Cast Spotlight: Janet Sheppard Kelleher

by Anna Hartman on April 12, 2017

Janet Sheppard Kelleher is quite simply the strongest woman I know. She’s a published author, mother of 3, adventurer, advocate, breast cancer survivor, and (maybe most importantly) a new grandmother. I’m honored to welcome her back to the LTYM stage. And be sure to see her read “Birthin’ Babies” in Charleston’s inaugural LTYM in 2014.


What is your name?
Janet Sheppard Kelleher  (Jan, The Baby Whisperer! . . . SINCE GRANDMOTHERHOOD​)

Where do you write, blog, are published?
Big C, little ta-ta: Kicking Breast Cancer’s Butt in 7 Humorous Stories
My Facebook Page (this really has more up-to-date info than my website below)

How did you find LTYM?
I believe I originally read about this audition in The State Newspaper.

What is the craziest thing you remember saying to your children?
I always say, “Do (such and such) for ‘Your Mommy loves you best.’ Or I sign notes/cards from ‘Your Mommy who loves you best.” . . . One day, my son wised up and said, ‘You can’t love her best. You love me best.’ Then I explained what I meant. It wasn’t that I loved that particular child better than the other two, but that I love them each better than anyone on Earth ever could.

What is one of your favorite things you’ve ever written?

What do you wish most for your children and grandchildren?
I wish for them to know the love that I have known from my family and friends . . . and I wish for them to be able to give that same kind of love to others.

What does motherhood mean to you?
Unconditional, sacrificial, eternal, love.

Tell us at least 2 fun facts about yourself.
10 fun facts about Janet Sheppard Kelleher:
1)  Jan won a hot dog eating contest in college. The prize was a toy doctor’s kit and an Alka Seltzer. (It was SO worth it!)
2)  When Jan was 22, she taught self-defense classes to several groups of senior citizens. (Now she’s a senior!)
3)  She para-sailed over the jet stream in the Gulf of Mexico and saw a giant Marlin just underneath her. (It was SO worth it!)
4)  She married a Yankee against her mother’s advice. They’re still together after 40 years.
5)  She studied karate for 3 years during her teens.
6)  She bowled a 613 scratch set in a tournament when she was 7 months pregnant. THAT child is an excellent bowler today.
7)  She climbed to the top of Chichen Itza —but didn’t sacrifice anyone to the Mayan god Kukulkan when she got there.
8)  She took a group of ladies over 65, who had never left the US, to Mexico and gave them their first snorkeling and para-sailing experience.
9)  She clerked in her grandmother’s grocery story from the time she was 7 years old until she went to college at 18.
10)  Although she’s not very proud of it, she once streaked through a fancy hotel restaurant.

Tell us about your hobbies/interests/things you collect, etc
I love hang-gliding, para-sailing, ballooning, hunting, fishing, archaeology, traveling, sudoku, crossword puzzles. I love experiencing life, finding the funny things in the “not-so-funny” circumstances, and then writing about them in hopes of encouraging others to do likewise.

You don’t want to miss us April 29 to hear Jan’s amazing piece. Please pack your tissues and get your tickets now before we sell out! 

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