New York City
Dragon's Blood: A Fantasy
Jane Yolen is a prolific writer of fantasy, poetry, and plays for children. She also writes novels for adults, essays, and criticism. She has edited many fiction anthologies. She is best known for her folk stories and fairy tales, in which she retells familiar stories and gives them new twists. She also makes up new stories using familiar frameworks and settings.
She spoke about the diversity of her work with Phyllis E. Alsdurf: “As a grown-up human being, I'm interested in a lot of things. I'm interested in politics, ecology, the environment, history. I'm interested in poetry, fairy tales, music, travel. So why can't my books reflect all of those interests? I'm not narrow as a human being, so why should my writing be narrow? In fact, I always wonder how anyone who is a writer can enjoy writing the same thing over and over again. You might as well work in a factory if you're interested in doing the same thing over and over and over again.… Writing is not just a job for me.… This is my life. This is what I love. I am one of those very, very lucky few people who absolutely adores what she does. And there's nothing that I enjoy more than sitting down and writing. So why should I narrow myself?”
The daughter of two writers, Yolen lived in California, New York City, and Connecticut when she was growing up. She was an avid reader who also studied ballet at Balanchine's for eight years and liked to play fantasy games. In high school, Yolen played basketball, worked for the student newspaper, and sang in the choir. She took an interest in different religions. She fell in love with things medieval and Arthurian. She wrote a lot of poetry.