Jane Yolen: Author Interview


Jane Yolen and Robert J. Harris have recently brought to life a breathless chapter from Scottish history in their thrilling novel, Girl In A Cage. We couldn’t wait to invite Jane to My Book Corner…

Tell us about you in 25 words or less.

Widow, mother , Nana, writer, storyteller, poet, teacher, lecturer, happy in my work.

Your novel, Girl In A Cage, has just been published. Can you tell us a little bit about how it came to be?

Robert J. Harris (just Bob to his friends) and I started writing short stories and novels a long time ago. Girl in a Cage was the second Scottish book we wrote fo YA readers, after a book on Mary Queen of Scots. we did two others, and altogether consider them The Stuart Quartet. The idea was mne, but we plotted them together face-to-face. Bob would write a sketch of a chapter, I would do most of the dialogue and setting stuff, he was a master plotter and loved researching battle sites. The book came out 19 years ago in the USA and has taken all this time to find its wonderful home in Cranachan Books.

What does a typical day look like for you?

Wake up, do catch up stuff on the computer in bed, wash get dressed, have tea, more work. Butt in chair is my motto. I have 378 published books. That’s a lot of butt in a succession of many chairs!

What makes you happy?

Writing, my children, my grandchildren, my friends, walking in Scotland, my band (yes, I am in a band called Three Ravens, we have one CD out).

You are prolific award-winning author, is there anything that you’d wished you known when you first started out in the publishing business?

How to pace myself for a sixty-year career.

What’s on your TBR pile at the moment?

An Ian Rankin mystery, Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantell.

What’s your worst habit?

Biting my nails.

Your favourite word?

Attention, as in One must pay attention to the world.

Can you tell us a little about your journey to publication?

Sold journalistic pieces in college and after, my first poems (after 113 rejections) about the same time. My first book at 22 years of age (ON MY BIRTHDAY! after about 25 rejections. Moral” Never give up.

What are your top tips for writers?

Find 5 new ideas a day. Pay attention. Butt in chair,Be prepared for the muse because if you are not, she will go to someone else.

Can you give us a glimpse / hint at your current WIP? (I can bribe you with cake!)

Am in the middle of about seven picture books, six novel proposals, and whatever new 5 ideas I get tomorrow!

Just for fun

Tea or coffee? TEA
Paper books or e-books? PAPER
Cake or chocolate? CHOCOLATE CAKE. DARK!
Write or type? TYPE
Poetry or prose? BOTH
Hot or cold? COOL

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