliners” (you have been warned!) as well as lots of other interesting stuff on writing. Write on!

What others say about Becoming Janice

“In Becoming Janice, Ragini Werner has crafted a poignant, thoughtful story that teases out the complexity of human relationships, holding a mirror up to ourselves, whatever our age, our era, our past, our place on the spectrum of what it is to be human. Gritty, heartwarming and deeply evocative of a world in which many of us grew up, this is a beautiful story of love sought and found on so many levels. Beautiful. A voice to watch out for.” – Manda ScottSunday Times bestselling author of the prize-winning A Treachery of Spies, whose new book Any Human Power is available now

“In Becoming Janice, Ragini Werner takes us on a Grand Tour of Lesbian Amsterdam as the 1980s dawn, ‘tarts and all,’ as Janice’s gay Scottish friend Colin might say. She vividly evokes an era full of self-discovery with comedy and catastrophe, but also, eventually, with some quieter and more thoughtful conclusions that just might be what Janice has been needing to become Janice.” Murray Edmond, poet, playwright, editor & critic, author of Aucklanders (Lasavia Publishing, 2023)

Becoming Janice reframes the coming-of-age story as a queer journey into single womanhood during the early 80’s. As a narrator, Janice is wholly relatable in her isolation and sexual frustration, as she scrounges her way through Europe, picking up cheeky friends and odd jobs. But even as she joins up with a group of lesbian thespians, or navigates various heartbreaks, specters of the past keep pace with Janice in ways that are surprising, yet resonant.” – Lindsay Merbaum, author of The Gold Persimmon

“All the characters in Becoming Janice came alive for me. I felt like I had known them for years. And Ragini Werner’s writing drew me in and wouldn’t let me go. I hope she writes another book about Janice!” – Katharine O’Moore-Klopf, author of “This Pencil for Hire” in What Editors Do, edited by Peter Ginna

Becoming Janice is a true rite-of-passage story that takes you back to the liberated gay scene of Amsterdam in the late seventies, where Janice is looking for her Wonder Woman, with several heart-halting frights along the way. I read it cover to cover in one go. Simply unputdownable!” – Eefke Smit, author of The Discipline of Curiosity

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This is my bulletin board

Becoming Janice on location


Derek Coleman, former senior editorial project manager @Elsevier, took Becoming Janice along on a recent trip to New York. Here Derek is reading the book near Ground Zero, with one of the bronze sculptures in “A Wild Life for Wildlife” by British and Australian public artists, Gillie and Marc. On his return to the Netherlands, Derek sent in this review.

“When I started reading Becoming Janice, I had to fight the inclination to be an editor, to ask why Ragini Werner said it like this and how about formulating it so. But when something horrible happened to Kobus I was jolted out of editorial mode and became immersed in the narrative. The rest read like a train, as the Dutch say. Colin, Hannah, Negy, Kate, all relatable characters. Now the but. I hated the ending! The Janice who popped up on the last few pages was not the one I thought I had learned to know and like. Am I the only one? To end on a positive note, Ragini Werner has talent. It was a riveting read.”

Global lineup at online launch

Guests tuned into the online launch from all over the globe, led by publisher Cheryl Hawley, representing Iguana Books in Toronto, Canada. Other guests came from the United States, England, South Africa, Germany, Italy, Spain and France, and of course, the author’s own country, the Netherlands.

Local lineup at live launch

IWCN Writers Club attending the launch party for Becoming Janice

Happy members of the IWCN Writers Club were among the lineup of local guests attending the launch party for Becoming Janice. From l-r: Dulce María Morales HernándezAlberto Cortés NavarreteAlejandra Barreto CortésAmelia Fendell-Wipf and Lira Palmer. Photo by Corina Onderstijn, book doctor and prize-winning Dutch author of Vanbinnen en Vanbuiten.

The unusual hybrid event, which incidentally coincided with the author’s 70th birthday,  took place on April 10, half online and half in real life in the author’s home. Both halves of the global party merged seamlessly into a most “gezellig” celebration.

The online half of the launch was hosted in Toronto by marketing guru Chris Houston of The Idea Shop, who also recorded the event for those unable to attend. Watch the video on YouTube or on here (with apologies for the somewhat scratchy sound in places).