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About the Author



Jan Jongstra was born in the Netherlands. He studied at the University of Basel, Switzerland where he received a Ph.D. in Microbiology. To sharpen his scientific skills, he trained in Strasbourg, France and in Stanford, California, USA. A few years ago, he retired from the University of Toronto’s Immunology Department as an Associate Professor.

Jan’s fiction-writing career started when his three-year-old grandson, Benji, asked to tell him a story. Jan invented many stories and inspired Benji to think of some stories as well. When Benji was five years old, Jan decided to write down some of these stories to prevent them from getting lost. Benji's favourite stories were published in How Benji Got His Name, a collection of five Benji stories and two stories invented by Benji, intended for children aged three-to six-year-old. How Benji Got His Name was published in October 2020 and is available on Amazon.


The Reluctant Criminal is Jan’s first fiction novel. In his almost forty-year-long scientific career, Jan wrote numerous scientific papers, reports and grant proposals. Fiction writing is very different from scientific writing. So it was not surprising that the first version of The Reluctant Criminal looked like a scientific report. Too precise, little to no emotions and too many repeats.  Practising (that means writing a paragraph, erasing most, if not all of the words and starting anew), and following courses helped in Jan's transition from a science writer to a fiction writer. The current version of The Reluctant Criminal looks and feels and reads like a true crime fiction novel.  


Jan is married and has two sons, a grandson, and a granddaughter and lives in Toronto, Canada.

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