Phyllis Reynolds Naylor was born on January 4, 1933, in Anderson, Indiana. She grew up during the Depression, but didn't realize her family was poor, because they always had plenty of books. Naylor began making up her own stories in grade school, sometimes stapling the pages and making them into an illustrated book of her own.

Naylor married at age eighteen. She attended junior college, paying her tuition by writing magazine articles and stories. Her husband soon began to show signs of severe mental illness, later diagnosed as paranoid schizophrenia. He was unable to work, and Naylor's income from writing became their only means of support.

Things got worse with her husband, so she obtained a divorce (later remarrying). She went back to college and earned a BA in clinical psychology at American University. By this time she had decided to forego graduate study and become a full-time writer. Her first book, The Galloping Goat and Other Stories, was published in 1965. Since then she has had at least one book published each year.

Naylor wrote short stories for 15 years before she started writing books. She kept careful records, and recently counted her accumulated rejections - 10,335.

Naylor writes for about six hours every day, usually working on two books at a time. She says she's sure her last words will be, "But I still have five more books to write!"

Naylor and her husband live in Bethesda, Maryland (at 9910 Holmhurst Road, zip 20817). They have two grown sons. Naylor is active in peace and civil rights organizations, walks three miles every morning, and enjoys snorkeling, Chinese food, the theater, and attempting to play the dulcimer.


"The Grand Escape had its start when one of our cats was operated on for what we thought was a tumor in its stomach, but which turned out to be 40 feet of Christmas ribbon, 11 rubber bands, and a couple wads of grass and hair. That operation cost us $450, and I was determined to get the money back."

"I can never understand why people who have not seen me for a while ask if I am still writing. They might as well ask if I am still breathing."


Achingly Alice / The Agony of Alice / Alice Alone / Alice in April / Alice in Between / Alice in Lace / Alice in Rapture, Sort Of / Alice In-Between / Alice on the Outside / Alice the Brave / All but Alice / Outrageously Alice / Reluctantly Alice

An Amish Family

Beetles, Lightly Toasted

Being Danny's Dog

The Bomb in the Bessledorf Bus Depot

The Boy With the Helium Head

Boys Against Girls

The Boys Start the War

Carlotta's Kittens

Danny's Desert Rats

Ducks Disappearing

Eddie, Incorporated


The Face in the Bessledorf Funeral Parlor

The Fear Place

The Girls Get Even

The Girls' Revenge

The Grand Escape

The Grooming of Alice

The Healing of Texas Jake

How I Came to Be a Writer

I Can't Take You Anywhere!


Jade Green

Josie's Troubles

Keeping a Christmas Secret

The King of the Playground

Maudie in the Middle

Night Cry

Old Sadie and the Christmas Bear

One of the Third-Grade Thonkers

Peril in the Bessledorf Parachute Factory

The Picnic

Sang Spell

Saving Shiloh / Shiloh / Shiloh Season

Send no Blessings

A Spy Among the Girls

Sweet Strawberries

To Walk the Sky Path

A Traitor Among the Boys

The Treasure of Bessledorf Hill

Walker's Crossing

Witch Water

The Witch's Eye

The Witch's Sister

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