A Pennsylvania resident for much of her adult life, she relocated to the Tampa Bay, Florida area. There she lived within a few miles of Terri Schiavo, the woman at the center of a nearly decade-long end-of-life battle between her husband and her parents. The Terri Schiavo case prompted Van Dyck to find out more about the issue. That in turn led her to work with Project Grace, a local organization that assisted individuals with their advance care directives.
Not long after, Van Dyck's own critically ill mother asked for help in achieving a peaceful death, putting her at odds with a resistant medical community and a grieving family. When her mother requested that she write the experience down, Van Dyck began what she believed would be a first-person memoir. "But after fifty pages, I realized I couldn’t write it that way," she said. "The story in my mind was bigger than my mother and me.”
Based on actual events, Van Dyck's novel Finding Frances (April 2010, Winston-Higgins Press) asks the question: “How much control do we have over the terms of our own death?”
Van Dyck's first novel, The O'Malley Trilogy (2006), was praised by Writer's Digest, and she's at work on a third. A mother and freelance writer, she lives on the west coast of Florida with her family and two dogs. Her website is janicevandyck.com.