Robin McKinley is the author of several fantasy novels and short story compilations. She has won the Newbery Medal for her novel The Hero and the Crown. She writes children's books primarily, but some of her novels are not meant for kids.

From her bio:

"Jennifer Carolyn Robin McKinley was born in her mother's home town of Warren, Ohio, and grew up in various places all over the world because her father was in the Navy. She read Andrew Lang's Blue Fairy Book for the first time in California; The Chronicles of Narnia for the first time in New York; The Lord of the Rings for the first time in Japan; The Once and Future King for the first time in Maine. She is still inclined to keep track of her life by recalling what books she was reading at a given time. At present she lives on a horse farm in eastern Massachusettes where she divides her time between the fascinating occupants of the barn in the mornings and the tyranny of her typewriter in the afternoons."

Books by Robin McKinley:
Beauty: A Retelling of the Story of Beauty and the Beast
The Door in the Hedge
The Blue Sword
The Hero and the Crown
The Outlaws of Sherwood
The Stone Fey
Rose Daughter

Robin McKinley was born on November 16, 1952, in Warren, Ohio. Her father was in the Navy and the family traveled a great deal. Books were her constant. She began to remember places by recalling what books she'd read where. She says she still uses books to keep track of her life.

Even when she was very young, she wanted to be a writer, and she cannot remember a time when her stories were not about "shy, bumbling girls who turned out to be heroes."

Her first novel, Beauty, was accepted by the first publisher to whom she submitted it. She was 26.

Robin lives in England with her husband, writer Peter Dickinson, as well as three dogs, a horse, and four hundred rosebushes.


(on being a late bloomer) "I didn't discover boys because they didn't discover me, and because their standards of discovery seemed too odd to be aspired to."

"I don't write for adolescents, and I'm quite cranky about this. I write for whoever likes the sort of stories I write."

"Writing has always been the other side of reading for me; it never occurred to me not to make up stories. Once I got old enough to realize that authorship existed as a thing one might aspire to, I knew it was for me. I even majored in English literature in college, a good indication of my fine bold disdain for anything so trivial as earning a living."

"I think I've discovered reality after all. I'm astonished at how interesting it is."

Books (also see Void_Ptr's list above):

A Knot in the Grain and Other Stories

My Father is in the Navy


thanks to:

Editor's note: As outlined by Lucy-S at SFF Net, the site referenced above has gone offline. As of March 2017, you can find Robin McKinley at

More books by Robin McKinley

Here are three more books by Robin McKinley:

  • Spindle’s End, Ace Books, June 2001 - This is a retelling of the story of Sleeping Beauty. However, for those who are familiar with Robin McKinley’s books, you will not need me to tell you that this is not the story of a languid princess waiting passively to be rescued by a man. The story is full of strong female characters who are not afraid to wrestle with fate.
  • Water: Tales of Elemental Spirits, A collection of short stories by Peter Dickinson and Robin McKinley, Putnam Publishing Group, June 2002 - Peter Dickinson is Robin McKinley’s husband. They started a project which was envisioned to encompass four books based on: water, fire, earth, and air. So far only the first has been produced - this one. Each author wrote half the short stories in the book. Those written by Robin are: “The Sea-King’s Son,” “Water Horse,” and “A Pool in the Desert”. I liked all three of these stories a great deal. While her stories in A Knot in the Grain seemed rather distant and dull, these stories have the freshness and humanity marking her earlier books. I found the magical water garden in “Water Horse” highly intriguing and wish that she would write a novel in this world. “A Pool in the Desert” is set in her Damar universe for those of you who love The Blue Sword and The Hero and the Crown. And I have to admit that this story moved me to tears.
  • Sunshine, Berkley Publishing Group, October 2003 - This book is a departure from her earlier novels in that it has a couple of graphic sex scenes which would cause many parents to consider it inappropriate for children and adolescents. It also has some pretty graphic scenes of bloody violence. However, for adults it is an excellent read. This book won the 2004 Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Adult Literature.

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