Q & A with Jane Yolen
Jane Yolen has been called the Hans Christian Andersen of America and the Aesop of the twentieth century. She has written over 300 books, won numerous awards, given six honorary doctorates in literature, and got to spend a day in a studio with Kevin Kline while he did voice over for one of her animated stories. Guess which accomplishment she talks about most?
Books on the House for Kids and Teens is thrilled to welcome Jane to our community!
I am so excited to feature you here on Books on the House for Kids and Teens, Jane! Thanks for being here. Would you tell us how many books you’ve written, and more importantly, how you come up with fresh, exciting ideas for?!
My 300th book will be published this fall, though I am not exactly sure which one will be the ACTUAL 300th since no one at the publishing company tells me the pub date anymore. I have written about 30-40 other books that have (as yet) not been bought by any company. But I continue to try.
Ideas are the easiest thing to come by. But turning an idea into a real (and saleable) book is something else altogether. I get 10-20 ideas every week. I maybe follow through on one of those.
Foiled is new territory for you. How did you become involved or interested in the graphic novel?
Been trying to sell one for well over fifteen years but no one wanted me to do a gn till a couple of years ago and then, within several months, I sold two proposals to two different publishers. I love the form, and am working on a third (it’s a sequel to the first) since last summer.
Your books cross the spectrum between young children to adults. Is it difficult to transition between your different audiences?
I just write the book and let the publishers decide on what goes where. I have very broad taste and so have no problem at all with those transitions. I just write what I—as child and as adult—have always wanted to read.
Of all the books you’ve written, do you have a particular favorite, or one that is special to your heart?
Whatever I am currently working on. It is what I am passionate about. The rest—the published work—is history and some of it very old history indeed, since I have been published in book form since 1963!
Before you go, would you tell us what you’re working on next?
CURSES FOILED AGAIN, sequel to the first graphic novel, FOILED.
BUG (which stands for Big Ugly Guy) middle grade novel about a Jewish boy so bullied in school, he makes a golem and he also starts a jazz/klezmer fusion garage band. With my son Adam.
A book of my adult fantasy poems, all reprints.
Two short fantasy novels based on short stories of mine: “Snow in Summer” and “The Thirteenth Fey.” Not sure of their titles yet.
THE JEWISH FAIRY TALE COOK BOOK with my daughter Heidi.
JOEY DANTE’S TRIP TO HECK middle grade graphic novel with my friend Bob Harris (though we have only done a proposal and haven’t sold it. Yet.)
THE GIRLS’ BIBLE with friend Barbara Diamond Goldin, though that will not be its final name, but looking at the strong women in the Old Testament.
LUNCH BUNCH with photographer son Jason, poems and photographs about how animals eat.
And other stuff.
All I can say is, “Wow!” Thank you for being here, Jane!