Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  R. J. Henne  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Fiction Non-Fiction

Born: in Jacksonville, Illinois

-- R. J. Henne on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

Henne was born in Jacksonville and graduated from the old Triopia High School in Chapin and Flamingo Beauty College in Jacksonville.

Biographical and Professional Information

R. J. worked as a licensed cosmetologist at Jacksonville Developmental Center for more than 20 years. In 1994, she moved to Decatur and married James August Henne.To overcome her grief after losing her husband to cancer in 1998, Henne started writing books for publication, even though her eyesight was failing from cornea dystrophy in both eyes. Since then, she has received two cornea transplants.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

Harley Boogle and His Bulldog Buster
ISBN: 1606729551

PublishAmerica. 2009

R.J. Henne has had a lifelong love for storytelling and is a keen observer of people. She grew up in Central, Illinois, with her grandmother who taught her about living the simple life. She is a retired state employee, and worked as a hairdresser for 25 years. R.J. lost her husband, Jim, to cancer ten years ago. To overcome the grief, she began to paint and write, and so began a dream of becoming a published author. She will soon have her novel, Cracker’s Bend, completed. Some of her earlier short stories and articles were published in local newspapers. She struggles with failing eyesight. Marlys Wilson, PhD, has loved writing her entire life, and has long believed the lost art of instructive storytelling is a way of helping the individual center themselves through core values. Old fashioned storytelling helps to make better choices in our lives when we are called to this moment. In her early years, she was an aspiring artist, but later turned her interest to psychology, philosophy, and nutrition. She specialized in working with battered women and children. Out of this was born her handbook, Waiting in the Wings, for women who wait for love and make poor choices. She came to feel that we can learn much about the human spirit through classic stories that teach us about right and wrong.

Cracker's Bend
ISBN: 1448921945

PublishAmerica. 2009

Cracker’s Bend does exist! It is not a town, but a small, close-knit farming community. Jean Thorton came here to live with her grandmother after her biological mother gave her up at birth. Granny Kennedy O’Slaney was born here on this 40 acre farm in 1899. Her parents, Oliver and Lou Goodpasture Kennedy, settled here on a hot July day in 1888—their wedding day. Charlie was born a year later around Christmas time, then 11 years later Bertha was born. “Granny” O’Slaney lived off the land most of her life while raising her four small children as a single parent. Life’s lessons were hard how faith in God comes through when everything else seems to fail. Jean never gave up though, becoming an author of children’s adventure books, drawing from her own experiences, and telling her tales of family and growing up in this place that never changes.

Christmas in Oberammergau
ISBN: 1451274785

America Star Books. 2010


The Talking Rabbit and the Farmer
ISBN: 1456073370

America Star Books. 2011


Little Bit Vanilla: The Tiny Alpaca No One Wanted
ISBN: 1462656323

America Star Books. 2011

A rejected alpaca bonds with a young anthropologist as both discover new purpose and new meaning to their lives. Little Bit Vanilla, The Tiny Alpaca No One Wanted, tells a story of overcoming adversity and reaching beyond the norm to find strength. While visiting a friend in Napa Valley, Sheli O'Slaney discovers a small, unwanted alpaca. Stunted at birth, the young alpaca lacks the appearance of a show animal. Unable to obtain a decent profit, because of the quality of the alpaca's fleece, the farmer is at odds on what to do with him. Sheli falls in love with the small alpaca at first sight, thus beginning the strange relationship that will touch the hearts of many. The adventures of the two unlikely companions take them on journeys leading from the Midwest to the shores of Scotland. Memorable characters, comical adventures, and suspense, all combine to create a story that young, or the young at heart, will enjoy.

Speaking Engagements

Speaking Engagement Availability: (No)