Meet Author Jane Yolen

Jane Yolen now has a complete trio of picture books that ignites imagination among readers. What can be made with a stick, a box, and a string? “Music that goes with … everything!”

Read a short Q&A below to learn more about Jane Yolen and her imaginative titles.

Q: What inspired you to write the trio of imaginative picture books?
JY: Honestly, it began with the first one with no thoughts about any others. But I had such fun, and the response was so good, that the next two just had to be written.

Q: Which of the three picture books (Box, String, Stick), did you enjoy working on the most?
JY: They each had their perks and their quirks. The first one (Box) seemed to write itself. The second one (String) took its energy from the Box book. Honestly, by the third, I had to do the most rewriting so as not to just over-re-assemble the first two. But once I realized what the problem was, it was easy to correct.

Q: What do you hope readers gain from reading your stories?
JY: First: delight. Then an AHA as they realize their imagination is being stretched, and finally “I can do all those things!!!

Q: If you could tell your younger professional self anything, what would it be?
JY: If you dream it, you can do it. Well into your 80’s! Stop worrying so much, and you will enjoy it even more.

Q: What was the first book that made a lasting impression on you?
JY: My parents gave me a boxed edition of the two Alice in Wonderland books which I still have. And I can still recite with great enthusiasm as a party trick “The Jabberwocky….!

Q: What was your favorite thing about school as a kid?
JY: Believe it or not, writing poetry, plays, and songs.

Q: When you’re not writing, what are your favorite things to do?
JY: Reading, going on an adventure, spending time with loved ones and friends.

Q: What do you do to overcome a creative block?
JY: Sitting down in front of my computer. No—really!!!

Q: What sparked your interest or inspired you to write children’s books?
JY: It was an accident. I thought I was going to be a journalist like my dad (my brother did that) but was awful at writing strictly journalist pieces. I made stuff up. I worked next as an editor and was pretty good at that. But eventually, I realized I was at least as good as the people I was editing, if not better.

Q: Who or what has been a major influence on your writing style?
JY: Emily Dickinson, William Butler Yeats, E.B. White, Lewis Carroll, and all the writers of Arthurian Literature.

Q: What would you have been if not an author?
JY: A frustrated editor. Or a frustrated English Lit teacher.

Q: What’s one thing an author must keep in mind when writing a children’s book?
JY: That it will be read and re-read by both adults and children.

Q: Why does reading excite you?
JY: It takes me far away—in space, in time, into the majesty of the story.

Q: What piece of advice would you give to aspiring children’s book authors?
JY: 1. Stop talking about wanting to write. 2. Read a lot of children’s books. 3. Then sit down and do it. 4. And while you are doing it, join SCBWI. The Society of Children’ Books Writers and Illustrators who will give you a lot of instruction and help along the way. Another wonderful helpful organization is Highlights. It runs all kinds of small workshops for writers and illustrators in Pennsylvania where you will live in a cabin and be well fed, and well walked around their acreage, and well taught by leading writers of the day.

Q: What do you find most appealing about your career in writing children’s books?
JY: Honest letters from kids. “You are my second favorite author….”

Q: What are the biggest challenges about a career in writing children’s books?
JY: You could make more money as a writer for adults, but that alone changes or sustains lives the way children’s books do.. Unless of course you are J.K. Rowling and you will make enough money to buy the world.

Q: What was your favorite book when you were a child?
JY: The Alice in Wonderland books which led to a lifelong love of fantasy stories and things English.

Q: In terms of your career, where do you see yourself in 5-10 years?
JY: Dead. I am already 83. I hope to keep writing till the day I die, but things are already getting iffy! And those years are creeping into my bones. But I do not despair—I have many books already sold that will be published for years to come. And my children will rewrite some of my unfinished books after and those will most likely sell as well. So you will be saying, “A new Yolen book? But I thought she died last year? And both statements will be true.

The Best Way to Write A Book
Fall in love with an idea,
a first line, a last line,
a character. or a new bit
of grammar you just learned.
Be prepared to be surprised
by what you love.
Life is like that.
I have fallen in love with a stone,
a leaf, the way a fox leaps
into a colon shape when hunting,
or a bear can fall asleep
for a lazy afternoon on my porch.
Put that surprise on your story.
Butt in chair.
It's the only way to make a book.
I should know. I have 418

©2022 by Jane Yolen all rights reserved

Browse Jane Yolen’s titles here.

Dejar un comentario

Por favor tenga en cuenta que los comentarios deben ser aprobados antes de ser publicados